During a speech to mark his Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project’s tenth anniversary Prince Charles has challenged accountants and finance leaders to encourage and promote sustainability.
Speaking to 200 senior leaders from the industry, Charles urged those in attendance to convince their peers of the importance of taking action on sustainability.
The Prince of Wales said, “Go out and seek to convince your peers. In this regard, the team of accountants at A4S has highlighted some rather interesting numbers to me.
“I understand – and I assume a team of accountant must be right – that if everyone of you here in the room today manages to convince just five others to start accounting for sustainability, and then each one of them engages another five each year, in five years’ time we could reach all three million accountants in the world.”
He added, “However, I hate to tell you that for obvious reasons five years is too long – so each of you needs to rush out and convince ten! And then accountants really will be helping to save the world.”
The Prince’s A4S was set up in 2004 to help ensure that “sustainability – considering what we do not only in terms of ourselves and today, but also of others and tomorrow – is not just talked and worried about, but becomes embedded in organisations’ DNA”. The aim of the initiative is to act as a catalyst for action in the finance, accounting and investor communities and to support a shift to more resilient business models and a sustainable economy.
Speaking at the summit, Jessica Fries, executive chairman of A4S, said, “Over the ten years since our launch we have worked to dispel the idea that there has to be a choice between making money on one hand and ‘doing the right thing’ on the other.
“Making business decisions which are designed to build resilient business models will inevitably lead to a more sustainable economy.”
Prince Charles has long been an advocate for sustainability and has called for action on a wide variety of topics, including action on climate change, protecting pension savings and preserving the natural world.
Photo: John Williams via Flickr