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New ICAEW film urges private sector to take leading role in climate action

By APO Group
12 October 2021   |   12:00 pm
Download logoICAEW (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) (www.ICAEW.com) hosted a special screening of its new climate action film ‘Our Planet: Our Business’ in Nigeria. The film, inspired by the David Attenborough-narrated Netflix series ‘Our Planet’, encourages private enterprises to play a leading role in the fight against environmental collapse. Hosted by…

ICAEW
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ICAEW (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) (www.ICAEW.com) hosted a special screening of its new climate action film ‘Our Planet: Our Business’ in Nigeria. The film, inspired by the David Attenborough-narrated Netflix series ‘Our Planet’, encourages private enterprises to play a leading role in the fight against environmental collapse.

Hosted by ICAEW Contact Member for Nigeria, Sanyade Okoli and opened by ICAEW Council Member for Africa, Ede Dafinone, the session explored what the world’s business community can do to help tackle the global environmental crisis.

Following the film screening, ICAEW members also gained insights from ICAEW's Director of Sustainability, Richard Spencer. He highlighted the risks of climate change to businesses across the African continent, and how companies can minimise the impact they have on the planet. According to the African Climate Policy Centre, GDP in Africa – is projected to suffer significantly as a result of a global temperature increase.

Spencer emphasised that the climate emergency represents the greatest risk of modern times, and urged accountancy professionals to also act now and play their part in saving the planet. He challenged business leaders to fully recognise the critical link between nature and business prosperity and the leading role the private sector must play in tackling the threat of climate change.

The speakers stressed the importance of including sustainability reports as part of financial statements, and stated that corporate reporting should cover sustainability issues critical to businesses. Information included in sustainability reports must also be prepared to the same high standard as financial performance issues and reporting. They agreed that these reports should be an integral part of a company’s performance and accountability in today’s world.

Michael Armstrong, ICAEW Regional Director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), said: “Many countries have established laws and formal governmental structures to address their serious environmental problems, but few have been successful yet in alleviating those problems. Chartered accountants in Africa need to work together to guide governments and policy makers to regulate business by putting standards in place that encourage progress to a sustainable world. If these standards are in place and made mandatory to follow, businesses will be forced to act on them and change their approach.”

Ede Dafinone, ICAEW Council Member for Africa, added: “Climate change is a defining issue of our time, and is having a growing impact on the African continent. It is contributing to food insecurity, population displacement and stress on our water resources, which will increase threats to the socio-economic development in Africa. Acting now will be key to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals’ vision of fair and sustainable prosperity. There must be real change, and this starts with evaluating what we are already doing – the only viable future is one where businesses innovate to demand less of our world. For this reason, it is important for businesses to start looking at sustainability as a business imperative.”

ICAEW’s sustainability experts called for businesses to revaluate how they are affecting the environment both negatively and positively, and ensure that they implement policies around educating their staff how the business is contributing socially and environmentally. They agreed that transitioning to zero carbon is the biggest way companies can contribute to climate change and sustainability efforts across the world.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of ICAEW.

Media enquiries:
Zim Ugbana
Mojo PR
+971 (0)52 699 9617
Email: zim@mojo-me.com

Notes to editors:
Created for WWF by the Emmy® Award-winning Silverback Films, ‘Our Planet: Our Business’ combines stunning footage from Netflix’s Our Planet series with visionary interviews of inspirational leaders, like Johan Rockström, Christiana Figueres, Anand Mahindra and Dave Lewis, to show the cost of continuing with ‘business as usual’. Since its premier in 2019, the film has gathered thousands of ICAEW members and industry professionals at 300+ screening events in over 50 countries.

ICAEW is the first major professional body to become carbon neutral, offsetting all of its emissions and working towards shrinking its carbon footprint. As part of ICAEW’s ongoing commitment, the organisation has now created the Sustainability and Climate Change Community with the aim of providing inspiration, insights and collective ambition for professionals delivering on sustainability and acting on climate change.

About ICAEW:
Chartered accountants are talented, ethical, and committed professionals. There are more than 1.8m chartered accountants and students in the world, and more than 187,800 of them are members and students of ICAEW. All of the top 100 global brands employ chartered accountants.*

Founded in 1880, ICAEW has a long history of serving the public interest and we continue to work with governments, regulators and business leaders globally. And, as a world-leading improvement regulator, we supervise and monitor over 12,000 firms, holding them, and all ICAEW members and students, to the highest standards of professional competency and conduct.

We promote inclusivity, diversity and fairness and we give talented professionals the skills and values they need to build resilient businesses, economies and societies, while ensuring our planet’s resources are managed sustainably.

ICAEW is the first major professional body to be carbon neutral, demonstrating our commitment to tackle climate change and supporting UN Sustainable Development Goal 13.

We are proud to be a founding member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, a network of 750,000 members across 190 countries which promotes the expertise and skills of chartered accountants around the world.

We believe that chartered accountancy can be a force for positive change. By sharing our insight, expertise and understanding we can help to create sustainable economies and a better future for all.

*Source: CAW, 2020 – Interbrand, Best Global Brands 2019
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