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The 2030 agenda for sustainable development

Professional accountants will play a significant role in the global agenda to achieve the United Nations' sustainable development goals by 2030. This report highlights key opportunities for making an impact on the most relevant goals.

Globalization and industrialization have provided many social benefits. They have also created sustainable development dilemmas in the areas of inequality and extreme poverty, climate change, and other social and ethical challenges.

In 2015, the United Nations (UN) developed 17 sustainable development goals (SDG), a universal set of goals to enable all UN members to respond to sustainability challenges and develop an agenda and policies to sustain people, the planet and prosperity over the next 15 years.

Professional accountants play significant roles in governance; risk management and control; and business analysis and decision support. Recognizing the growing importance of those roles as SDG gain traction, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee conducted workshops and meetings with international thought leaders in accounting and business to outline the key opportunities for global accountants to contribute to the SDG.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A Snapshot of the Accountancy Profession's Contribution by the IFAC PAIB Committee highlights the discussions, the consensus reached, issues for ongoing debates and a path forward for professional accountants work in business and the public sector for eight of the UN's 17 SDG.

SDG relevant to global professional accountants:

  • Goal 4: Quality education
  • Goal 5: Gender equality
  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • Goal 9: Industry, innovation, infrastructure
  • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • Goal 13: Climate action
  • Goal 16: Peace and justice and strong institutions
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

You will learn about:

  • targets for each goal that are most relevant for professional accountants
  • priorities for each goal
  • key considerations
  • examples of global initiatives to meet and address the goals