IFAC announces new Sustainability Framework
Supporting accountants in creating sustainable value
09 Feb 2009
A comprehensive Sustainability Framework to support professional accountants and their organisations in integrating a sustainable way of thinking and working in all business processes has been announced by the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
Designed from four different perspectives - business strategy, internal management, financial investors, and other stakeholders - the new Sustainability Framework illustrates how a commitment to sustainability can help to further improve an organisation's products or services, motivate its people, lower its costs and enhance its reputation.
It challenges conventional ways of thinking on economic, social and environmental achievements, and promotes the injection of sustainability leadership into the full management cycle, from making and executing strategic decisions to reporting on performance to all stakeholders.
Roger Adams, ACCA executive director - policy, is chair of the PAIB Committee's Sustainability Framework Project. He highlights the holistic view of sustainability taken by the Framework: 'It recognises the importance of the three main dimensions of sustainability - economic viability, social responsibility, and environmental responsibility - as well as their interconnectivity. We hope that this Sustainability Framework provides the means and motivation for professional accountants to address sustainability issues with greater vigour.
'Although the accounting sector itself might be considered a relatively low-impact sector in terms of direct environmental and social impacts, it is the accountant's involvement in the twin issues of organisational decision-making and external reporting that imposes on the accountancy profession the responsibility for understanding, absorbing and articulating the implications of the sustainable development debate.'
IFAC's Sustainability Framework is a web-based tool that allows users to easily navigate those sustainability issues that are most important to their immediate roles and to select and use those examples of good sustainability practice that can work in their organisations.