ACCA logo


Many businesses in Nigeria are in survival mode because of civil conflicts, rising food prices, natural resource degradation and poverty. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have led to businesses struggling. With COP26 taking place a couple of weeks ago, Nigerian businesses need to think about their recovery in a sustainable way.


That is why ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and CA ANZ (Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand) are equipping accountants with a new playbook to help them and their SME clients achieve their sustainability goals.


How SMEs can create a more sustainable world details the benefits that sustainable actions have for both business success and the environment.  The playbook sets out practical steps for embedding sustainable practices within SMEs, case studies from across the world, and links to a variety of tools and resources.


Given SMEs make up such a large part of the global economy, improvements in their sustainability practices are vital to addressing worldwide environmental and social challenges.


The playbook contains guidance from over 30 businesses, both from SMEs, SMPs (small and medium sized practices) and bigger businesses who work close with them including The Balcony Garden, Sage, Taylors Wines, Intuit, Xero, WE Accounting, as well as professional accountants and business leaders from around the world.


The playbook outlines how the following can make a difference:


  • Reshaping business models and reimagining the future: Explaining what sustainable development is, setting out the business case for sustainability, and illustrating the role of the profession.
  • Acting with urgency on climate change in particular: Guidance on how to have the conversation about climate change, illustrating the need for urgent action, and explaining what is happening globally.
  • Considering sustainability in business operations and every decision made: Demonstrating different ways action can be taken to address challenges such as reducing emission levels (including how to set targets and measure emissions), waste, and inequality.
  • Adopting sustainability goals: Explaining science-based targets, the Paris Agreement, the United Nation’s SDGs, and create ambitious strategies for sustainable future growth.
  • Bringing integrity to the process: How to ensure integrity in the transformation to sustainability by taking a principles-based approach.


Tom Isibor, ACCA’s head of SME, professional insights, says:

‘This playbook comes at such a critical time for people and businesses in Nigeria. There’s a real food crisis that needs to be solved in a sustainable way. While businesses have a lot to deal with, it’s important we catch up with the rest of the world on climate action. And this playbook gives the necessary tools and guidance to prepare businesses while they make the transition to more sustainable business practices.


‘Sustainability is an urgent, local project as well as a global one.’



Helen Brand, ACCA’s chief executive, says:

‘Governments, having adopted ambitious sustainable development goals for the end of this decade, are ramping up regulation to encourage and enforce ‘green action’.  Many of these businesses are on the edge of survival and these measures should not be a burden on SMEs already impacted by the pandemic. Therefore, it’s very important to align recovery packages with sustainability incentives.


‘This playbook is essential in supporting SMEs with their sustainable transformations and reporting on these achievements”.


About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global professional body for professional accountants.


We’re a thriving global community of 233,000 members and 536,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and industries. We uphold the highest professional and ethical values.


We offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. Our qualifications and learning opportunities develop strategic business leaders, forward-thinking professionals with the financial, business and digital expertise essential for the creation of sustainable organisations and flourishing societies.


Since 1904, being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. In December 2020, we made commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals which we are measuring and will report on in our annual integrated report.


We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society and is vital helping economies, organisations and individuals to grow and prosper. It does this by creating robust trusted financial and business management, combating corruption, ensuring organisations are managed ethically, driving sustainability, and providing rewarding career opportunities.


And through our cutting-edge research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing for the future. We’re a not-for-profit organisation.