Have you ever wondered if your firm could be doing more in the environmental sustainability space?
Could the right environmental message help you win new, high-grade clients? Could it help you retain your best people or maybe even act as an attraction for recruiting new people?
In this podcast discussion with Peter Ellington, you’ll hear his candid, open and quite revealing insights, insights based on the research he’s done into the environmental space.
He’s now building educational programs with the ACCA and with ICAEW, and he is growing his 800-client accounting firm on the back of his work in and around environmental sustainability.
By applying these insights to your own firm, you and your team could feel a greater sense of pride and could make a big and lasting difference in the wider community.
Please scroll down this episode page to find the contact information for Peter, as well as links to the resources mentioned in this podcast.
I wanted to prove that accountancy practices should get into this because it's part of their advisory service.
They can actually charge good fees for bringing environmental aspects into their service, but how does that work?
I think we are on the cusp a bit. I think some practices are probably further into this than we are, but I've got a couple of clients that are seeing consumer pressure or they want to get into big contracts and the sustainability and environmental factors matter.
For example, there may be clients involved in building contracts that include local government procurement or larger companies like Anglian Water, where sustainability will be a key driver to getting the contract, so as part of the advisory service, we're saying, ‘here's your bookkeeping system on Xero or QuickBooks and you can now get these add-ons that sit on the side of the accountancy packages’.
Sage Earth used to be called Spherics, and there's Ecologi or Normative as well. There are lots of products out there and your accountant can plug those onto your existing service and you get a carbon output estimate. It's not accurate, but it's a good place to start.
Connect with Peter
Connect with Paul
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What does Humanise The Numbers mean to you?
Going back to university
Influencing locally and globally
How can an accountant drive change?
Winning clients through sustainability
Mixing a niche with sustainability
Finding people is still a struggle
The importance of psychological safety
Where does a firm start?
Changes come through big business and government
Click the play button below and use the slider on the audio below to get quickly to the chapters in the podcast.
Resources relating to this podcast:
Referencing it to climate change, Paul and Peter talk about the term 'hyper object' - something so big that we cannot comprehend it. Humans need to see something and have it compared to something in real terms for it to make sense.
Paul mentions a recent Business Breakthrough report we have produced called Simplify Your Numbers and tells the goldfish bowl and the million/billion pound stories, which goes some way to explaining the 'hyper object' issue that most humans have. Click the button below to read this report and understand the difference between a million and a billion pounds - it will blow your mind!
Peter references a film coming out soon called 'Six Inches of Soil', the inspiring story of British farmers standing up against the industrial food system and transforming the way they produce food - to heal the soil, benefit our health and provide for local communities.
Here is a link to find out more - https://www.sixinchesofsoil.org/
Peter talks about the ACCA and ICEAW sustainability certificates - how managable they are in terms of time and how important he believes it is for every senior manager in a firm to obtain them. Your client managers would then be in a position to have sustainability conversations with your clients, which builds your credibility as a firm.
Here are the details of these certificates:
ICAEW - https://www.icaew.com/learning-and-development/academy/specialist-qualifications/icaew-sustainability-certificate
ACCA - https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/qualifications/glance/certificate-in-sustainability-finance-certsf/overview.html
Peter refers to articles he has written for the Association of International Accountants magazine and for AccountingWeb on climate change and sustainability and how accountancy firms can take advantage of the sustainable economy. Read both those articles here:
AIA - https://www.aiaworldwide.com/news/international-accountant/
AccountingWeb - https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/practice/practice-strategy/sustainability-is-the-new-frontier-in-the-ai-age