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The vital role our profession must play in reaching net zero

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 18 Oct 2021

Andrew Griffith, MP is a chartered accountant and the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion. He explains how we get to net zero carbon emissions by mid century and how it won’t happen without the support of chartered accountants.

Andrew Griffith explains how important it is that businesses support the move to net zero. It gives political leaders confidence to make sufficiently bold commitments at COP26 and other international summits, knowing that the millions of companies that will have to implement the decarbonisation of our economy understand the challenge and are ready to take it up. 

He talks about why he has confidence that business can play a massive part in tackling net zero. Namely the “ferocious problem solving power” that managers have grounded in an ability to break down a big challenge into a series of tractable problems and work on those until a solution is found. He also says that he spends “every day talking and working with businesses” and he hears constantly about new innovations to reduce the carbon footprint.

Finally, he says that chartered accountants have a fundamental role to play. In the small business community, they are often the only trusted advisor in the room, so they are invaluable in helping to translate economy- or sector-wide requirements into what it means for a specific business. Beyond that, the whole economy needs a new way of measuring and understanding this challenge – and there’s no one better placed to do this than chartered accountants. He sums up by saying, “This isn’t going to happen, actually – we’re not going to be able to make this change – without harnessing the expertise, experience, and the passion of chartered accountants.”

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