CPA Canada helps companies steer the corporate sustainability agenda

CPA Canada helps companies steer the corporate sustainability agenda

The accountancy profession has increasingly evolved beyond the core function of providing accounting services. Accountants can help businesses identify cost-cutting opportunities through energy efficiency, and draw attention towards the strategic marketing and brand building benefits inherent in pursuing an agenda of corporate sustainability.

A new strategic initiative, sponsored by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), will help companies identify both risks and opportunities and adapt to the effects of climate change. The multi-year project involves a total investment of $750,000, shared equally between CPA Canada and NRCan. NRCan is supporting the project under the Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate program.

Professional accountants in Canada have dealt with matters relating to climate change for a long time. The increasing frequency of extreme weather events as well as the challenges related to the availability of water and other natural resources are impacting business organizations everywhere. These challenges have led to the emergence of a host of operational, financial, reputational, legal and regulatory issues.

Kevin Dancey, CPA Canada’s president and CEO, said that professional accountants hold key roles in finance, operations and risk management in every sector of the economy. These professionals have the knowledge and skills to identify both risks and opportunities, which allows them to develop value-creating strategies. Today, their skills are more relevant than ever in meeting the new market expectations and business needs arising from environmental challenges.

The initiative, which is managed by the Network for Business Sustainability, has already produced two case studies focusing on Winnipeg-based tourism company Frontiers North Adventures. Additional case studies are expected in the coming months relating to areas such financial services, transportation and the public sector. Guidance on the application of existing accounting competencies is also being developed along with numerous professional development opportunities.

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford said that the initiative will enable Canadian businesses and accounting professionals to understand how climate change impacts their operations and will help equip them with the tools they need to continue to grow and adapt.

Source: CPA Canada

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