Embrace sustainability: ICAG urges companies
The President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG), Sena Dake, has urged companies to embrace sustainability in all aspects of their operations.
She said as part of promoting sustainability, businesses must prioritise sustainability reporting and put in place measures that would push them to adhere to their targets on sustainability.
Such a move, she said, would assure stakeholders of a company’s level of compliance to sustainability, and the impact of their businesses on the environment, people and society as a whole.
She added that efforts on sustainability would also be beneficial to companies as it could help them adopt technologies and practices that would help reduce waste, energy consumption, carbon emissions and climate change, which could result in cost reductions in their overall operations.
Ms Dake was speaking at a stakeholders’ conference on sustainability in Accra last Thursday.
It was organised by the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), an organisation in the United Kingdom (UK) that promotes investment and enterprises, which benefit people and the environment, in partnership with Impact Investing Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
The conference was to build the capacity of stakeholders in accounting, assurance, auditing and investment on new sustainability standards set by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), known as IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards
It was also to assess the readiness of Ghana to inculcate the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards across its various business regulations frameworks.
Sustainability in business connotes the idea of conducting business in a manner that meets customer expectations while, at the same time, treating the people and the environment well to ensure that businesses satisfy the needs of the present world without compromising future generations.
It is meant to ensure that all processes, products, manufacturing and other aspects of businesses adequately address current environmental and social concerns, while maintaining a profit.
Sustainability reporting on the other hand is a company’s disclosure on sustainability and involves disclosure of a company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals and communicating the company’s progress and efforts to reach those goals.
The ICAG president said companies must see sustainability reporting as a game changer that would help boost their businesses and make them more attractive to investors.
“All companies must get involved in sustainability reporting and assurance because that is what investors want. It has been proven that companies that have shown interest in sustainability reporting are more attractive to investment and boost confidence because it shows transparency and accountability, which investors want.
“Beyond that, such efforts by companies will increase the standing of Ghana in the global world as a champion of sustainability and this will attract more investment to the country,” she added.
Ms Dake disclosed that ICAG as the regulatory body of accountancy, which included financial reporting, had already adopted the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards as part of standards to be implemented by organisations that indulged in any form of accounting and financial reporting.