A statement from the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA) to the accountancy profession
We recognise that our planet is being impacted by a three-fold crisis of a climate emergency, dramatic nature loss, and rising social inequality. Addressing this will require integrated thinking as companies reallocate resources, reorientate production and reimagine their business models. We all depend on nature but it is the poorest in the world that are disproportionately affected by its loss and impacted by climate change.
As organisations build their climate emergency literacy, including their contribution towards achieving carbon neutrality, they must also turn their attention to the nature crisis. At the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 in April/May 2022, the world has the opportunity to adopt a transformative international agreement on nature, and businesses must be part of the solution going forward.
Nature is everyone’s business. Every business relies on nature for resources and ecosystem services such as water, food, fiber, minerals, pollination of crops, water filtration and climate regulation, in their own operations, supply chains and for their employees and customers. Protecting nature within these ecosystems is foundational and critical to long-term human well-being, healthy societies, and resilient economies.
Governments, policy makers, and businesses must adopt policies now to reverse the process of nature loss in this decade. We call upon the accountancy profession to act now, by helping the organisations they work with to protect, restore, and sustainably use our natural resources. Here’s how:
Role of the accountancy profession
We, as finance and accounting professionals, have an important role to play in this context.
As accountants, we are well placed to make a difference. We have the skillsets and knowledge in organisational governance, strategy, risk management and performance, to support sustainable decision-making through our business analysis, and assurance of both financial and non-financial data.
The member bodies of the GAA advocate and support the protection and restoration of nature through businesses’ finance activities and investment decisions. We all add our voices to call for collective and global ambition by signing the Call to Action ‘Nature is Everyone’s Business’.
With a vital role to play, professional accountants should commit to helping reverse the process of nature loss by:
- Understanding how their organisations and clients impact and rely on nature.
- Providing sound advice and services that contribute to an organisation’s positive effect on nature.
- Providing relevant and meaningful decision-making information supporting investment that protects and restores nature.
- Actively supporting the alignment of investment and expenditure flows to nature-positive outcomes.
- Contributing to disclosure on biodiversity-related risks and impacts.
- Contributing to the efforts of an organisation to innovate and scale up products and technologies with a lower impact on nature.
As the chief executives of global professional accountancy bodies, we commit to:
- Working with governments to establish and align coherent policy frameworks that accelerate business action to reverse the process of nature loss.
- Building our members knowledge, understanding and awareness of nature loss.
- Providing our members with the training, support and infrastructure to value and embed nature in decision making and disclosure.
- Supporting the alignment of consistent global regulation and globally accepted disclosure frameworks that integrate nature, people, and climate into corporate reporting.
Together the accountancy profession and our members have a crucial role to play in the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of our natural resources. Nature is everyone’s business.
WHO HAS SIGNED THE STATEMENT?
- Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA & CIMA)
- Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
- Chartered Professional Accountants 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)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
- Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.V. (IDW)
- The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA)
- South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)