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Establishing Accountancy’s Role in Sustainability Goals

By Elizabeth Kennedy
December 1, 2016
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The UN building beneath clear skies, reflecting New York office buildings in its windows.

The International Federation of Accountants® (IFAC®) released a report to support the accountancy industry in aligning with the 17 Sustainability Development Goals created by the United Nations and intended to “sustain people, planet, and prosperity to 2030.” As an invitation for partnerships among the public, private, and voluntary sectors, IFAC’s proposal for dialogue aims to mainstream and integrate the goals in accounting, beginning with a workshop on the topic that was held at the IFAC Annual Council meeting in Brasilia, Brazil, on November 16-17, 2016.

 

“Accountancy is the basis of strong and sustainable organizations, financial markets, and economies,” said IFAC CEO Fayez Choudhury. “It is important for our profession to be conscious of how we contribute, both directly and indirectly, to the Goals. The skillset, experience, and influence professional accountants possess gives them enormous scope to shape solutions to sustainable development challenges.”

 

“‘Business as usual’ is no longer sustainable—if business ignores the Goals, they do so at their own peril,” noted Charles Tilley, chair of the IFAC Professional Accountants in Business Committee, which contributed to the report along with the IFAC Professional Accountancy Organization Development Committee. “The public and private sectors should embrace the opportunities presented by the Goals to act in the public interest as well as create value for business and investors. What we do as accountants benefits society and contributes to the resilience of the organizations we work in, both of which are key themes of this publication.”

 

Elizabeth Kennedy is the feature editor at IMA. You can reach her at ekennedy@imanet.org.
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