The chief executives of 10 of the global accounting bodies have joined together to support a new call to action in response to the nature crisis, ahead of the upcoming UN Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) COP 15, said the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) recently.
The 10 accounting bodies that have signed the statement include:
- The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants representing AICPA & CIMA
- Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
- Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)
- Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA)
- Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
- ICAS (the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland)
- Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.V. (IDW)
- The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA), and
- and South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
Working together as part of the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA), the CEOs are signing the call to action ‘Nature is Everyone’s Business’ to signal the important role the profession plays in this crisis, the accountancy body noted.
The member bodies of the GAA collectively represent more than 1.4 million accountants and finance professionals in more than 180 countries, according to HKICPA.
The call to action involves advocating for and supporting the protection and restoration of nature through finance activities and investment decisions made by the business community, HKICPA said.
It ties in closely with the expectations of investors and other stakeholders for businesses to focus on environmental, social and governance issues — expectations that will only become stronger in the longer term, HKICPA added.
According to the HKICPA, the joint statement calls upon professional accountants to act now to reverse the process of nature loss by helping the organisations they work for or with to protect, restore and promote the sustainability of natural resources.
The statement summarises six key actions for professional accountants, including understanding how their organizations and clients impact and rely on nature, HKICPA said, adding that professional accountants can also provide sound advice and services that contribute to an organisation’s positive effect on nature.
“There is growing demand for sustainability and conservation,” said Jim Knafo, CEO, Global Accounting Alliance. “We are at a pivotal moment and the global accounting profession must be part of the solution going forward because nature is everyone’s business.”
According to the joint statement, the GAA CEOs are committing to working with governments to establish and align coherent policy frameworks that accelerate business action to reverse the process of nature loss; build the profession’s knowledge, understanding and awareness of nature loss; and provide professional accountants with training, support and infrastructure to value and embed nature in decision making and disclosure.
The CEOs are also supporting the alignment of consistent global regulation and globally accepted disclosure frameworks that integrate nature, people and climate into corporate reporting, the statement adds.
“The loss of nature in the past decade poses an undeniable risk to the global economy, and one that profoundly affects all individuals and businesses,” said Margaret W.S. Chan, The Hong Kong Institute of CPAs Chief Executive & Registrar. “As a leading professional organization, the HKICPA is committed to empowering our members and wider group of local stakeholders to contribute to the protection, conservation, restoration and sustainable use of our natural resources.