Brenda Pope: Partner - Risk Advisory Services of KPMG, Barbados

The days of purely measuring business performance strictly by financial results are numbered;” according to Brenda Pope, Partner, Risk Advisory Services of KPMG, Barbados as she spoke of her company’s decision to sponsor the CGA International Sustainability Conference to be held at the Hilton Hotel on February 10 with the sub themes of “Protecting the Environment, Developing People, Improving the Bottom Line

With business’ environmental impact increasingly likely to affect their overall corporate value, companies are starting to see sustainability reporting as central to their business strategy rather than merely a PR requirement,” Pope said, observing that KPMG publishes a Sustainability Report and had done a survey of global Corporate Responsibility Reporting.

Today, discerning investors are beginning to look at broader measures of an entity’s real contribution and performance. Increasingly we see investors pushing – ever more aggressively – for companies to provide fuller information to illustrate the value they have delivered, and the sustainability of growth. Thatsomethingis increasingly the shape of the ‘Triple Bottom Line;’ an amalgam of financial results and an assessment of the social and environmental impacts of a business. Or, put another way: People, Planet and Profits.” Pope added.

Goddard’s Enterprises Ltd, a Barbadian company with an international operation, is also placing focus on the Triple Bottom Line. Director of Human Resources, Dr. Ashwell Thomas said his company had a clear philosophy and policy on environmental performance and social responsibility and has published formal Corporate Social Responsibility Reports. “It is my view that when you put emphasis on safety and environmental performance, your productivity and efficiency are driven by that, and it goes right to the bottom line.”

Conference highlights include international speakers Dr T.A. Loeffler and Nick Shepherd, along with a keynote address by Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart with a focus on environmental stewardship – the economics of protecting the planet’s resources, workable models for HR development and capacity building and sustainability reporting – The Triple Bottom Line Approach.

The CEO of CGA Caribbean, Graham Clarke said his organization chose the theme “Making the Link between Sustainability and Business” because it was clear that accountants in the Caribbean needed to be in step with these global developments in order to remain relevant in the marketplace.

Given the current global concerns about climate change, poverty reduction and the movement toward the creation of aGreen Economy,” this conference is of great importance and relevance to the people of the Caribbean and the World at this time.” he added.

Reporting considerable interest from business leaders and accountants in the conference which is the first of its kind in the region, Clarke noted that the conference presented an excellent opportunity for CGAs to earn Professional Development credits which are essential for maintenance of the CGA designation.

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