September 30, 2022

Shamshad Akhtar stresses the need for companies to promote green financial reporting

A group photo of keynote speakers from the Sustainability Reporting Seminar organized by the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan. —ICAP

Chairman of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Dr Shamshad Akhtar, said Pakistan’s climate vulnerability has brought sustainability to the fore, stressing the need for companies to develop, implement environmental standards and promote green financial reporting.

In a keynote address at a seminar on sustainability reporting, organized by the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), Akhtar said: “It is important that the public and private sectors embrace sustainability reporting as it is essential for survival on the global stage.

“Pakistan has legislated Sustainable Development Goals and Enterprises, however, there is a need to develop a strategy for a sustainable reporting system, and much remains to be done in this area.”

The President further underlined the need to draw inspiration from international bodies to implement environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and develop roadmaps and guidelines for the industry.

“The formation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) will help ensure consistency and comparability in sustainability reporting across industries and jurisdictions,” she added.

She revealed that the State Bank of Pakistan has issued guidelines on green banks and that PSX will join the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange initiatives very soon. The SECP has also published a roadmap for ESG.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman of the Accounting Standards Board, FCA, Farrukh Rehman said that chartered accountants play a crucial role in the areas of practice and are closely involved in reporting, transparency, ethics, legal compliance, communication with stakeholders and resource consumption.

He emphasized that financial and sustainability information meets the needs of investors, regulators and other stakeholders today.

Rehman pointed out that proposed International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Sustainability Reporting Standard 1 sets out general sustainability reporting requirements and proposed IFRS Sustainability Reporting Standard 2 specifies climate information requirements.

The President of the Southern Regional Committee, Usama Rashid, pointed out that in recent years sustainability reporting has gained global importance. “It’s about the disclosure and communication of ESG goals associated with the company’s progress towards them,” he said, adding that companies have benefited from sustainability reporting in the form of improved corporate reputation, increased consumer confidence, increased innovation and even improved risk management. .

During 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 “critical step” in the journey towards investor-relevant sustainability standards.