CPABC in Focus July/August 2016 - Page 28

Climate Change, Unconventional Energy, and the Role of CPAs CPABC supports these national efforts and is active at the local level as well. As mentioned in the May/June 2016 issue of CPABC in Focus (page 7), CPABC was a co-presenting sponsor of a Greater Vancouver Board of Trade/2016 GLOBE Conference presentation by Michael E. Porter on March 3, 2016. Porter is an economist, scholar, author, and teacher, and a leading authority on competition, strategy, and the relationship between environmental performance and company growth and profitability. During the presentation, Porter offered his perspective on the global shift to a low-carbon economy. He described this shift as a business priority—not just an environmental issue—and said organizations can position themselves for a competitive advantage and turn risks into opportunities by planning for the transition now. Porter also shared insights gleaned from independent research conducted by Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which was published in a report entitled America’s Unconventional Energy Opportunity: A Win-Win Plan for the Economy, the Environment, and a LowerCarbon, Cleaner-Energy Future.* Although the report focuses on unconventional energy in the United States, the overarching message— that economic growth and environmental protection can and should be compatible goals—is one with global implications. The following (pages 29-30) is an abridged and edited version of the report’s executive summary and is shared with permission: * Michael E. Porter, David S. Gee, and Gregory J. Pope, America’s Unconventional Energy Opportunity: A Win-Win Plan for the Economy, the Environment, and a Lower-Carbon, Cleaner-Energy Future, June 2015. 28 CPABC in Focus • July/August 2016 Ole-Gunnar Rasmussen/iStock/Thinkstock C limate change is giving rise to a variety of operational, financial, reputational, and regulatory risks for Canadian businesses. It is also creating opportunities, particularly for those businesses that are quick to adapt to the changing environment. CPAs have a valuable role to play in this regard. As experts in sustainable value, they’re well positioned to identify and address risks and opportunities and help their organizations develop sustainability strategies. Recognizing this, CPA Canada collaborated with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to cosponsor a multi-year initiative designed to give CPAs the resources needed to help organizations adapt to the effects of climate change. The national initiative, entitled “Enabling Canadian Chartered Professional Accountants to Adapt to a Changing Climate and Emerging Operating Environment,” was launched in May 2015. It is delivered through NRCan’s Adaptation Platform and managed by the Network for Business Sustainability. As part of this initiative, CPA Canada recently published three briefs, which can be downloaded from A Primer on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (Brief 1); How Organizations Can Adapt to Climate Change (Brief 2); and How Chartered Professional Accountants Can Help Organizations Adapt to Climate Change (Brief 3).