HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 6 October 2021 - One of the world's largest professional accounting bodies, CPA Australia, has joined 12 global accounting bodies to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Today's global commitment comes as an exclusive survey conducted by CPA Australia shows that eighty-five per cent of local accountants are committed to doing their part to achieve net zero emissions.
CPA Australia surveyed nearly 300 Hong Kong-based accounting and financial professionals across a range of industries about environmental sustainability. Seventy-seven per cent of respondents believe it is important for CPA Australia to commit to a net zero greenhouse gas emissions pathway, providing strong support for becoming a signatory to the global commitment.
Seventy-five per cent of respondents agree that the accounting profession has a key role to play in achieving net zero emissions. This acknowledges the reality that accountants work in every sector of the economy. Achieving net zero emissions requires the skills and knowledge of accounting professionals, who are eager to help chart a course of action.
CPA Australia Chief Executive Andrew Hunter said, "The accounting profession occupies a privileged position in the global economy. As trusted advisers, we're privy to deep business insights about sustainability risks and opportunities. This knowledge creates an obligation to use our skills to protect our environmental heritage. CPA Australia is a global organisation in a global profession and we're proud to be part of the global response to climate change."
CPA Australia acknowledges the impact of climate change and the urgency of taking action to achieve net-zero emissions. Therefore, we have pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions within our organisation and to provide sound advice to governments for a just transition to a net zero economy.
Ninety per cent of surveyed members indicated that they wished to increase their knowledge of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. As part of our commitment, we have also committed to providing training and guidance to our members to support them in reducing emissions in their own organisations and businesses.
Mr Janssen Chan, FCPA(Aust.) Divisional President of CPA Australia 2021 in Greater China, said, "The HKSAR has set a goal to become carbon neutral before 2050 and pledged to update the 'Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan' to set out more proactive strategies and measures to reduce carbon emissions.
"In the past two years, CPA Australia's members in Hong Kong have been actively collaborating with financial institutions to develop the conceptual frameworks for sustainability reporting and advocate for the sustainable growth in the business community.
"In the latest Hong Kong Policy Address, CPA Australia has proposed twelve recommendations to the SAR Government to further promote ESG integration and green finance in Hong Kong. These measures aim to drive different-sized enterprises to support Hong Kong's sustainable growth, such as providing SMEs access to resources and skills to assist them integrate ESG into their business models, allocating resources for public sector decarbonisation and developing a hydrogen economy plan.
"To assist mainland China's climate goal, seventy-eight per cent of members support Hong Kong being a regional carbon credit trading hub, as they recognise this is also an opportunity to expand green and sustainable finance," Chan said.
The global accounting profession's net zero commitment is an initiative of The Prince of Wales' Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project Accounting Bodies Network (ABN), of which CPA Australia is a member. This network represents over 2.5 million professional accountants and students across 179 countries.
CPA Australia is one of the only accounting bodies in the world to produce an Annual Integrated Report that has received Limited Assurance under the entire <IR> framework. We will report our progress against the net zero commitment in our Integrated Report.
Read the Net Zero Commitment here.