ICAP Organizes Seminar on Sustainability Reporting – Pakistan
KARACHI: The Accounting Standards Board (ASB) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), in collaboration with the Southern Regional Committee, held a seminar on sustainability reporting at ICAP headquarters on Friday , in Karachi.
Usama Rashid, Chairman of the Southern Regional Committee, welcomed the keynote speakers, dignitaries and guests. He highlighted the role and importance of ICAP Regional Committees in the professional development of ICAP members. In recent years, sustainability reporting has gained global importance.
This is the disclosure and communication of environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives associated with the company’s progress towards them. Businesses have benefited from sustainability reporting in the form of improved corporate reputation, increased consumer confidence, increased innovation and even improved risk management, a- he added.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Chairman of the Pakistan Stock Exchange, delivered the keynote address. She said Pakistan’s climate vulnerability has brought sustainability to the fore. Companies must develop and implement environmental standards and promote green financial reporting. It is important that both the public and private sectors embrace sustainability reporting, as it is essential to their survival on the global stage.
Pakistan has legislation on Sustainable Development Goals and business, but there is a need to develop a strategy for a sustainable reporting system, and much remains to be done in this area. We will need to draw guidance from international bodies to implement ESG, develop a roadmap and guidelines for the industry.
The creation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) will help ensure consistency and comparability in sustainability reporting across industries and jurisdictions. The finance department must take the initiative for the implementation of ESG in organisations.
The State Bank has issued guidelines on green banks and the Pakistan Stock Exchange will join the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange initiatives very soon. The SECP has also published a roadmap for ESG. Companies in Pakistan lag behind in terms of assessing ESG goals and targets, she added. ESG frameworks need to be embedded in the culture of the organization.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar appreciated the efforts of the ICAP Accounting Standards Board for organizing the seminar on a very relevant and important topic.
Farrukh Rehman, FCA, Chairman of the Accounting Standards Board, noted that chartered accountants play a crucial role in the business areas and are closely involved in reporting, transparency, ethics, legal compliance, communication with stakeholders and consumption of resources.
He emphasized that financial and sustainability information meets the current needs of investors, regulators and other stakeholders. During this seminar, the proposed IFRS standards for sustainability reporting issued by the International Sustainability Standards Board were discussed.
The proposed IFRS 1 sustainability disclosure standard sets out general sustainability-related disclosure requirements and the proposed IFRS 2 sustainability disclosure standard specifies climate-related disclosure requirements, he added. The standards issued by the ISSB are set to become a globally recognized framework for corporate sustainability reporting.
The ISSB has published exposure drafts of two IFRS sustainability reporting standards for stakeholder consultation and further standards are expected to be published in the coming period. He thanked the participants, speakers, panelists including the representatives of Pakistan Business Council and Unilever Pakistan, as well as the ISSB team for their participation in the seminar.
Keynote speakers made presentations on the draft sustainability reporting standards published by the ISSB. They explained that the creation of the ISSB is a crucial step in the journey towards investor-relevant sustainability standards.
The board has endorsement from key economies and stakeholders and will develop a global baseline for sustainability reporting. Presenters highlighted key aspects of the ISSB proposals.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022