HRH Prince of Wales’ address to the ACCA on the Integrated Reporting initiative

September 19th, 2011 by Events

HRH The Prince of Wales addressed the Association for Chartered Certified Accountants Research and Insights Virtual Conference in July 2011 about accounting and sustainability.

“The context in which business operates is subject to fundamental change.  The recent financial crisis has demonstrated shortcomings in corporate governance and in risk assessment and risk management.  There is also growing awareness, but happening far too slowly, that the earth’s resources are being consumed at a much faster rate than they are being renewed.

Crucially no value is given to natural capital.  The British government recently published its National Ecosystem Assessment, which concluded that the natural world is critical to our well-being and economic prosperity but is consistently undervalued in economic analysis and decision making.

Corporate reporting and the measurement of the impact of decision making have not kept pace with these changes and challengers.  We are battling to address 21st century challenges with 20th century decision making and reporting systems.

A new system is urgently required that provides clear and concise information about an organisation’s performance bringing together its environmental and social as well as its financial impacts….

My Accounting for Sustainability Project working with the Global Reporting initiative and the International Federation of Accountants established the International Integrated Reporting Committee to develop a new globally accepted integrated reporting framework to address this issue.

The Integrated Reporting Initiative is ambitious in vision and scope and will not only require a new model for accounting and reporting but also a new mindset for considering these matters.  Accountants are, perhaps, more comfortable dealing with retrospective information, and matters that can be quantified with a high degree of certainty in financial terms.  But the information we now need has to be more forward looking and must cover issues which, while they cannot all be quantified with precision in financial terms, are none-the-less vital to considering an organisation’s success.

By providing this information, Integrated Reporting will support the necessary changes in individual and corporate behaviour, which could stimulate the creation of wealth and jobs, and at the same time safeguard our environment for future generations.  For these reasons I hope that you will feel able to support the development of Integrated Reporting and the work of the International Integrated Reporting Committee. Work that I hope and believe will help put the true value of natural and social capital at the heart of our world economy and help set businesses on a course, not just for survival, but for lasting economic prosperity.”

 

 

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