Public, private sector need to embrace sustainability reporting: Shamshad Akhtar

inesses need to develop, implement environmental standards and promote green financial reporting,” Akhtar says

A group photo of key note speakers of the seminar on sustainability reporting organised by the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan. — ICAP
A group photo of key note speakers of the seminar on sustainability reporting organised by the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan. — ICAP

Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Chairperson Dr Shamshad Akhtar said  it It is important for public and private sector to embrace sustainability reporting as it is critical for survival in the global arena.

Delivering a keynote address at a seminar on sustainability reporting, organised by the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), Akhtar said Pakistan’s climate vulnerability has brought sustainability to the forefront; emphasising the need for businesses to develop, implement environmental standards and promote green financial reporting.

She said: “Pakistan has legislated sustainable development goals and businesses, however, there is a need to develop a strategy for a sustainable reporting system, and a lot has to be done in this area.”

 

The chairperson further stressed that there is a need to draw guidance from the international bodies to implement environmental, social, and governance (ESG), and develop road maps and guidelines for the industry.

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

She revealed that the State Bank of Pakistan has issued green banking guidelines and the PSX will very soon join UN Sustainable Stock Exchange initiatives. SECP has also issued a roadmap for ESG.

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

He highlighted that both financial and sustainability information meets the needs of today’s investors, regulators and other stakeholders.

Rehman highlighted that the proposed International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Sustainability Disclosure Standard 1, sets out general sustainability-related disclosure requirements and proposed IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standard 2 specifies climate-related disclosure requirements.

Southern Regional Committee Chairman Usama Rashid highlighted that in recent years, sustainability reporting has gained global significance. “It is the disclosure and communication of ESG goals coupled with the company’s progress towards them,” he said, adding that businesses have benefitted from sustainability reporting in form of improved corporate reputation, building consumer confidence, increased innovation, and even improvement of risk management.

During the seminar, the keynote speakers made presentations on the ISSB-issued draft sustainability reporting standards. They explained that the establishment of the ISSB is a “critical milestone” in the journey towards investor-relevant sustainability standards.

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