Azerbaijan’s sustainability plans, programmes and aspirations came under discussions from leading players in the country’s government and financial sector as well as international experts. 

The workshop on sustainable finance in Azerbaijan – hosted by leading global accountancy body ACCA and held in collaboration with the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan (CBAR) and global professional services firm EY – saw key stakeholders exploring sustainability disclosure standards and their implication in the financial and corporate sectors in Azerbaijan.  

The workshop on Wednesday, 3 April 2024 was attended by more than 100 participants representing government entities, financial institutions, Chamber of Auditors of Azerbaijan, businesses, the British Embassy in Baku, and KGK Turkey, the Public Oversight, Accounting and Auditing Standards Authority.  

CBAR provided keynote on sustainable finance agenda of the central bank and presented the recently approved sustainable finance principles. The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan delivered on the country’s sustainability ambitions and socio-economic development strategies. Key highlights of the workshop included a high-level overview of the new standards by ISSB (International Sustainability Standards Board) and the experience of Türkiye’s KGK (Public Oversight, Accounting, and Auditing Standards Authority) on sustainability standards implementation.

ACCA and EY also delivered in-depth training on IFRS S1 and S2, the new sustainability disclosures standards, and how both organisations are upskilling finance professionals and equipping businesses for a more sustainable future.  

Commenting on this, ACCA regional head of public affairs, Vikas Aggarwal, said: “ACCA is delighted with the high level of participation in the Workshop on Sustainable Finance. 

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“The engagement and enthusiasm demonstrated by participants underscore the growing importance of sustainable finance in Azerbaijan. And this also resonates with the commitment for sustainable development on the eve of the upcoming COP29 in Azerbaijan. We are confident that the knowledge shared during this workshop will contribute to driving positive change and promoting sustainable finance practices in Azerbaijan. ACCA extends its gratitude to all participants, speakers, and partners for their valuable contributions to the success of the workshop”.

CBAR financial stability department director, Rustam Tahirov, emphasised the importance of collaboration in achieving sustainable development goals. He said: “The CBAR, as the safeguard of the financial stability in the country, is deeply committed to supporting the financial sector in their transformative journey towards sustainability. We truly believe that with collaborative efforts we can drive a positive change and inspire the financial community to pursue sustainability goals. This workshop will make a huge contribution in this regard”.

EY partner and head of climate change and sustainability services, Viktor Kovalenko, added: “We see a significant growth of our clients’ interest in development of sustainability and ESG disclosures, estimation of their carbon footprint, implementation of ESG and climate risk management. The international standards IFRS S1 and S2 I believe are great tools to be applied by companies for these matters.”

IFRS Foundation strategic affairs director, Susanne Draeger, concluded: “Today’s workshop has been a great opportunity to discuss the opportunities and challenges involved with implementing the ISSB Standards. The IFRS Foundation is committed to supporting the implementation of these new standards so that they can deliver a global baseline of sustainability-related disclosures for the capital markets. My thanks to ACCA, the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan and EY for organising today’s important event”.