We hosted a joint roundtable with United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on “Accounting for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” on 5 October. The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. It has been estimated that across Asia, the SDGs have the potential to usher in new market opportunities worth $5 trillion by 2030. ACCA is exploring the role of the profession in delivering the SDGs and the findings from this lively session will contributed to the report “Sustainable Development Goals” released on 1 Nov 2017.
Singapore’s role as a hub for multinational corporates and finance across the region mean that it will be a focal point through which the SDGs agenda will be delivered. Recent environmental, social and governance requirements introduced by the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) have increased the participation of business in this space and there is a clear role for further development of knowledge and skills in this area to ensure that the ambitious SDGs agenda can be fulfilled.
ACCA’s Head of Sustainability, @Jimmy Greer and UNCTAD representative, Ms. Cristina De Martinez de Silva facilitated the session attended by over 30 specially invited members and stakeholders. Among the participants were the Singapore Accountancy Commission, sustainability experts from the accounting firms, and industry representatives from sectors including finance, construction, communication, hospitality logistics, NGOs, etc. The corporations represented include APL Logistics, Bayer, Credit Suisse, DBS, Global Compact Network, Ley Choon Group, Singtel, ST Telemedia, Sofitel, Tower Transit, WWF Asia Sustainable Finance.
The objective of the roundtable was to:
- Explore the interpretation and application of the SDGs through accounting.
- Share experiences related to challenges presented by the SDGs along the business value chain and across sectors to explore how to build the specific capacity to deliver.
The roundtable allowed both ACCA and UNCTAD to engage with an audience of experts from companies operating in Singapore. UNCTAD was particularly delighted with the quality of the discussion and the rich and diverse perspectives brought about by the various industry experts that will support their ongoing work at the UN.
Ms. Cristina De Martinez de Silva commented: “We gained valuable insight to feed into our current work on providing Member States of the United Nations with a methodology on measuring the private sector’s contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The event reinforced the critical role of high-quality financial and non-financial reporting and shed light on many opportunities of joint work ahead in the country and in the region.”
A Singapore report will be released shortly and we will share it in due course.