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Report: Accountants Must Actively Pursue Sustainability and Social Justice Goals

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jun 21, 2023


Accountants must be at the forefront of achieving sustainability and social equity, a report from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) stated.

Based on responses from 75 finance professionals worldwide, the Accounting for Society’s Values report produced three key messages:

● The future of the accountancy and finance profession is one that embraces sustainability, including the social agenda, in a just transition that balances social equity with environmental action;

● The social agenda is broad and complex, and its constituents are often difficult to measure, but this does not excuse a lack of action; and

● It is important not to stand by on these issues; there is a strong business imperative for action now and this agenda needs to be embedded into the view of strategy and performance.

"The social agenda is a broad one and requires organizations to act now," ACCA chief executive Helen Brand said in a statement reported by Accounting Today. "Without the valued and proactive input of the accountancy and finance profession, the goal of reaching sustainability for all organizations will be unattainable. The profession has an opportunity to play its full part in enabling the just transition, not least the social aspect—one that it cannot afford to shirk."

"Whilst the emphasis for many organizations may have become focused on the environmental aspects of a just transition, it is important to ensure that nobody is left behind," stated ACCA senior insights manager Clive Webb, who wrote the report, according to Accounting Today. "The social agenda is a vital element of the transition and whilst it may present challenges in readily measuring progress this cannot be an excuse for a lack of action.  Accountancy and finance professionals need to be at the forefront on ensuring that their organizations measure and report performance in this area if we are to be a just society."

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