Sustainability at Chartered Accountants Ireland

Chartered Accountants Ireland is working on embedding sustainability throughout our activities. Our Strategy24 reflects our ambition to build a more sustainable profession and institute in all aspects of our work. Our vision for the future is underpinned by five core ideals that support our central ethos of "for tomorrow, for good". 

  • Our Advocacy and Voice Board is invested in driving the Institute’s agenda on sustainability. It mandated the establishment within Chartered Accountants Ireland of a Sustainability Expert Working Group, to inform the development of research for the accountancy profession in Ireland. This working group comprises representatives from accounting firms, government organisations and NGOs, academia, business, professional accounting organisations, and the energy, banking sector and technology sectors. 
  • Institute representatives sit on the Sustainability Working Group of the Global Accounting Alliance, and through this we are a member of the Accounting Bodies Network of “Accounting for Sustainability” (A4S). A4S is Prince Charles’ Accounting for Sustainability Project and was established in 2004 with the aim of promoting sustainable decision-making in business. The Institute was one of 14 accounting bodies worldwide to become signatories to a call to action on climate change issued by A4S in February 2020.
  • In 2020 we launched our Sustainability Hub with information, guidance and supports to help members understand sustainability and meet the challenges it presents.
  • In November 2020, we launched a new guide, Sustainability for Accountants, detailing the risks and opportunities presented by sustainability, and the steps that need to be taken to address the challenges.  
  • We respond to national and international consultations of relevance to sustainability. The Institute responded to the 2020 public consultation on the review of the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive. This Directive lays down the rules on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by large public-interest companies, which have been required to non-financial statements in their annual reports from 2018 onwards. We are also (December 2020) working on our response to the IFRS's consultation on the establishment of global sustainability reporting standards. 
  • Through Chartered Accountants Worldwide the Institute is involved in a range of initiatives, including Finance and Business 2030 (FinBiz).
  • We have integrated sustainability into the student curriculum, with the introduction of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Integrated Reporting as a core area within Topic Area 4 Risk Management & Sustainability. 
  • Sustainability is also included as a topic area in our Professional Development programme with members able to take integrated reporting at Diploma level in the new Excellence in Financial Reporting Diploma, starting in 2020. 
  • Accountancy Ireland and Briefly regularly features sustainability-related content, including on its podcast series.
  • We run knolwedge and networking events, connecting experts with each other, and providing accountant-relevant information on the topic.  Most recently we ran 'Public Sector: Engaging with Sustainability' (Nov 26) and ESG Disclosure: What Investors Look For' (Dec 9). 
  • Through our District Society activities we run events on the topic of sustainability. In 2020 the topic was addressed by the London, Cork, North-West and Ulster Societies. Our Young Professionals Society's January 2020 event on sustainability was attended by over 100 people. It showcased sustainable products and used only ethically sourced catering and recyclable products at the event.
  • Sustainability is also included as a topic area in our CPD programme, as part of the CPD Blitz business workstream.
  • Within the Institute itself, there is an established team-driven CSR programme, where you can find details of our ESG initiatives, including information about our use of paper, plastic, water and electricity.

For more information about sustainability and climate action in Chartered Accountants Ireland, contact Public Policy Officer Susan Rossney.


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