IFAC and CPA Canada study
TORONTO, June 2, 2022 /CNW/ – Countries around the world are looking for ways to redirect capital investment into activities that support the transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy. To fund this massive shift, investors and regulators are looking to the sustainable debt market as an important way to raise funds to fund projects that advance environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.
“Confidence in this relatively new, constantly changing and rapidly expanding market is essential,” said Kevin Dancey, CEO of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). “Like any financial innovation, there are challenges. Smart regulation, standardization, and external verification or assurance are needed to protect investor interests, mitigate the risk of green money laundering, and improve transparency.
“Checking the details of these bond programs – both before issuance and in the form of annual updates for investors – is a critical part of maintaining integrity. The accountancy profession can help make get things done.”
A comprehensive new study that delves into the challenges and opportunities that exist in the sustainable debt market – Navigating the Sustainable Debt Market: Building Credibility in a Changing Market – is the result of a collaborative effort between IFAC and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), which recruited PwC Canada to conduct the underlying research.
Although the sustainable debt market has evolved significantly over the past few years, the study identified a number of issues that need to be addressed for the benefit of all capital market participants. These challenges include: the proliferation of voluntary market-oriented guidance; the absence of a common understanding of what projects and activities qualify as “green” or “sustainable”; and inconsistent reporting, impact measurement, external review and assurance practices.
“Sustainability is increasingly integrated into business, investment and financing decisions,” said Pamela Steer, President and CEO, CPA Canada. “Serving the public interest is at the heart of the global accountancy profession. It has a critical role to play in advancing sustainable finance. Collectively, the profession will continue to advocate for better policy, regulation and standards in this area and the study will help inform the dialogue.”
As part of the overall effort to put sustainability at the center of business concerns, IFAC and CPA Canada welcome the establishment of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) by the IFRS Foundation. Globally accepted sustainability standards will enhance the credibility of ESG information by improving its consistency and comparability, which will help mitigate some of the challenges identified in the report.
Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) works collaboratively with provincial, territorial and Bermudian CPA bodies as it represents the Canadian accounting profession, both nationally and internationally. This collaboration enables the Canadian profession to champion best practices that benefit business and society, as well as prepare its members for an ever-changing operating environment characterized by unprecedented change. Representing more than 220,000 members, CPA Canada is one of the largest national accounting bodies in the world. cpacanada.ca
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. Comprised of 180 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, IFAC represents more than three million accountants in practice, education, government, industry and commerce.
For four decades, IFAC has represented the global profession and supported the development, adoption and implementation of international standards that underpin the contributions of today’s global accountancy profession. IFAC has maintained a long-term approach to building and strengthening a global accountancy profession that supports transparent, accountable, and sustainable organizations, financial markets, and economies.
For further information: Perry Jensen, Director of Media Relations, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, 416-204-3941, [email protected]