By DAVEN ROBERTS
Chartered Accountant Worldwide Network USA presented the second conference of its 2021 Beyond Accounting Series on Tuesday, May 25th. The event, Beyond Accounting – Climate Change – Why it Matters to Accountants, acknowledged that finance professionals have a greater responsibility than just bookkeeping and budgeting. Companies are now calling for in-depth sustainability and climate reporting and accountants should not only be prepared for this task but be active champions of related reporting of it as well.
The well rounded panel of speakers educated the event audience about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and their relation to climate change, the International Federation of Accountants perspective on their role in environmental protection, and the ways in which the island of Fiji is working to raise awareness and fight big business’ contribution to climate change.
The speakers shared insightful thought leadership on a variety of topics and below are some highlights. To discover more about all the ideas they introduce and enjoy the entirety of the conference, you can find the full conference recordings here Climate Change.
UN SDG number 13 is Climate Action. Amir Dossal, Vice-Chair for the United Nation Blockchain Commision and President for the Global Partnerships Forum, introduces this in his presentation. He confronts the audience with the question, “How can accountants play a catalytic role in advancing SDG 13?” He goes on to show the important difference that accountants can and should make when it comes to climate action. The industry has a great deal of pull in its position with businesses both large and small. Watch as he introduces the topic and gives advice on the starting points for accountants to become difference makers.
Aliza Ayaz, UN Youth Ambassador, Founder and Chair of Climate Action Society, joined Amir at the Beyond Accounting event and spoke to the audience about the importance of considering climate action in all business decisions. She addresses the idea of reconstructing society around environmental awareness and how the younger generations play a role in actively making this change. Watch below for her words of inspiration and motivation towards a better future.
Though the entire conference focused on bridging the gap between climate action and the accounting industry, Gabby Kusz, Principal Strategic Initiatives at The International Federation of Accountants took a lead role in explicitly connecting the two for the audience. Gabby explains that when accounting for climate there are three lenses that an accountant must consider: societal impact, business value and balance sheet value. Join as she dives deeper into these three lenses and explains how accountants must consider climate change.
To take this conference a step further, the audience was educated about the island of Fiji, which sits at the forefront of climate change, and what actions they are taking as a nation to address SDG number thirteen. Vineil Narayan, Climate Specialist for the Government of Fiji, speaks on the patterns of carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere over hundreds of years and how this impacts sea level rise. Sea level rise is something already having a significant impact on Fiji. Enjoy the clip of Vineil’s presentation to learn more.
Praneet Singh, Trade Commissioner for Fiji and CA ANZ member, serves as the moderator for the question and answer session in this conference. Praneet shares his thoughts on the importance of businesses taking strong climate action and how accountants can drive this change. He also informs the audience about his own background and how climate actions are a significant topic he promotes as part of his for the government of Fiji. The clip provided is Praneet’s full introduction.
The key driver here is the intense carbon impacts that deforestation has on the atmosphere. Watch the clip to see Amir and Gabby engage in a conversation on the topic and suggest how accountants can get involved.