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Sustainable capitalism, corporate reporting and the role of the accounting profession

2012 is the year of Rio+20, a major milestone in a series of conferences on Sustainable Development held by the United Nations. Rio+20 is anticipated to be the largest of them all and will focus on the progress made in tackling sustainability issues since the historic Earth Summit of 1992. It was at this summit, in the same city, that the UN framework convention on climate change was established, among other things.

From a corporate reporting perspective, there is an ongoing impetus to properly operationalise the concept of integrated reporting. It is through the Integrated Report, using the mechanism of integrated reporting, that stewards seek to provide stakeholders with connected information on the broad sustainability of a corporation in the short, medium and long term.

The purpose of this article is to assess the role that corporate reporting, the accounting profession and accounting professionals in South Africa have played and can play to advance sustainable value creation.

The list of challenges currently facing our planet is formidable and in some respects unprecedented and extraordinary. The seventh edition of Global Risks 2012 recently published by the World Economic Forum warns that unsustainable economic imbalances, social inequalities and the possible knock-on effects of other risks may lead to the reversal of the gains of globalisation.

Many of the top-most risks identified clearly relate to broad sustainability issues, and include serious concerns about water supply, food shortages, chronic fiscal imbalances, severe income disparities, extreme volatility in energy and agricultural prices, rising greenhouse gas emissions and a failure to adapt to the effects of climate change.

These challenges impact on the sustainability of our economic and physical future as well as the manner in which we organise ourselves.

Download the paper . . . . Sustainable capitalism, corporate reporting and the role of the accounting profession

If you require a more detailed discussion on integrated Reporting, feel free to contact Bertie Loots or Nirali Shah at bloots@deloitte.co.za or niralishah@deloitte.co.za

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The future of manufacturing – Opportunities to drive economic growth

A World Economic Forum Report in collaboration with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

With a call to action from stakeholders at the 2011 Annual Meeting, in January 2011 the World Economic Forum’s Mobility Industries team initiated the Future of Manufacturing project to address how the global manufacturing ecosystem is evolving. The project explored the pivotal drivers of change, today and in the future, to generate insights and a platform for informed dialogue between senior business leaders and policy-makers.

Introduction

Over the past several decades, manufacturing has experienced significant change as rapid globalisation shifted a significant proportion of manufacturing capacity from developed to emerging economies and substantial new markets and new competitors emerged. The globalisation of manufacturing was enabled by a combination of forces coming together simultaneously, including a significant change in geopolitical relations between east and west, the widespread growth of digital information, physical and financial infrastructure, computerised manufacturing technologies, and the proliferation of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.

These factors, along with others, have permitted the disaggregation of supply chains into complex global networks allowing a company to interact in the design, sourcing of materials and components, and manufacturing of products from virtually anywhere – while satisfying customers almost anywhere.

The manufacturing industry is of great interest to investors and business leaders hoping to take advantage of the opportunities presented by rapid globalisation and the significant growth of the middle class in emerging markets, as well as serving high-value customers in developed markets with innovative new products and services.

Policy-makers, still coping with the aftermath of the financial crisis and hoping to stimulate high-value job growth and create sustained economic recovery, are keenly interested in the benefits of having a globally competitive manufacturing industry. While the changes that have occurred in the recent past are important to understand, it is the future of competition in the manufacturing industry that has the most interest to both business leaders and policy-makers.

Download the Deloitte article . . . .  The future of manufacturing – Opportunities to drive economic growth

If you have any questions or require a detailed discussion, contact Andrew Mackie (Deloitte Manufacturing Industry Leader) at amackie@deloitte.co.za

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