Seventy delegates attended a workshop jointly hosted by ACCA Zambia and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to hear guest of honour Catherine Namugala, tourism and environment minister, call on businesses to focus on their environmental sustainability responsibilities.
In her address to the Lusaka event on 15 February 2010, which was attended by representatives from public and private sector blue chip companies and senior government officials, CEOs and CFOs, Namugala said: 'Social and environmental issues today are no longer merely an item of corporate social responsibility as they can significantly impact the business performance and financial profitability of companies.
'It is a difficult balance but the challenge of global warming will not be effectively dealt with if we do not clearly quantify the cost of economic activities in the environment and society at large. In fact, the cost will not just be to society but to future genrations, which will have contributed very little to the problem.'
Namugala also urged accountants to protect stakeholder - as well as shareholder - values and encouraged ACCA Zambia to engage further with senior government officials in her ministry towards launching a sustainability awards programme in Zambia.
Also speaking at the event were Enrique Torres and Shivan Rajpal from the GRI, and ACCA International Assembly member Edward Kabwe FCCA, who reiterated ACCA's commitment to the sustainability agenda and appealed to delegates to participate in future sustainability stakeholder forums that ACCA Zambia plans to undertake in partnership with the Lusaka Stock Exchange and the Institute of Directors.
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