Gem of the day

Integrating sustainability risks into decisionmaking is one of the most critical, but most complicated, challenges we face. After all, it's pretty clear that the system in place for publicly listed corporations and investors to deal with financial risks is a gross failure (see here, here and here). Regulators are constantly behind the curve trying to figure out where tomorrow's crisis is going to come from. Meanwhile, 'mutually beneficial' relationships between the big 4 accounting firms, those very regulators and the companies they are supposed to be keeping tabs on make it nearly impossible to reveal significant irregularities before they have an impact.

So why is the newly formed Sustainability Accounting Standards Board modeled after the Financial Accounting Standards Board? And what does it mean for the real task at hand: moving sustainability beyond simply 'talking the language' of the broken financial system, and making it a driver of financial transformation?

I'll leave it to HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint to reinforce that (via HSBC 2011 Sustainability Report):

"While the industry as a whole looks to reform, individual banks have their own story to tell about their role in the economy and society at large."

You can say that again.

No comments:

Post a Comment