The International Federation of Accountants has released a new briefing paper on how accountants can help their organizations address sustainability issues and incorporate them into business decisions.

The briefing, Accounting for Sustainability. From Sustainability to Business Resilience, highlights the important role accountants can, and must, play in embracing sustainability challenges and ensuring that the organizations they serve are resilient by linking these challenges to a broader business agenda and strategy.

“Businesses are resilient when they are able to create and continue to deliver value to stakeholders, which involves considering both the risks and opportunities presented by sustainability issues, including environmental and social aspects, that ultimately affect financial performance and value creation,” said IFAC President Olivia Kirtley in a statement. “Accountants working in the public and private sectors have a significant role to play in supporting and making the decisions that guide an organization’s ability to be resilient.”

The briefing examines the link between sustainability and business resilience, how integrating sustainability leads to better performance, and the key elements of developing a sustainable strategy and business model.

The document clarifies how accountants can make a difference and includes references to some of the tools available to help develop knowledge and skills.

The briefing was previewed earlier this week during the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka’s Global Management Accounting Summit in Colombo, Sri Lanka, by Kirtley. The conference, on the subject of "Business Resilience through Integrated Reporting," addressed many different issues related to integrated reporting, including sustainability.

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