The chartered accountancy profession is making the world more sustainable – are you?

In 2015, world leaders gathered at the UN to adopt an ambitious framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets to address the full range of social and economic-development issues facing people around the world.

With goals that look at finding solutions for poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice, the SDG’s ultimately aim to strengthen people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership by 2030 so as to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

Taken together, these goals provide government, business and civil society with a universal roadmap to tackle urgent challenges, meaningfully engage with emerging risks and discover new opportunities for creating value.

But the need to move quickly on these issues is extremely urgent. Global population estimates show that, at over 8.5 billion people, demands for resources are set to exponentially heighten risks identified by the SDGs. That’s why all around the world, people and organisations are taking action to make our planet more sustainable.

As a profession that recognises itself as a critical player in creating value, the accountancy profession in South Africa has always contributed time, resources and effort to projects focused on making South Africa, and the world, a better place.

As a profession that recognises itself as a critical player in creating value, the accountancy profession in South Africa has always contributed time, resources and effort to projects focused on making South Africa, and the world, a better place.


What is the accounting profession doing to help?

Southern Africa’s key sub-regional sustainable development priorities have been identified as poverty and inequality; health and education; gender equality; sustainable environmental management and climate change.

So it comes as no surprise that, through its various “Nation Building” projects, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), together with members of the profession, has spent years championing projects in various different areas (including projects aimed at improving education, creating sustainable and meaningful jobs, enabling access to healthcare and much more) in order to help build skills at various levels so as to grow the economy. While these are not short-term projects (meaning that it takes time for the benefits to be realised), there are many successes that have been achieved in by these projects including SAICA’s:

  • Historically Disadvantages Institutions (HDIs) Capacitation project which has built capacity at five of South Africa’s six HDIs through the accreditation of these institution’s BCom CA-stream undergraduate and post graduate degrees. In doing so, the profession is helping to build and upgrade education facilities so as to provide inclusive and effective learning environments for all.
  • 47 Thuthuka Education Upliftment Fund (TEUF) provincial school projects. Through these interventions, SAICA has helped over a million learners improve their literacy and numeracy skills over the past 16 years.
  • Accounting Technician South Africa (AT[SA]) TVET College Programme which is increasing the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship. Since 2009, this project has provided over 960 students with work-readiness qualifications and career advancement opportunities in the accounting environment.

Yet SAICA is not the only one in the accounting sector leading the charge.

Whether in their business or personal capacities, SAICA members and stakeholders are playing a crucial role in delivering solutions against all 17 SDG’s through countless planning and implementation projects within their communities, organisations and sectors.


What’s your SDG?

Right now, the profession is receiving a lot of negative press. But what we are failing to celebrate is how much of a contribution the profession is adding to building the nation and making the world more sustainable.

So let’s stop focusing on the failures and, instead, show the world the large the contribution is that our profession is having.


Here’s how to get involved

SAICA is calling on its members and stakeholders to show us how the work that YOU do (be it in your personal or business capacity) is assisting to help the world reach the SDGs by 2030. Our aim is to track the manner in which SAICA members are contributing to a better world and to collate the information you provide us with into a special report that will be circulated to members and key stakeholders around the country.

Help us know what your role is by telling us about your SDG. Simply click on the goal(s) that you or your organisation are contributing towards and fill in the short form to provide us with details on your project and the impact it’s having on helping the world meet these 2030 targets.

If you don’t already have an SDG, you can also “adopt” one by participating in the work SAICA, together with members, does that contributes to globally sustainability.

One thing is certain: the SDGs will only be met if everyone works together. We all have a role to play if we are to succeed in dealing with these challenges. We can’t wait to find out what role you’re playing.


The information you provide us with, will be collated into a SAICA special report and circulated to members and key stakeholders.

If you don’t have a SDG but would like to contribute to the work SAICA does together with members of the profession to contribute to globally sustainability, please click here.