The accountancy bodies are part of The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) Accounting Bodies Network. This network represents more than 2.5 million professional accountants and students, who work with businesses and governments in 179 countries.
Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive, said: “The fight against climate change requires urgent global action, so we were pleased to join our fellow bodies from around the world to confirm our commitment to a zero-carbon society.”
The bodies have committed to reaching net zero emissions as soon as possible, will publish plans to do so within the next 12 months and report annually to show progress.
“We were the first major professional body to become carbon neutral and have brought in measures to help us reach net zero, such as setting up carbon-reducing projects. We will continue to look for ways to minimise our carbon footprint, guide our members on their own net zero journeys and support global action,” added Izza.
As an organisation, ICAEW believes accountants are well-placed within their organisations and with their clients to drive action on the climate crisis. The bodies have therefore also committed to providing their members with training, support, and resources to help them create their own net zero plans and reduce their emissions.
In addition, the bodies have pledged to 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.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt throughout the world and the next decade is critical to limit its negative effects. To limit the increase in global average temperatures to 1.5°C, emissions need to halve by 2030, and drop to net zero by the middle of the century for the best chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
Jessica Fries, Executive Chair, A4S said that the accounting community plays a vital role in helping to tackle climate change, ‘but many accountants are unsure where to start’.
“By committing to net zero GHG emissions, the leading professional bodies signing the ABN Net Zero Statement of Support are signalling the importance of action and committing to help their millions of members to respond”, said Fries. “By mobilizing this army of accountants, all segments of the economy – from large to small – can be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to create a sustainable future for us all.”
The accountancy bodies that have signed up to the commitment are: AAT, ACCA, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Chartered Accountants Ireland, Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori commecialisti e degli Esperti Contabili, CPA Australia, CPA Canada, ICAEW, ICAS, Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.V. (IDW), Regnskap Norge, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA).
The A4S commitment is available to view in full here.
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