IMA’s Statement of Management Accounting Guides Professionals on Reducing A Business’s Carbon Footprint

DigitalCFO Newsroom | 2 March 2022

Management accountants will facilitate corporate sustainability in alignment with business strategy

IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) has released a Statement of Management Accounting (SMA), “Management Accountants’ Role in Sustainable Business Strategy: A Guide to Reducing a Carbon Footprint,” that details the steps businesses, led by their management accountants, can take in decarbonizing operations amid ongoing investor and regulatory pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report shares how management accountants are crucial to supporting and implementing these goals and how their expertise will contribute to decision making and drive performance toward key milestones.

As the world seeks to address the impact of climate change, especially following commitments made at COP26 in November 2021, businesses are committing to reducing carbon emissions and reaching goals such as net zero over the coming decades. In addition to external drivers such as investor and regulatory action, companies are motivated by operational efficiency, risk management, and relationship-building opportunities that enhance performance and value over the short, medium, and long term. As the SMA demonstrates, management accountants can be instrumental in collaborating across their organizations on a decarbonization strategy.

“Many accounting and finance professionals in business have been reluctant to participate in emissions reductions plans, as they view the area as novel or unrelated to driving performance,” said Shari Littan, CPA, JD, director, corporate reporting research and thought leadership at IMA. “This SMA shows that our professionals already have valuable competencies to help their organizations develop and implement emissions reductions in a way that brings valuable insights for building strategies in a changing market with new regulatory demands.”

“We are excited to have produced this guide with IMA in this report that explains how a company can set a baseline and track progress on reducing GHG emissions,” said Arnaud Brohe, author of “The Handbook of Carbon Accounting” and one of the report’s chief co-authors. “In our work, we see every day how management accountants oversee the execution of these plans and how the analyses are used for internal decision-making and external reports. These professionals are a dream to work with, as they use their awareness of regulatory trends and reporting in a way that creates a sustainable advantage for their businesses.”

The full SMA is available here.


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