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Private Sector Should be Protecting the Natural Environment, Say Accountants in ACCA Natural Capital Survey

Submitted by: ACCA USA

Categories: Finance, Research, Reports & Publications

Posted: Mar 28, 2013 – 10:57 AM EST


NEW YORK, Mar. 28 /CSRwire/ - The private sector has a responsibility to protect the natural environment is a key finding of a new paper called Natural Capital – what do accountants think? which has been published by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

Accountants in the survey also identified the top five risks that natural capital poses to operations in the private sector, as being:

  1. Reputational risk (68%)
  2. Disruption of operations (61%)
  3. Scarcity and increased cost of resources (50%)
  4. Supply chain risk (47%)
  5. Financing risk (46%)

Gordon Hewitt, sustainability advisor at ACCA and author of the report, said: “Natural capital, which is the stock of capital derived from natural resources such as biological diversity, ecosystems and the services they provide, is in decline globally. The loss of natural capital exposes companies to a range of new risks and opportunities that can impact profit, asset value and cashflow.

“This paper was produced as a result of a survey in which more than 200 accountancy professionals took part. It was also featured in the ACCA, KPMG and Fauna & Flora International report Is natural capital a material issue?

“The initial report, which was produced last year, investigated the concept of materiality, how it is used to identify issues for management and disclosure and the extent to which it currently reflects the significance of natural capital as a business issue.

“The accountants surveyed were aware of the links between corporate value and natural capital, and that current trends in natural capital present a variety of different risks to businesses that are likely to increase over time.

“However this awareness has not flowed into widespread corporate action as many of the accountants surveyed work for organisations that do not report on natural capital. The key barriers to greater uptake include a lack of guidance, valuation methodologies and understanding.”

About ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants with 154,000 members and 432,000 students in 170 countries worldwide. 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 work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,400 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. www.accaglobal.com

For more information, please contact:

Ruth Fasoldt Business Development Manager
Phone: 212-310-0105
Twitter: @ACCA_USA
Julie Missimore Policy Manager
Phone: 202-803-3996
Twitter: @ACCA_USA


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