CPA Canada initiative helps businesses adapt to climate change

TORONTO, May 5, 2015 Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) announced today a multi-year initiative to help businesses and other organizations better understand and adapt to the implications of climate change.

CPA Canada is investing $375,000 in the $750,000 project, which is supported by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) under the Enhancing Competitiveness in a Changing Climate program.

The growing frequency of extreme weather events, as well as the availability of water and other natural resources, is affecting organizations in Canada and around the world. These changes have given rise to a variety of operational, financial, reputational, legal and regulatory issues.

Canada’s professional accountants have long been dealing with matters relating to climate change.

“Professional accountants hold key roles in finance, operations and risk management in every sector of the economy,” says Kevin Dancey, CPA Canada’s president and CEO. “These knowledgeable and skilled professionals can identify both risks and opportunities, which allows them to develop value-creating strategies. Their skills are more relevant than ever in meeting market expectations and business needs arising from environmental issues.”

CPA Canada’s investment, which is matched with a contribution from NRCan, will enable CPAs to build on their already formidable skills and expertise to help their organizations or clients adapt to a changing climate. The initiative, managed by the Network for Business Sustainability, has already produced two case studies focusing on Winnipeg-based tourism company Frontiers North Adventures – a detailed written version and a specially produced video. The coming months will see additional case studies in the areas of transportation, financial services and the public sector. In addition, research briefs are being prepared.

Guidance on the application of existing accounting competencies is also being developed along with numerous professional development opportunities.

“The Government of Canada is committed to taking strong action on climate change while keeping the Canadian economy strong,” says Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford.  “This initiative will help Canadian businesses and accounting professionals understand how climate change affects their operations and will help equip them with the tools they need to continue to grow and adapt.”

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