Difference Makers Discuss – Sustainability: Connecting the Dots

Our Difference Makers Discuss global event focused on the vital role that Chartered Accountants play in driving positive change on sustainability.

This event showcased Chartered Accountants who have risen to the challenge of connecting stakeholders to sustainability issues and driving positive change within organisations. Across all sectors, every department is connected to the finance function. It is the nexus for strategic decision making and resource allocation.

Chartered Accountants are uniquely placed to influence others, effect change and transform organisations. They gather, analyse and interpret data, provide strategic advice, manage risks and resources and measure performance. They also have the crucial responsibility to communicate to key stakeholders ‘what story the numbers tell?’ and inspire change in others. In this role they help businesses to ‘connect the dots’ between business objectives and economic, environmental, social and governance issues.

The ‘Difference Makers Discuss’ is a series of events that showcase Chartered Accountants who are making a difference in their respective fields. Hosted by Mandy Muchnick, a Chartered Accountant with SAICA and Chair for One Young World in Africa, the event will feature contributions from leaders in business and finance who are using their skills as Chartered Accountants to make change happen.

Join us to hear from inspiring speakers who will share some key tips and learn about the launch of the new Chartered Accountants Worldwide Sustainability Hub, a new, global resource dedicated to helping finance and business professionals rise to the challenge of creating a more sustainable future for us all.

Meet the speakers

Susan Rossney

Host: Susan Rossney

Susan Rossney is Sustainability Officer for Chartered Accountants Ireland, former Chair of the Institute’s Expert Working Group on Sustainability and Chair of the Sustainability Taskforce of Chartered Accountants Worldwide. She is author of Sustainability for Accountants, Climate Essentials for Accountants and co-author of Sustainability for Small Businesses. Susan works with Institute teams to promote sustainability initiatives for Chartered Accountants Ireland both internally and externally, including curating the Institute’s annual sustainability conference programme.

Frances Carter

Frances Carter

Frances is the Operations Director for Conservation Capital where she works on a range of conservation area business planning and innovative financing projects across Africa, Asia and South America. Frances is also a Subject Matter Expert on corporate sustainable development, sustainability reporting and carbon management, including organisational and project-level carbon offset strategies. This involves a focus on global carbon offset investments that deliver ecological and social co-benefits and meet international best practice standards. Prior to joining Conservation Capital, Frances spent over ten years as a senior Chartered Accountant in auditing, agriculture, banking and funds management, and international development. Frances has two international Masters’ degrees: Master of Science (Sustainability Management) from Columbia University (New York City), and a Master of International Business Administration from IE Business School (Madrid).

Belinda Carreira

Belinda Carreira

Belinda qualified as a CA(SA) in 1998, since then her focus has been on value creation, strategy, people and most recently sustainability. Belinda has experience working in audit, finance, strategy consulting and as an entrepreneur. She founded WELL, an employee wellbeing company in 2018 as she has a passion for good health and wellbeing and believes that people are an organisations most valuable asset.

Belinda co-founded #SustainableSA in 2020, a project now sponsored by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). The project works in collaboration with strategic partners and experts to provide focused monthly updates and education on South Africa’s progress towards achieving the SDGs.

Belinda also co-founded SustainableDNA which is a Sustainability solutions business. She is driven to ensure that all businesses incorporate Sustainability and Climate Action into their strategies and that Boards and Shareholders receive the timely feedback and insights they need. She says that Sustainability is key for increasing organisations resource efficiency and is ultimately a source of competitive advantage. She notes that even though 90% of executives acknowledge its importance, only 60% of companies have a sustainability strategy. Hence there is a strong need to interpret changes in the external environment, work on strategic consequences and deliver corporate strategies that tackle these issues properly while still delivering great results.

She recently won the SAICA Chairman’s Difference Markers Award for Sustainability (in June 2022) and being a passionate lifelong learner, is currently completing a Sustainability and Innovation programme through MIT.

It is her dream to see all people and our planet thrive and for us all to live prosperous, successful lives.

Shiah Goh

Shian Goh

Shian Goh is a Fellow Chartered Accountant of Singapore and has more than 20 years’ experience of working in the financial stewardship of large organisations that span multiple countries and businesses.

He is currently the Group Finance Director of Goodpack IBC (Singapore) Pte Ltd, responsible for leading the head office finance and accounting functions as well as the group’s treasury and funding operations in support of the company’s strategies.

Prior to joining Goodpack, Shian was the Finance Director of Teckwah Group, where he led the accounting, taxation & finance functions of the Group and its subsidiaries in Asia Pacific. This includes supporting business units with their respective investments and activities across the region. A role created during his tenure in Teckwah was leading and crafting the company’s Sustainability Report and initiative from 2017. A strong advocate of sustainability, Shian believes that companies must always be raising the ambition and the targets to achieve ESG goals and in the importance of all stakeholders adopting a sustainability mindset.