ACCA: Sustainability reporting supports SMEs

This graphic highlights the importance of sustainability reporting.
Graphic courtesy ACCA -
This graphic highlights the importance of sustainability reporting. Graphic courtesy ACCA -

A new guide from ACCA recognises the vital role SMEs play in the value chains of all organisations globally.

The report, Sustainability Reporting – SME Guide, supports businesses create the sustainability-related information that regulators and stakeholders increasingly demand.

Sharon Machado, head of sustainable business at ACCA.
Photo courtesy ACCA -

Report co-author Sharon Machado, head of sustainable business at ACCA, said: "The creation and use of sustainability-related information helps SMEs, their advisers and stakeholders see and take advantage of opportunities and manage their risks. This will put SMEs in a much stronger position financially – making it easier to attract investment and obtain preferential terms of trade with suppliers. In the battle for talent, it will help them recruit and retain high-calibre employees."

As the demand for sustainability-related information increases, all organisations must be ready to provide information related to their approach and progress in managing sustainability-related risks and opportunities. This demand extends beyond the organisation to its value chain and comes from regulators, investors and many other stakeholders.

SMEs comprise 90 per cent of all organisations globally, and so, are an essential part of the value chain.

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The enablers to better business that result from communicating and using sustainability-related information may help SMEs gain new competitive advantage.

Report co-author Aaron Saw, head of corporate reporting insights – financial at ACCA, said: "Although SMEs may consider these demands challenging, especially at times of significant financial pressure, evidence suggests the effort is justified. Therefore, we encourage all SMEs to take small first steps and do what’s possible in communicating sustainability-related information with a view of becoming better businesses."

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