Sustainability Accounting

The Importance of Sustainability Accounting

Imad Adileh
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In Saudi Arabia, the concept of sustainability is gaining increasing prominence. The Saudi government has set ambitious targets for the country to become more sustainable, including a goal to increase the share of clean energy to 50% by 2030. To achieve these targets, organisations will need to adopt more sustainable practices.

The Triple Bottom Line & The Global Reporting Initiative

Sustainability accounting is the process of identifying, measuring, and reporting on an organisation's environmental, social, and economic impacts. The goal of sustainability accounting is to provide organisations with information that can be used to make better decisions, reduce their negative impacts, and improve their overall sustainability performance.

Sustainability accounting addresses the three pillars of sustainability — environmental, social, and economic — also known as the "triple bottom line." This approach is based on the idea that organisations should be accountable not only for their financial performance but also for their environmental and social impacts.

Why KSA Must Be At The Forefront Of Sustainability Accounting

Saudi Arabia is uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. The country is in a desert climate, and as such, it is highly dependent on water resources. With rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns, the country may face the possibility of water shortages in the future if action is not taken to conserve and manage its water resources sustainably.

In addition to this, Saudi Arabia's high temperatures already pose a challenge to the country's power generation capacity, and the nation currently has the highest share of AC-related household electricity consumption globally. Over the past 40 years, Saudi's climate has warmed up at a rate that is 50% higher than the rest of the landmass in the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in more extreme weather conditions such as heat waves, dust storms, and floods.

Using the principle of sustainability accounting, local businesses and organisations can take inventory of their environmental, social, and economic impacts. This information can then be used to make strategic decisions that will help to reduce negative impacts and improve sustainability performance. This will help the nation achieve its ambitious targets for a more sustainable future and create a better quality of life for all Saudis.

As a leader in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia has a responsibility to act on climate change and environmental sustainability. The country has the potential to be a regional leader in sustainability, and organisations must take a proactive approach to sustainability accounting. By taking a leading role in the practice, Saudi Arabia can set an example for other countries in the region and help to create a more sustainable future for all.