Sustainability reporting communicates an organization’s performance in achieving the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and, at the same time, shares decision-necessary information with stakeholders. A new environmental approach is needed. It is time for the accounting profession to embrace issues connected to sustainability in a global context in which the environmental, societal, and governmental aspects ask for a solution.
Professional accountants and the professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) that support them have a direct and active role in achieving extensive reporting that provides an exhaustive picture of the business’s sustainable value over time. This requires transition from traditional accounting services to integrated reporting, which provides both financial and non-financial services, as well as specific skills and competencies.
As citizens of a member of the European Union, we feel the influence of the European directives. Years ago, in 2014, an additional obligation for disclosure of non-financial information was introduced for large undertakings (Directive 2014/95/EU). Next, in its Communication on the European Green Pact, adopted in 2019, the European Commission committed to reviewing these first reporting provisions of non-financial information. The result was a directive proposal to strengthen and scale up sustainability reporting in the EU in the coming years—Proposal for a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Reporting.
In the context, of increasingly intense trends and concerns regarding ESG (environmental, social, governance) reporting, Corpul Expertilor Contabili si Contabililor Autorizati din Romania (the Body of Expert and Licensed Accountants of Romania, or CECCAR) took actions at different levels including:
- Being part of the solution by integrating as a member in representative international organizations for ESG reporting framework;
- Creating an ESG Knowledge Gateway for stakeholders;
- Updating professional accounting education programs for initial and continuous development of our members;
- Expanding existing qualifications;
- Participating in connected events;
- Boosting the partnership with regulators; and
- Promoting ESG reporting through business networking.