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May 04, 2010
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IFAC and the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project Collaborate to Promote Sustainable Organizations
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project have entered into a memorandum of understanding to support the global accountancy profession's role in developing sustainable organizations.
Organizations are increasingly seeking new ways to maintain their economic performance and contributions to society in the face of challenge and crisis. Perhaps the most critical challenge facing business and society generally is to live within our ecological limits, while continuing to enjoy economic prosperity. IFAC and A4S believe that an essential part of the answer lies in going beyond traditional ways of thinking about performance and embedding sustainability into strategy, governance, performance management, and reporting processes.
Key priorities to support the work of professional accountants in embedding sustainable practices include:
- Raising awareness and facilitating sharing and collaboration across the global accountancy community, for example, through the development of a community website for professional accountancy organizations, business leaders, academics, and other experts to exchange ideas and share good sustainability practice;
- Establishing an international integrated reporting committee to develop a new reporting model that will better reflect the interconnected impact of financial, environmental, social, and governance factors on the long-term performance and condition of an organization; and
- Incorporating accounting for sustainability within professional training and education.
Professional accountants in organizations support the sustainability efforts of the organizations they work for in leadership roles in strategy, governance, performance management, and reporting processes. They also oversee, measure, control, and communicate the long-term sustainable value creation of their organizations.
Paul Druckman, Chairman of the A4S Executive Board, states, "We will only be able to achieve a sustainable future if all organizations, and all individuals within those organizations, recognize the role that they can and need to play. Effective action by the accounting and finance community to better account for sustainability is an essential part of the response. The collaboration between IFAC and A4S will help to make this a reality."
"Professional accountants play a vital role in helping to create sustainable organizations and markets, especially in the areas of accountability and measurement of results," says Robert Bunting, President of IFAC. "I am delighted that our two organizations are working together to advance the role of sustainability leadership and reporting at a global level, fostering collaboration with key stakeholders and developing best practices for integrating sustainability issues in the way we do business."
IFAC (www.ifac.org) is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 159 members and associates in 124 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.
About the A4S Project
The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project works with businesses, investors, the public sector, accounting bodies, NGOs and academics to develop practical guidance and tools for embedding sustainability into decision-making and reporting processes. To date, the project has involved the collaboration of more than one hundred and fifty public and private sector organizations.