A global survey of 829 accountants and finance professionals reveals their deep concerns about social and environmental impact, with 90% of respondents indicating they want organisations to increase efforts to become more environmentally sustainable and make a more positive impact on society after the pandemic, said ACCA recently.
In addition, 95% of respondents agree that finance teams have a role to play in building a more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable future, the accountancy body noted.
Survey highlights: Asia Pacific
- 91% of the 165 expert respondents from across the Asia Pacific region, including Singapore, said it was important that the economic recovery from Covid-19 sees organisations become more environmentally sustainable and make more of a positive impact on society.
- Asia Pacific respondents (64%) said giving more priority to creating positive social impact alongside financial returns is one of the main ways that professional accountants can help their organisation build a greener and more inclusive world.
- 56% of respondents said they are looking to develop knowledge in social impact measurement and 66 per cent are interested in sustainability data analytics
- 25% did not know whether their finance team was involved in addressing social or environmental impacts or knew that finance was not involved.
- 54% said they considered they had the skills and training to address social and environmental impact management in their organisation. Many stressed the barriers they face including potential costs, lack of senior management buy-in and too narrow a focus on financial returns.
- Among 18-34 year olds, 24% ranked human rights as the most important issue to tackle, with 35-55 year olds citing diversity and inclusion as being the most important.
More than three-fifths of respondents agreed that professional accountants should be involved in understanding social and environmental impacts and dependencies, prioritising creating positive social impact alongside financial returns and in improving risk management of social and environmental issues.
“ACCA’s call to action for all organisations is for them to commit to building better impact management into their processes to create value – they need to make board level governance committed to the additional and intentional positive social and environmental impact,” said Reuter Chua, head of ACCA Singapore. “Additionally, they must also allocate resources within finance teams and across organisations to build decision-making capabilities related to environmental and social impact.”
ACCA hosts Ethics Film Festival and panel discussions
In conjunction with this quarter’s theme of “Rethinking business for a sustainable recovery”, ACCA will host its annual Ethics Film Festival virtually across APAC for the first time this year, the accountancy body said.
Co-organised by Singapore Film Society, the festival has been kicked off on October 16, with screening of two films virtually on Teleparty as well as panel discussions on October 21 and 28 respectively.
Topics of the panel discussions will surround the films ‘Troubled Water’ and ‘The Bleeding Age’, as well as on key themes such as sustainability, ethics and technology, ACCA added.