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ACCA President’s Debate in Brussels, ‘Accounting for public goods’ discussed

During the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ (ACCA’s) President’s Debate, in Brussels, both EU and global stakeholders discussed engagement among professionals to address the challenges and define the next steps to further embed natural capital and social considerations in business decision making.

The stakeholders discussed the engagement of policymakers, investors, landowners, land managers, businesses, natural capital specialists and accountancy professionals on the development of accounting and reporting frameworks.

Brian McEnery, ACCA President said : ‘The growing interest in the concept of natural capital is already driving a wide range of initiatives aimed at developing tools and frameworks for accounting and reporting, as illustrated in ACCA’s recent paper called Natural Capital and the Accountancy Profession. But we need to do more, and a meaningful measure must be found to incorporate biodiversity in the process.”

The debate emphasised that the world is facing sustainability issues on a global scale. Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse is ranked as a highly likely risk with high impact in the 2017. It was stressed that tackling the ecological crisis of today is not only an ethical issue, but also an economic imperative.

Maggie Mc Ghee, ACCA Director of Professional Insights concluded: ‘We heard from speakers that a key dimension for corporate private accounting systems is the need to be simple enough for businesses to use, and the need to be relevant, to pass the 'materiality test' and the need to be based on data that are available.”

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