This week I wanted to share with you some of the opportunities and research being offered through Accounting for Sustainability (A4S). I have been following A4S work on sustainable finance and accounting since the very early days (mine and theirs), and I’m thrilled that they have more opportunities for business schools now (thanks to their amazing Executive Director of Knowledge and Learning, Helen Slinger).
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
1. INTRODUCING A4S
Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) was established by HM King Charles III in 2004 “to help ensure that we are not battling to meet 21st century challenges with, at best, 20th century decision making and reporting systems.” A4S aims to inspire action by finance leaders to drive a fundamental shift towards resilient business models and a sustainable economy. If you are trying to convince someone about why finance is so key to sustainability, and how sustainability benefits finance (backed by research), check out their cheat sheet here. If you teach finance or accounting, or are a student interested in these topics, their website has a lot of information, reports, and webinars on the topic (I’ve listed some of my current favourites in point 5).
2. INTERNATIONAL CASE COMPETITION
The A4S International Case Competition aims to encourage and empower students to develop sustainable, market-driven business models and finance solution and to accelerate change in the business sector. Every year the case topic focuses on a different aspect of sustainable business. This year’s topic puts a spotlight on Human Rights. Students will select one of the world’s most influential companies assessed by the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) in the 2022 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark and to examine potential impacts on human rights in corporate business models and strategies. Students can find out more and register their interest here (and yes, here is a cash prize).
3. SURVEY ON THE STATE OF SUSTAINABILITY IN BUSINESS EDUCATION
A4S is asking deans, academics, lecturers and other business school representatives to take part in a short survey focussed on how you are embedding sustainability into your research, teaching and experiential learning. The Survey aims to gauge, at a global level, the current practices and attitudes to embedding sustainability into research, teaching and experimental learning. The survey is for business schools, schools of management, schools of accounting, schools of finance, schools of economics, and accounting and finance faculties of universities, and similar. The results of this survey help to track changes over time and identify trends and ongoing gaps in business, finance and accounting research and education. The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete here.
4. BECOMING AN ANCHOR BUSINESS SCHOOL
A4S is inviting schools to express interest in becoming an Anchor Business School for A4S. This means you would work in work in partnership with A4S to provide opportunities for your students to gain practical experience in sustainable business, to be creative and test concepts; supporting them to transition to the workforce with purpose. Students will then have access to connections and networking opportunities with some of the world’s largest and most influential companies and access. Schools receive additional support material from A4S and in turn schools commit to entering at least one team in the case competition and engage with A4S research and events. If this is something you might be interested in, email me and I’ll make the connections (or you can fill out this form).
5. YOUR FINANCE READING LIST FOR THE WEEK
- This blog post on Greenwashing (from this year…which is important to note for those who think greenwashing is an issue of the past) as well as their explanation of the term Greenhushing.
- This guide for finance professionals (and students) on Finance and the Sustainable Development Goals.
- This practical guide on how to build a finance culture that supports the integration of sustainability into core financial decision making processes.
- This one is old, and it is being updated, but I have shared and used it so much. The Guide on Natural and Social Capital Accounting (and a more recent webinar on the topic) or this guide on Finance and Biodiversity.
- This really interesting survey of the understanding and attitudes of finance leaders towards embedding sustainability into their decision-making processes.