But incorporating social and environmental factors into global corporate accounting remains a sizeable challenge, said UNCTAD Secretary-General, Mukhisa Kituyi, who welcomed collaboration between the international development and accounting communities.
"Corporate sustainability reporting can be a powerful tool to measure the contribution of business towards the SDGs," he said on Tuesday at an annual meeting in Geneva of accountancy experts from all around the world. Hosted by UNCTAD, the meeting runs October 4 to 6.
The experts are all members of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR), the UN body for accounting and corporate governance matters.
Hosted at UNCTAD, ISAR assists developing countries, and economies in transition, to implement best practices of accounting and corporate governance.
"ISAR continues to be an important partner for our efforts to mobilize public and private involvement with sustainability reporting and to achieve the SDGs," Dr. Kituyi said.
He noted the tremendous challenge of going from single-issue financial reporting to reporting with social, environmental, and other sustainability factors.