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Accountants and sustainability – Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA, comments on the new International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC)

Date

27 Aug 2010

 Global accountants central to the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project and Global Reporting Initiative

Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), is one of the key representatives on the Steering Committee of the newly formed International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC).

The IIRC has been established by the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

As the first professional accountancy body to put sustainability at the heart of the role of the finance professional, ACCA is very pleased to be a participant in this initiative.

The IIRC is comprised of a cross-section of representatives from civil society and the corporate, accounting, securities, regulatory, NGO, IGO and standard-setting sectors.

Commenting on the remit of the IIRC, Helen Brand says: “The role of the IIRC is to respond to the need for a concise, clear, consistent and comparable integrated reporting framework, reflecting the reporting organisation’s strategic objectives, governance and business model, and integrating both financial and non-financial information.

“I am delighted to be joining other accountancy experts on this group. ACCA has been working in this field since the early 1990s and has a 20-year record in promoting sustainability reporting, arguing that companies embracing transparency and measuring their impacts would best be able to deliver enhanced sustainable performance. It is extremely heartening to see so many high-profile names working together to achieve change.

“ACCA is passionate about ensuring that the accountancy profession plays a key role in this vital area. We have long called for the need for a clear and consistent method for businesses to report on their impacts on society and the environment, including carbon emissions. The IIRC represents a considerable force for change.”

The IIRC comprises a Steering Committee and a Working Group. The Steering Committee is chaired by Sir Michael Peat, Principal Private Secretary to HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, with Professor Mervyn King, Chairman, King Committee on Corporate Governance and Chairman, Global Reporting Initiative, as Deputy Chairman. The Working Group has co-chairmen: Paul Druckman, Accounting for Sustainability Executive Board Chairman, and Ian Ball, Chief Executive Officer, International Federation of Accountants.

The Prince of Wales has said, we are at present “battling to meet 21st century challenges with, at best, 20th century decision making and reporting systems.”

Helen Brand concludes: “A globally-accepted framework for accounting for sustainability is an imperative. It is a real privilege to be on this Steering Group and I look forward to the work we will all be doing in the future.”

Background

Every publicly listed company is required to file an annual report on its financial performance in compliance with, in most cases, either International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP).

Increasingly companies are also producing, mostly on a voluntary basis, corporate social responsibility or sustainability reports but these can vary widely in terms of relevance and quality, and in the standards they make reference to in terms of measuring and reporting on environmental, social and governance performance.

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S)

Climate change and the over-consumption of finite natural resources present significant risks that will have a profound impact on society and the economy. The A4S project was launched in 2004 by HRH The Prince of Wales to develop decision-making and reporting systems that take into account the longer-term and broader consequences of actions and are capable of responding to the sustainability challenges faced in the 21st century. A4S works with businesses, investors, governments, accounting bodies, civil society and academics to build an international consensus around the need for a generally accepted integrated reporting framework and to develop practical guidance and tools to embed sustainability into decision-making processes.

Global Reporting Initiative

The Global Reporting Initiative has pioneered the development of the world’s most widely used Sustainability Reporting Framework and is committed to its continuous improvement and application worldwide. This framework sets out the principles and indicators that organizations can use to measure and report their economic, environmental and social performance.

ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

We support our 140,000 members and 404,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,000 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.

For more information, please contact:

For ACCA Comment: ACCA Press Office, +44 (0) 207 059 5738

For IIRC Comment: Clarence House Press Office, +44 (0) 20 7024 5506 www.integratedreporting.org.

IIRC Steering Committee List of members

· Sir Michael Peat, Principal Private Secretary to TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (Chairman)

· Professor Mervyn King, Chairman, King Committee on Corporate Governance and Chairman, Global Reporting Initiative (Deputy Chairman)

· Helen Brand, Chief Executive, ACCA

· Robert Bunting, President, International Federation of Accountants

· Professor Nelson Carvalho, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil and Chairman, 25th session of UNCTAD’s ISAR

· Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of Unit, UNEP Finance Initiative

· Jane Diplock, Chairperson, Executive Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions

· Robert Eccles, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School

· John Elkington, Founding Partner & Executive Chairman, Volans

· Tim Flynn, Chairman, KPMG International

· Robert H. Herz, Chairman, Financial Accounting Standards Board ·

· Ishat Hussain, Chief Financial Officer, Tata ·

· Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive, Global Accounting Alliance

· Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact

· Professor Angelien Kemna, Chief Investment Officer, APG

· Thomas Kusterer, EDF Energy Chief Financial Officer, EDF Group

· Huguette Labelle, Chair, Transparency International

· Dennis Nally, Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited

· Jeremy Newman, Chief Executive Officer, BDO International

· Edward Nusbaum, Chief Executive Officer, Grant Thornton International

· David Nussbaum, WWF-UK Chief Executive, WWF International

· Roberto Pedote, Executive Vice President and Finance, Natura

· Russell Picot, Group Chief Accounting Officer, HSBC

· Jim Quigley, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

· Atsushi Saito, President & CEO, Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc

· Richard Samans, Managing Director, WEF and Chairman, Climate Disclosure Standards Board

· Jim Singh, Chief Financial Officer, Nestle

· Björn Stigson, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

· Charles Tilley, Chief Executive, CIMA

· Jim Turley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ernst & Young

· Sir David Tweedie, Chairman, International Accounting Standards Board

· Doug Webb, 100 Group of Finance Directors

· Christy Wood, Chair, International Corporate Governance Network

I

IRC Working Group List of members

o       Paul Druckman, Executive Board Chairman, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (Co-Chairman)

o       Ian Ball, Chief Executive, International Federation of Accountants (Co-Chairman)

o       Nelmara Arbex, Deputy Chief Executive, Global Reporting Initiative

o       Frank Curtiss, Head of Corporate Governance, Railpen and Chair, International Corporate Governance Network Non-Financial Reporting      Committee

o       Jessica Fries, Director, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (Secretary) ·

o       James Gifford, Executive Director, United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

o       Alan Knight, Associate Senior Partner, AccountAbility ·

o       Mitsuru Komiyama, Executive Board, The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants ·

o       Bob Laux, Director, Accounting and Reporting, Microsoft ·

o       Ernst Ligteringen, Chief Executive, Global Reporting Initiative

o       Steve Maslin, Partner, Grant Thornton ·

o       Dr Anthony Miller, Corporate Transparency and Accountability Programme, UNCTAD ·

o       Dr Jeanne Ng, Director - Group Environmental Affairs, CLP Holdings Limited ·

o       David Phillips, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers ·

o       Janet Ranganathan, Vice President for Science and Research, WRI

o       Richard Reid, Partner, KPMG

o       Susanne Stormer, Vice President, Global Triple Bottom Line Management, Novo Nordisk

o       Alan Teixeira, Director of Technical Activities, International Accounting Standards Board

o       Graham Terry, Head: Office Of The Executive President, South African Institute of Chartered Accountants ·

o       Dr Steve Waygood, Head of Sustainability Research and Engagement, Aviva

Cecile Bonino

Public Affairs and Media Relations Officer-EU ACCA

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