Sustainability and corporate responsibility
The SAFA-CMA International Management Accounting Summit has chosen an appropriate theme ‘Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility’ and will be attended by all professional accounting bodies in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan.
Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) states the following in its sustainability framework:
“The recognition governments and many organisations have given to sustainability and sustainable developments are changing business culture and society. The global challenge is to ensure that organisations’ sustainable development practices (a) reverse the previous erosion of natural resources, and (b) improve their environmental, social, and economic performance. This requires radical changes in the way we do business and the way we live our lives. Although many organisations aspire to being responsible, few could claim to be truly sustainable.”
Sustainable business is enterprise that has no negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society or economy a business that thrives to meet the triple bottom line. Sustainable businesses have progressive environmental and human rights policies.
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
From an environmental and social perspective, sustainability issues are transforming the competitive landscape, forcing organisations to change the way they think about products, technologies, processes and business models. The primacy of shareholders as owners is giving way to an enlightened view of maximising wealth creation that incorporates wider stakeholder perspectives and issues into decision making. Long term sustainable value creation requires responsible organisations to direct their strategies and operations to achieving sustainable economic, social and environmental performance. Achieving a sustainable future is only possible if organisations recognise the role that they can and need to play.
Effective action by the accountancy profession and professional accountants in business to better integrate and account for sustainability is an essential part of that role. Several national corporate governance reform efforts are using the language of sustainability, stakeholder governance and encouraging governing boards to take a longer term view of performance. Another challenge is the engagement of the small and medium sized entities (SME’s).
In most countries SME’s account for a sizeable portion of private sector employment and gross domestic product. With regard to environmental and social issues, SME impacts are considerable and therefore have vast potential to contribute to sustainable economies. The theme of integration has brought in an integrated reporting perspective. Integrated reporting is emerging as a new theme and initiative, much interest has been shown by standard setters, organisations, professional associations, NGO’s and others in the development of the International Integrated Reporting Committee.
IFAC Sustainability Framework 2.0
The Summit would have an official inauguration on 21 June, where the Prime Minister D.M Jayaratne will be the Chief Guest. This will be addressed by South Asian Federation of Accountants President Muhammed Rafi and the Presidents of the respective accounting bodies.
There will eight Sessions on Sustainability Framework, Investors demand for Economic, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures, Government Accounting and Sustainability Reporting, Integrated and GRI Reporting, Global Economic Stability and Fiscal Sustainability, Sustainability practices within business sector, Improving Governance and Performance of organisations, CEO/CFO Forum on CSR and Sustainability practices.
Leading speakers and business leaders both overseas and local have been invited to address the Summit. Foreign speakers will be from USA, UK, Australia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan Bangladesh and Nepal. Many leading companies and professional bodies practicing Sustainability such as ITC India, Co-Chairman ASEAN Business Advisory Council from Malaysia, CPA Australia, CIPFA UK, CEO GRI India, Country Director ADB Sri Lanka, Former Director Economic Affairs of the Commonwealth Secretariat, leading companies from Sri Lanka will share their experiences and these include Brandix, MAS, Hayleys, Taj Hotels, Lanka IOC, MD of Dialog, Aitken Spence and Co. Commercial bank, Mobitel, Jetwing and JKH.
This Summit will bring in the concepts and practices of Sustainability and will be specially target those in the business sector and government and is a theme promoted by the professional accounting bodies of the South Asian Countries.
CMA will host this Summit and the SAFA Board Meeting and Committee meetings held on 20 and 21 June.
For registrations contact Shanthi at the CMA office on 2506391/2501062 ext120, or 0714 705535.