Current trends in sustainability and the evolving nature of business reporting were among the topics debated at an event jointly hosted by ACCA Pakistan and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on 22 April to mark Earth Day.
The event in Islamabad welcomed high-profile panellists from across Pakistan's business community to debate the challenges facing businesses in a world where clean water is becoming increasingly rare, as well as considering the changing landscape of business reporting and increasing information expectations of stakeholders.
Among those taking part in the panel debates were: Muhammad Javed Malik, federal secretary environment, Ministry of Environment; Shafqat Kakahel, former Pakistan ambassador and former UN assistant secretary-general; and Ahmed D Patel, chairman - executive board, Ernst & Young Ford Rhodes Sidat.
Following the debating sessions, the annual ACCA-WWF Pakistan Environmental Reporting Awards ceremony took place to reward companies for excellence in environmental, social and sustainability reporting.
The award for Best Sustainability Report 2009 went to Attock Refinery Ltd and Engro Chemicals Pakistan Ltd, with AES Lal Pir Thermal Power Station, National Refinery Ltd and Qarshi Industries Pvt. Ltd triumphing in other categories.
In his speech, chief guest Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi, minister for environment, lauded the commitment and effort of all those companies that entered the awards scheme.
'The government of Pakistan is very much supportive of private sector initiatives like the ACCA-WWF Pakistan Environmental Reporting Awards and is willing to work with ACCA and WWF to encourage greater buy-in from the business community,' he said.
Arif Masud Mirza, head of ACCA Pakistan, welcomed the variety of organisations - both large and small - that recognise the importance of sustainability and environmental reporting, while Ali Hassan Habib, director-general of WWF Pakistan, used his closing speech to underline the continued commitment of both ACCA and the WWF to the sustainability cause.
'Events like the ACCA-WWF Business Earth Talk come a long way in increasing environmental awareness in the corporate sector, enabling discussion on important environmental issues, as well as awarding deserving companies who are working towards environmental sustainability,' he said.