The Nigerian Stock Exchange (“the Exchange” or “NSE”) in partnership with Dangote Cement Plc and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) held a capacity development workshop on sustainability value proposition and reporting for accountants, financial analysts and communication practitioners on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at the Stock Exchange House in Lagos.The workshop, driven by the need to demonstrate the relationship between financial and non-financial functions and the strong synergy between the two in achieving business continuity, brought together over 70 participants from the media, accounting and investment communities.
Speaking at the event, Bola Adeeko, Divisional Head, Shared Services, NSE, said “we recognize that sustainability should not be separate from core business strategy as it involves operating in a way that takes full account of an organisation’s impact on the planet, its people and the future. At the NSE, we continually seek innovative initiatives to build competence for businesses within our ecosystem. This workshop is designed to help accountants, financial analysts and communication practitioners respond to new demands resulting from changes in the way businesses now define value creation”.
The session introduced participants to the concept of sustainability reporting within the context of the GRI Standards and the NSE Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines. It helped accounting and investment professionals understand the role of impact measurement, innovation and value creation of sustainability reporting in improving corporate financial performance. The workshop also helped communications practitioners understand recent advances in sustainability reporting with the aim of improving reporting of sustainability issues across the capital market.
The event was headlined by senior executives of Dangote Industries Limited including Dr. Ndidi Nnoli, Group Chief Sustainability and Governance, Dangote Industries Ltd (DIL) who introduced the workshop participants to the Dangote Industries value creation model, which builds on the 7 Sustainability Pillar Methodology. She said “Our work in Dangote Cement Plc showcases the importance of mainstreaming sustainability as the key to engendering holistic business impact, innovation and value creation. The workshop, scheduled during the United Nations 74th General Assembly, supports the implementation of SDGs in Africa by establishing the positive correlation between financial and non-financial (ESG) functions and the potential synergy between responsible business growth and sustainable development.”
The NSE, realizing the crucial role played by accountants, financial analysts and communications professionals in facilitating behavioral change in support of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), designed the session in collaboration with GRI as part of the collaborative partnership to improve the performance and disclosure of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues across the ecosystem of the NSE. “The GRI Standards help companies understand and disclose their impacts on the world – and by doing so enable them to manage these impacts and improve ESG performance. Accountancy professionals, financial analysts and communications specialists all have important roles in supporting corporate sustainability reporting, therefore I was delighted by the engagement achieved through this session” said Douglas Kativu, Director, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Africa who was the lead facilitator at the workshop.