At the heart of the sustainable organisation of the future

Professional accountants are in a unique position to make real, impactful changes


Professional accountants are in a unique position to make real, impactful changes and be at the centre of sustainable development, including driving climate action in the organisations they lead and work for. Practising members can have a positive effect not only to their own businesses but also on the SME clients they support. 

From making business decisions to reporting on CO2 emissions and measuring social impact, the skills, judgment and approach of professional accountants play a vital part in this effort. Accountants’ rounded, data-informed, ethical approach, along with their breadth of view, means that they have a pivotal role.

Professional accountants are at the heart of decision-making and strategy, developing credible and resilient businesses that drive long-term value in ways that are more meaningful than before. They also have a central role in developing, applying and assuring fast-evolving reporting and auditing standards on value and sustainability.

At ACCA, we’re here to help you navigate the emerging and evolving sustainability landscape, and to provide you with the practical insights, tools, learning and connections so you have the skills and confidence to lead the changes required.

Building on last month’s very helpful guide: Five ways you can create a sustainable world, and recent member webinars including the Ignite series, here are some more practical resources and CPD from ACCA to support members:

To show your commitment, why not sign up to the SME Climate Pledge?  If you do sign up, please let us know, and share examples of the changes you are making!

At ACCA, we are acutely aware of our responsibilities. That’s why sustainability continues to be at the heart of our strategy. It’s also why we’ve made strong commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and we’re sharing our progress transparently through our integrated report.

ACCA is a part of 13 professional accountancy bodies from around the world – including AAT, ICAEW, ICAS and AICPA – which have recently joined forces to fight climate change by committing to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The accountancy bodies are part of the Accounting Bodies Network, a collaboration with The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S).

The bodies have committed to:

  • reach net-zero emissions as soon as possible and will publish plans to do so within the next 12 months and report annually to show progress
  • provide their members with training, support and resources to help them create their own net zero plans and reduce their emissions
  • provide advice to help governments create the policies and infrastructure necessary for transitions to net zero economies. The profession is already at the forefront of helping societies adapt by using accounting practices to help governments adjust economic policy in ways that minimise climate change.

ACCA chief executive Helen Brand says: 'Making these commitments is important to create positive business change – and professional accountants are core to this. They are in a unique position to drive good business decisions with positive impacts on sustainability, including on climate action, in the organisations they lead and work for. ACCA is proud to support these commitments and play our part.'