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ESG Opportunities in Accounting with Ian Thomson

Episode 93. In today’s interview, “ESG Opportunities in Accounting with Ian Thomson.”

Ian Thomson is Professor of Accounting and Sustainability at Birmingham Business School, Convenor of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting and Director of the Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business. He has researched the many connections between responsible, sustainable business and accounting for 30 years. He co-authored Urgent Business and was a judge for UK Responsible Business of the Year.

Key takeaways from this episode include:

➯ how businesses can future proof and preserve value in tough times

➯ the importance of resilience for businesses in dealing with uncertain change

➯ the urgency and ‘burning platform’ of environmental change in the modern world

➯ why companies and accounting firms are further down the sustainability road than they think

➯ why sustainability issues and environmental concerns are natural priorities for businesses

➯ how the recent global environmental summit in Glasgow COP 26 is changing things

➯ what accounting firms can do to make better decisions about sustainability and climate change

➯ why businesses are actually weak and fragile in their outlook to costs and risk

➯ the best question businesses can ask themselves to asses their environmental priorities and risk

➯ how ESG (environmental and social governance) helps put sustainability into a business context

➯ how the financial accounts of a business are just one dimension of its performance

➯ the problems with ESG initiatives with the measurements and the data

➯ the danger for accounting advisors of data overload and how technology can help

➯ what accounting firm clients can ask their advisors to maximise climate, sustainability and ESG opportunities

➯ the crucial role accounting professionals must play to help business clients in a VUCA world

➯ the opportunities accountants have with data if they have the right analytical and technological skills

➯ best advice to accountants who want to embrace ESG, sustainability and climate services opportunities

Ian spends his spare time listening to loud and fast rock music, walking his dog and watching Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland and Hearts lose.

Useful sites and links

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/responsible-business/index.aspx

https://bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/urgent-business

https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/csear/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ian-he-him-thomson-644b9129/

@UoBResponsible

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