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icaew insights in focus podcast

Can SMEs keep up with ESG?

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In this Insights In Focus episode, we explore how the introduction of sustainability assurance, both voluntary and mandatory, is affecting firms of all sizes.

Back in April 2022, the UK became the first G20 nation to bring recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) into law. TCFD requirements only apply to the UK’s largest organisations, but many SMEs are facing pressure from stakeholders to follow suit. And as the sustainability of entire supply chains comes under greater scrutiny, that pressure is only set to intensify.

So, how are firms navigating sustainability assurance at a time of economic instability and tight margins? And what role will accountants play in the transition to wider forms of reporting and disclosure?

Host Philippa Lamb discusses the issues with Richard Spencer, ICAEW Director of Sustainability; Heather Buchanan, Cofounder of Bankers for Net Zero; and Vandana Saxena Poria, ICAEW adviser and member of the B20 Action Council for ESG in Business.

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Philippa Lamb


  • Vandana Saxena Poria, ICAEW adviser and B20 Action Council for ESG in Business
  • Heather Buchanan, Cofounder, Bankers for Net Zero
  • Richard Spencer, Director of Sustainability, ICAEW


Natalie Chisholm


Episode first published: 30 June 2023
Podcast recorded: 27 June 2023

All views expressed on this podcast are those of the contributors and don’t necessarily reflect those of ICAEW or its members.

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