A critical grand challenge is the increasing unsustainability of humanity’s actions on the planet. From a loss of biodiversity to the climate crisis, our actions are causing the breakdown of our planet’s systems. We acknowledge the limits of our planet in terms of planetary boundaries and the role accountants can play and helping to transition society to one that is sustainable in the long-term. The need to balance social needs within these planetary boundaries (Rayworth, 2017) demonstrates the connectedness of a variety of grand challenges (climate emergency, inequality, etc).
Accountants are playing active roles in both critiquing and building new ways of accounting for these impacts. We are pushing for the accounting of a firm’s impact on the world and not just the world’s impact on the firm, so called double materiality. Calls for accounting in the context of the planet’s limits continue to grow. More than ever, accountants can bring to light that which has remained in the dark to help transform the world into a better place.