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Why accountants must take action on climate

As ICAEW and Deloitte join up to create an online learning programme to takcle climate change, South East London Area Society Vice Chair and LSCA Deputy President Vicky Andrew spells out what this means for ICAEW members.


September 2019

ICAEW is taking a lead on climate change, by seeking to enable its members and the wider profession to respond to the challenges, and to meet its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Climate change is believed to have potentially devastating implications for future economic and financial stability and society as a whole. It is the single most important challenge the world faces, and needs to be a priority for everyone, both personally and professionally.

To paraphrase environmental activist Julia (Judy) Bonds (1952-2011): “There will be no jobs on a dead planet”

Business can and must play a leading role, but this cannot be achieved without the understanding and involvement of finance professionals. The time for business to act is now, but what does that mean for individual ICAEW members?

Education and Action

ICAEW and Deloitte have collaborated to produce an online learning programme to help businesses and finance professionals learn more about the effects of climate change and how to help tackle it.

The programme contains two videos; the first sets out the impact that climate change is having on humanity and business, while the second equips businesses to implement change, manage the risks and challenges, and take advantage of the opportunities that climate change presents.

Included in the programme are considerations for financial statements and how to translate the effects of climate change into tangible measurements. There are also interviews with experts who are driving action on climate change, and a comprehensive list of links to external resources.

The programme, which is supported by a number of high-profile organisations, is free and open to everybody, not just ICAEW members. It is meant to be shared, so members are encouraged to help spread the word.

Can individuals make a difference?

What about the average one-man and one-woman band, fire-fighting deadlines and too busy fighting alligators to drain the swamp?

Small incremental changes can all make a difference, as happened when large retailers had to start charging for single-use plastic bags. The reduction in consumption was significant. It may be something as simple as reviewing the office reuse/recycling policy. As a first step, why not follow the links below for further information?

Vicky Andrew is Vice-Chair of SELAS, Deputy President of LSCA, and a member of ICAEW Council

More information on climate change can be found here:

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