CIMA - Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, England.
CIMA World Conference report
November 30, 2011
South Africa leads the world in integrated reporting and sustainable business practices. So Cape Town was an apt location for the CIMA World Conference 2011, whose theme was “Business in tomorrow’s world – a sustainable future.”
ATS was headline sponsor of the conference. Impala Platinum, Shell, SAP and SAB were official partners.
The speakers included some of the world’s leading architects of the fast-evolving integrated reporting landscape, as well as pioneers in all other areas of the sustainability agenda – from the global response to climate change to driving resource efficiencies in the manufacturing sector.
Mervyn King, chairman of the IIRC, was one of the first speakers. As the pioneer of South Africa’s integrated reporting framework – which is now mandatory for firms listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange – King explained to delegates why the model mattered to companies, and to society at large, in every country.
Geoff Rothschild, director of government and international affairs at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, supported King’s view and explained why the exchange was a pioneer in making integrated reporting a listing requirement.
Mike James, FCMA, group managing director of ATS International, then explained to delegates how his company is helping the world’s manufacturing businesses to become more efficient – saving money as well as natural resources (see the “I work on” article in the Features section for more).
Later, Simon Susman, non-executive deputy chairman of South African retailer Woolworths Holdings, took delegates on a tour of sustainability activities across his business and its supply chain.
These range from manufacturing shoes out of recycled materials to encouraging agricultural suppliers to use environmentally-friendly methods. The firm has also found a way of turning the previously-wasted energy from its refrigeration units into in-store heating.
More than 500 delegates from Africa, Europe, Asia and North America also gained an in-depth insight into the challenges facing finance professionals in the world’s cash-constrained public sector, and the crucial role that performance management can play in helping governments to deliver better services with ever-tightening resources.