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Environment report a wake-up call to business, says CPA Australia

Business

Dire state of the nation’s performance requires companies to take a more responsible approach.

By Josh Needs 10 minute read

CPA Australia has implored businesses to take greater responsibility in light of the unfavourable condition of the Australian ecosystem revealed in the 2021 State of the Environment report. 

Chief executive Andrew Hunter said that the disappointing findings meant integrated reporting for businesses was crucial. 

Speaking after CPA Australia had won the Integrated Reporting Award at the Australasian Reporting Awards (ARA) 2022 he said, “Given the dire state of Australia’s performance in the State of the Environment report, integrated reporting has never been more important.”

The report revealed that 202 additional animal and plant species had been added to the threatened list since 2016. It also found that multiple marine heatwaves had caused excessive coral bleaching, the nation now has a greater number of foreign plant species than natives, and Australia has lost more mammal species to extinction than any other continent.

Mr Hunter said that the implementation of integrated reporting by businesses would be a step towards preserving the environment.

“We’re taking this opportunity to encourage more businesses to adopt integrated reporting,” said Mr Hunter.

“Taking a responsible, long-term approach to value creation in an increasingly uncertain world is crucial.

“Integrated reporting is an opportunity for companies to show they’re putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to meeting community expectations about their impact.”

CPA Australia said that integrated reporting provided a better way to understand value creation within a business as it measured financial and non-financial capital across six areas: financial, manufactured, human, intellectual, social and relationship, and natural.

“Integrated reporting helps businesses think more clearly about the role non-financial factors, such as the environment, social and governance (ESG) considerations, play in value creation,” said Mr Hunter.

“Company stakeholders, whether they’re shareholders, customers or members, have a legitimate need to understand how long-term value is being created.

“They want transparency beyond what is typically required in mandatory standards.”

Mr Hunter also said that CPA Australia had committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

“CPA Australia is creating value by reducing our impact on the environment,” he said. “We have committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions within our organisation.

“We advocate for the adoption of sustainability standards, and we provide education and resources to assist accountants and others to improve sustainability.”

CPA Australia had previously won the ARA report of the year in 2020, a gold award in 2019 for their integrated report as well as being a finalist in 2021.

It is also a member of the Value Reporting Foundation, the Integrated Reporting Business Network and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are dedicated to excellence in our reporting and welcome the ongoing recognition of our commitment,” said Mr Hunter. 

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Josh Needs

Josh Needs

AUTHOR

Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

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