Prince Charles has spoken out about the impact of environmental risks to businesses, in a speech at the Institute of Internal Auditors’ (IIA) 73rd annual conference.
The event, which welcomed more than 2,000 international guests, is taking place at the ExCel Centre in London, where it began on Sunday.
Speaking via video link, the prince emphasised the need for greater sustainable business practices and management – suggesting boards incorporate their sustainable teams into the centre of business operations. He also encouraged auditors in particular to highlight the impact of environmental risks.
Having previously established the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), the prince also spoke about his work with the Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) project.
He said, “Boards struggled to see how environmental or social issues had a place at their table.
“They saw them better dealt with by a sustainability team tucked away in the organisation doing good work, but not something that should have any bearing on core business activities.
“And yet, as A4S has only too clearly shown, these issues can, and will, have a profound impact on the bottom line, both now and even more so in the future.”
The IIA said it will work closely with the IIRC to promote integrated reporting that will improve business practices.
Ian Peters, chief executive of the IIA, said, “As organisations come under increasing pressure to demonstrate their commitment to improving standards of behaviour and accountability they must use their internal audit functions more effectively to support change.”
The prince recently called on businesses to disclose natural disaster risk information to investors – advocating it as a move towards sustainable development in the industry.
Photo source: John Williams via Flickr