02 November 2015 Signing ceremony held during the Integrated Thinking Forum in Bahrain
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales's Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pearl Initiative, the leading independent private sector-led, not-for-profit organisation working across the Gulf Region to influence and improve corporate accountability and transparency, to promote Integrated Thinking and Reporting in the private sector across the region.
The MoU was signed by Jessica Fries, Executive Chairman of A4S, and Imelda Dunlop, Executive Director of the Pearl Initiative, during the 'Integrated Thinking: Long-term Sustainability in Corporate Reporting' Forum, held in Bahrain and attended by leading representatives of Bahrain's business community. The one-day forum provided a platform for participants to discuss the value of Integrated Reporting, a new approach to corporate reporting that demonstrates how organisations can create real value.
Speaking at the event, Imelda Dunlop said: "It gives us great pleasure to align with A4S to promote integrated thinking and reporting in the GCC. The Pearl Initiative is committed to raising awareness of the various aspects of corporate governance, and to encouraging the region's businesses to adopt stronger governance policies. By doing so, we are fostering a more sustainable business environment with increased accountability and transparency, that will lead to further economic growth."
Jessica Fries added: "The key focus of A4S is to encourage the adoption of sustainable business models, which will enable progression towards a sustainable economy. Most companies, investors and governments recognize that long-term sustainable performance relies on an understanding of the interdependency between financial, social and environmental factors. However, many struggle to embed these issues into strategy and decision making. By partnering with the Pearl Initiative, we aim to build momentum in Bahrain and the wider GCC region for the increased integration of sustainable practices."
Jamal Fakhro, Member of the Pearl Initiative Board of Governors, highlighted the growing importance of Integrated Thinking and Reporting to boost business growth during his opening remarks, ""It is critical for companies in Bahrain and the GCC to recognise the importance of Integrated Thinking and Reporting. The Pearl Initiative is keen to emphasise the benefits that come from concisely communicating and incorporating sustainability and governance into long-term strategies as well as day to day operations. The business community around the world need to consciously make a commitment towards the Global Goals, and will have to proactively monitor, manage and report on their commitments if we need to achieve an impact towards sustainable development."
Since its establishment in 2010, the Pearl Initiative has developed a network of more than 40 partners in countries across the region. Through various engagement channels, the Initiative promotes the benefits of corporate accountability and transparency, to inspire companies in the Gulf region to adopt best practices that will lead to a more sustainable economic environment.
For more information about Pearl Initiative
Tel: +971 (0) 4 4507 638
About Pearl Initiative
The Pearl Initiative is the leading independent, not-for-profit, by-business for-business, organisation working across the Gulf Region of the Middle East to influence and improve corporate accountability and transparency.
Pearl Initiative is a regionally-focused growing network of business leaders committed to driving joint action, exhibiting positive leadership and sharing knowledge and experience in order to positively influence the entire regional business and student community towards implementing higher standards in areas such as governance in family firms, diversity in leadership teams, anti-corruption, integrity in the supply chain, corporate reporting and responsible investment.
Originally developed in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Partnerships in 2010, the Pearl Initiative and the United Nations Global Compact drive joint programmes in 2013, as part of their Strategic Partnership, in order to advance the adoption of the "Ten Principles" by the private sector within the Gulf region.
About The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project
The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) was established by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2004 to "help ensure that we are not battling to meet 21st century challenges with, at best, 20th century decision-making and reporting systems." A4S convenes leaders in the finance and accounting communities to catalyse a fundamental shift towards resilient business models and a sustainable economy.
A4S works with the accounting and finance community to:
· Demonstrate the business case, increase engagement and build capacity to drive behaviour change that results in sustainable business practices.
· Develop practical tools, guidance and approaches that enable environmental, social and economic risks and opportunities to be reflected in decision-making.
· Facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for change through a shift to sustainable capital markets, and supportive regulatory and reporting regimes.
A4S has two global networks - the Accounting Bodies Network whose members comprise approximately two thirds of the world's accountants and the A4S Chief Financial Officers Leadership Network, a group of CFOs from leading companies seeking to transform finance and accounting.
© Press Release 2015