Access to green financing can be a lifeline for businesses at a time when having access to more affordable funding is more important than ever for an organization’s long-term survival. Yet, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) recently conducted research that showed businesses claim they are unaware of the prospects for climate financing and risk management in Lahore on 21st March 2023, A missed opportunity exists because 59% of respondents to the Global Economic Conditions Survey Q2 2022 claimed they are not contemplating utilizing green finance solutions.
With lenders increasingly offering attractive ‘green rates’ to organizations able to meet sustainability requirements, green finance is cheap capital that can keep businesses in business. Professional accountants’ ability to understand the green finance options needed for the transition to net zero is key to equipping organizations with this expertise. Having the skills to consider non-financial as well as financial business drivers will also leave the profession well-placed to lead in training staff and developing the talent needed for enabling transformation and embedding sustainability.
Report author, ACCA senior subject manager – sustainability, Emmeline Skelton said: “Green finance is part of the fundamental narrative of ACCA’s research program on net zero transition and the role of the accountancy profession. In a world where key stakeholders are demanding more from companies and their net zero objectives, green finance is fast becoming a hot topic for the finance profession as it explores financing options. The profession needs upskilling, especially in volatile times, where access to capital including green finance is crucial for an organization’s long-term survival.”
John Lelliott OBE FCCA, Non-executive Director of the Environment Agency and ACCA Sustainability Global Forum Chair said: “The accountancy and finance profession’s knowledge and skills in evolving market trends, stakeholder requirements, and regulatory changes, will be key to transforming organizations to operate in a net zero economy.”
The timing of this research, according to Assad Hameed Khan, head of ACCA Pakistan, is appropriate given Pakistan’s shaky economic situation. By integrating sustainability into all of their operations, organizations can gain a competitive edge through green financing. Social equality, economic viability, and environmental protection continue to intersect with sustainability on a long-term basis.
The ACCA has taken concrete measures to upskill its members because finance and investment professionals have such a crucial role to play in helping organizations adapt to achieve a more sustainable future. In particular, ACCA and CFA Institute collaborated to jointly produce a Climate Finance Course that was created by professionals from both organizations.
The full report can be accessed at www.accaglobal.com/greenfinanceskills