Prince Charles wants accountants to save the world

The Accounting for Sustainability Project, founded by Prince Charles, is challenging accountants to save the world by helping companies meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The Prince of Wales established the group in 2004, “to help ensure we are not battling to meet 21st-century challenges with, at best, 20th-century decision making and reporting systems.” A4S currently has a presence across the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Its Accounting Bodies Network includes 16 accounting bodies representing 2.4 million accountants in 181 countries, or nearly two-thirds of accountants globally. Its goal is to inspire action in the global finance industry and drive a fundamental shift towards resilient business models and a sustainable economy.

"The risks from environmental, social and economic crises are clear to see — not just for our planet and society, but also the future resilience of the global economy,” said A4S executive chairman Jessica Fries, who will lead a session titled, “Can accountants save the world?” at the 20th World Congress of Accountants, in a statement. “Finance leadership and innovation are essential to the changes needed to tackle these risks, and to create the businesses of tomorrow. The accountancy and finance profession are uniquely placed to create both sustainable and commercially viable business models."

The World Congress of Accountants is co-hosted by CPA Australia and the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. “Sustainability and the impact of environmental, social and economic crises on the financial landscape, and all of us as citizens, are poignant topics on the WCOA program this year,” said Simon Grant, head of members at the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. “We’re thrilled to have A4S as the sustainability partner to help supercharge our collective thinking around sustainability best practice,”

A4S is conducting a survey for the conference to poll accountants about the attitudes, capabilities and responsibilities of the finance and accounting profession about embedding sustainability into decision-making.

HRH The Prince of Wales hosts a meeting of his A4S, Accountability for Sustainability forum, part of the Prince of Wales's Charities, at St. James's Palace. A4S executive chairman Jessica Fries is sitting to his right.
LONDON- UK- 7th June 2017: HRH The Prince of Wales hosts a meeting of his A4S, Accountability for Sustainability forum, part of the Prince of Wales's Charities. The forum was held in the State Rooms of St James's Palace and gathered members of the financial and business community together to discuss issues of sustainability.Photo by Ian Jones

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.