SME and SMP Perspectives on Sustainability
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are the proud backbone of the UK economy. They represent more than 99% of all the 4.8 million registered businesses, providing 59.8% of private sector employment and contributing 49% to private sector turnover. SME activities in 2009 also cast a significant ecological and economic shadow by annually consuming 45% of the UK’s business energy budget with associated carbon emissions and a context of rising energy prices.
Despite these material impacts, SMEs are generally sidelined in the public sustainability debate. These debates are either hijacked by prominent multinational companies, displaying well-marketed positive examples of corporate stewardship, or the existing SMEs CSR efforts are understated.
SMEs and their advising Small and Medium Sized Practices (SMPs) are seen as key partners with which to identify innovative and workable solutions to our shared sustainability challenge. ACCA has been at the forefront of sustainability reporting practices for over 20 years, calling for more holistic accounting and reporting practices, full and consistent corporate disclosure, and a move to mandatory sustainability reporting requirements matching the challenges of climate change, loss of biodiversity, poverty alleviation and destruction of natural capital.
Three expert perspectives on the trends, challenges and opportunities shaping the sustainability agenda for SMEs and SMPs will be presented:
- Dr Laura J. Spence, Director of the Centre for Research into Sustainability, RHUL
- David Wilsdon FCCA, Director, Green Accountancy
- Stephen Pegge, Head of External Affairs, Lloyds TSB
- 08.00 Registration and breakfast
- 08.30 Debate
- 10.30 Event ends
This event is organised by the ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in partnership with CRIS.