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Around the world, the pandemic’s dire impact has posed new, difficult questions on how corporates tackle and manage risk, and how an approach to finding solutions affects the societies in which they operate.
On September 22, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released a set of environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics, aimed at the acceleration of convergence in the sustainability reporting space.
The metrics in the “Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: Towards Common Metrics and Consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation” report were put together by the WEF and some of the world’s big auditing firms. They resonate in both the developed and developing world — more so with the latter.
Corporate citizens such as Ngubane are able to assist their core target audiences and clients in discussing what sustainability reporting entails, and what’s required to be on par with best practices when it comes to its implementation.
Clients want solutions when it comes to a detailed corporate reporting system; one that takes into account both the financial and social responsibilities aspects of doing business, ethically and responsibly. This is an area Ngubane is passionate about as it is equally obsessive about results.
Ngubane would like to see a common reporting system that is not only relevant to SA, but across Africa, thus making attending to ESG matters easy for clients. Getting a system that works throughout Africa’s 54 member states may not be child’s play, but it’s an attainable goal when working closely with organisations such as the AU, and other regional bodies such as the Economic Community of West African States and the Southern African Development Community.
Felicia Nomsuka, Ngubane Durban MD, says: “Every business has its own set of challenges, and how they face and tackle them. That’s where sustainability reporting for each company comes to the fore. Ngubane aims to address these challenges by focusing on curated, personalised solutions for each target audience and what that audience wants to achieve.
“Most businesses, and some governments around the world, are not known to be accommodating when it comes to disclosure and transparency. This is where opportunity lies. Stakeholders need to see how we operate as a company, what we’re about, and what are our priorities are when it comes to societal contributions in the environment in which we operate.
“What does measuring stakeholder capitalism really mean? This is a question Ngubane answers with consistent references to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Ngubane can assist with compiling and preparing integrated reports and providing assurance when it comes to non-financial key performance indicators.
“The WEF organised the metrics around the pillars of principles of governance, planet, people and prosperity — which makes it easier for companies to focus on non-financial disclosure reports that address the key issues raised at its annual meeting in January. The global business community was knocked by Covid-19, but now it’s time to roll up sleeves and get back to the implementation of the commitments made at that meeting — incorporating the metrics into our reports without any hesitation.”
Ngubane has a proven track record for delivering and implementing clients’ accounting and auditing objectives over the past 25 years. “The immediate implementation required after the WEF’s January meeting is one we can take up, even beyond SA’s borders. The aim is to get our clients accelerated, and on par, with their international business community counterparts,” says Nomsuka.
Ngubane is aware stakeholders want to understand how a company creates value and makes an impact on society and the environment.
Klaus Schwab, the WEF’s founder and executive chair, was quoted by the organisation’s website saying: “Having companies accepting, not only to measure but also to report on their environmental and social responsibility, will represent a sea of change in economic history.”
Ngubane wants to ensure its various target audiences and clients are part of this history, and are remembered for the positive part they played in it.
This article was paid for by Ngubane.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.