ACCA and SEED Ventures (Pvt.) Limited, in collaboration with InfraZamin Pakistan and CFA Society Pakistan, organised an event titled ‘ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance): Business Integration, Public Trust & Brand Reputation’ on 30th November 2021 at Acton House Gardens, British Deputy High Commission, Karachi.
The event captured diverse insights from seasoned business leaders (national and MNCs) representing capital markets, corporate governance, banking and financial services; who stressed on the importance of ESG awareness, its mainstreaming – as well as leveraging it to enhance public trust.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Chairperson, Pakistan Stock Exchange, was the Guest of Honour at the event. She shared her vision for adoption of ESG in Pakistan – with particular reference to ESG as a key driver for enhancing investor confidence including foreign direct investment.
Mike Nathavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner, shared his perspective on why ESG is important for Pakistan and congratulated ACCA, SEED Ventures, InfraZamin Pakistan and CFA Society Pakistan for leading the ESG conversation.
A high-octane panel discussion, comprising high-profile speakers, recommended – integration of ESG at board level, banking sector’s strategy and future-plan for socially responsible lending and finance; how ESG is imperative for a fairer and more transparent reporting of information for stakeholders’ decision making, including facilitation of project and infrastructure financing decisions; how growing information availability is empowering millennials and Gen-Z, who comprehend ESG as a key pillar for future sustainability; and finally, how ESG index driven capital markets promote sustainable investments. The panel consisted of Ahsan Jamil, CEO, Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance, Amir Paracha, Chairman and CEO, Unilever Pakistan, Farrukh H. Khan, CEO and Managing Director, Pakistan Stock Exchange, Maheen Rahman, CEO, InfraZamin Pakistan and Shazad Dada, President and CEO, UBL; and was moderated by Shaista Ayesha, CEO, SEED Ventures.
At the event, ACCA signed MOUs with SEED Ventures and InfraZamin Pakistan to formalise partnership and commitment to ESG related agendas.
Sajeed Aslam, Head of ACCA Pakistan said: ‘We have come to know the great work of SEED Ventures and InfraZamin Pakistan through recent collaboration. Our MOU formalises our working relationship with the aim of helping our members, students and other stakeholders better understand the sustainability agenda and associated governance, compliance and risk matters.
Shaista Ayesha, CEO Seed Ventures, added: ‘The accountancy profession has a key role to play in understanding, monitoring and acting on non-financial risks such as climate change and and we are together committed to enhance ESG’s growing importance for sustainable businesses.
InfraZamin Pakistan’s CEO, Maheen Rahman, expressed confidence that the MOU with ACCA will strengthen awareness on adoption of ESG practices to improve infrastructure financing decisions as well as educating organisations about climate and nature related action.