Worries about climate change and increasing pressures on the world's resources have made managing sustainability a central issue for businesses as well as governments. To manage these issues effectively, decision-makers need reliable measures of the impact of their own organization's activities on the environment. Developing these measures – "accounting for sustainability" - is an urgent task for all those involved in designing and operating financial reporting systems.
In a video address to the workshop for senior officials from the REPARIS countries on 27-29 October in Brussels, HRH The Prince of Wales calls for accounting to move on from using "20th Century tools to solve 21st Century problems" by taking more account of sustainability issues. The Prince, who has been the patron of the "Accounting for Sustainability" project since 2004, argues that decision-makers will only be able to make sensible decisions about sustainability once such issues as the services provided by "environmental capital" are explicitly included in accounts.
As the CFRR's partner countries are already implementing new frameworks for financial reporting in order to meet EU requirements, they may be well placed to get "ahead of the game" by incorporating sustainability issues in their new reporting systems.