Accountants Can Be Key Figures in Creating a More sustainableWales; Accountants Need to Be on the Front Line of Promoting a Sustainable Wales, Argues Head of the ACCA in Wales Ben Cotton
Byline: Ben Cotton
WITH the worst of the financial crisis seemingly behind us and with an economy showing signs of recovery, the "sustainability crisis" continues and will remain.
However, many have argued that to date there has been little realisation of the extent of this crisis within Welsh businesses and the threat it poses not only to the environment and society but our economy as a whole.
These issues can no longer be dismissed as being at the "green fringes" and the preserve of environmental evangelists and the converted - but knock at the very door of day-to-day business operation.
The accounting profession and many others are gradually recognising that, if not already at the tipping point beyond which irreversible climate change will occur, then we are very nearly at that point, with the resultant costs for business and society that we know, with a degree of certainty,will ensue.
The immediacy of these impacts demands broad-based action.
Representatives of the major accounting bodies in Wales, comprising ACCA Cymru/Wales, ICAEW, CIPFA, CIMA and AAT, yesterday met Prince Charles to discuss these important issues.
The meeting served as the Accounting for Sustainability Wales Forum - a collaboration also including the Prince of Wales' Accounting for Sustainability Initiative, the Welsh Assembly Government and Sustainable Development CommissionWales - aimed at promoting issues of sustainability within Welsh organisations. This is the first such collaboration between the accounting bodies in Wales.
As we encounter more frequent instances of energy shortages and other natural resource constraints, and as emissions trading schemes and environmental taxation regimes become the norm rather than the exception, accountants as trusted advisers to all organisations across the public, private and third sectors must learn the language of environmental finance and become adept at identifying and choosing between pricesensitive alternative sources. The Accounting for SustainabilityWalesForumwill provide a focus for addressing issues surrounding sustainable development and the intrinsic role played by the accountancy profession as well as flagging up some of the business opportunities of engaging with the sustainability agenda and ensuring linkage with other important work being undertaken in Wales. …