Foresight the CPA Podcast episode 1

Episode 1: Can sustainability be a driving force for the Canadian economy?

Current environmental challenges have given rise to new ways of thinking and doing business. Sustainability is having a pivotal influence on business practices to meet the needs of today while securing the needs of tomorrow.

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In our first episode, we explore what sustainability means in the financial world and how CPAs play a pivotal role in creating a sustainable future.

Davinder Valeri, CPA, CA, director of strategy, risk, and performance with CPA Canada and EY Canada East Leader Anne-Marie Hubert discuss this critical shift in the future of our accounting profession.

Tune in to find out what you can do as a CPA to create a cleaner and more sustainable life for everyone.

View transcript

In this episode

  • how environmental sustainability and accounting are related (00:35)
  • how CPAs are playing a pivotal role in creating a better future (02:26)
  • how 2020 shifted the financial conversation toward sustainability (02:54)
  • the demand for standardization and consistency in climate-related financial disclosure (04:30)
  • responsible investment and focus on EGS is growing ($3.2 trillion) (05:55)
  • introducing EY's Canada East Leader Anne-Marie Hubert (07:07)
  • how investors are leading the change towards a greener future (07:28)
  • examples of sustainable financial products and the financial incentive they bring to the table (09:11)
  • how the pandemic has accelerated sustainability efforts (10:37)
  • why standards are so important (11:35)
  • whether standardization measures should remain voluntary (13:57)
  • how companies which have a serious impact on the environment can be convinced to release data (15:13)
  • why moving too fast toward sustainability can cause crises (the human aspect of transition) (16:53)
  • the roadmap to a sustainable future must include these eight things (17:47)
  • the challenges of the uncertain future and the role of the CPA (18:06)
  • what new CPAs should do to position themselves for success in this new space (20:14)

Key takeaways

  • There are a significant number of Canadian EGS funds that are outperforming their non-ESG counterparts. ESG momentum is not slowing down.
  • Investors are leading the change when it comes to sustainability efforts. There is an expectation for corporate Canada to step up and do better.
  • Green bonds are financial instruments where you get a bond on the basis that you are committing to do better.
  • The majority of companies who are large emitters around the world have plans to get to Net Zero by 2050-2060.
  • The roadmap to a sustainable future must include: clean electricity production, transmission, storage; clean hydrogen production, transmission, storage; carbon capture and a carbon market.
  • Canada must invest in the necessary infrastructures to support the transition to a sustainable future. Coordinated leadership is also necessary. We have the opportunity to be a global winner in this space.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the guest and do not necessarily reflect those of CPA Canada.