KPMG was a big winner recently at the Accountant & International Accounting Bulletin Awards, taking home top prize in two categories. The Big Four accounting and professional services company was honored for having the best “Thought Leadership of the Year” and “Communication Campaign of the Year” among global organizations.
The report that beat out all others for thought leadership was KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook “We are exceedingly proud,” said Isabelle Allen, KPMG International’s global head of clients and markets. The study focused on what CEOs are focusing on today as they push for growth within their organizations and managed to get the perspective of more than 1,200 chief executives in 10 countries.
“The Global CEO Outlook offers a thought-provoking view of the challenges CEOs see for their businesses, and themselves personally, over the coming three years,” said Allen. “We are pleased that it has resonated so strongly with our clients, the wider business community, and the media.”
The other award came from KPMG’s COP21 initiative. The campaign, which aligned with the 21st UN Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris late last year, urged companies to assess their business model and strategic priorities to ensure that they will be able to continue thriving in a world where carbon dioxide emissions become increasingly onerous for both society and business.
KPMG suggested that organizational leaders ask themselves the following questions: Is our business ready to prosper in a low-carbon economy? Are we investing in the innovation of greener products and services? Are we ready to respond to tougher customer demands to be low-carbon and climate friendly? How can our business grow and simultaneously reduce its carbon emissions? And how can we reduce exposure to future regulation, taxes and pricing of carbon emissions?
Overall, the campaign sought to raise awareness of the importance of COP21 and was seen by the judges as an excellent method to educate firms about the potential fallout of the climate change agreement that emerged from the talks. In collaboration with the UN climate secretariat, KPMG was able to start an active, live debate with from people all over the globe. Its platform helped to analyze some 3.5 million tweets about the historic summit.
“COP21 was a critical point in the world’s fight against climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Adrian King, global head of sustainability services at KPMG International. “Through our campaign, we added KPMG’s voice to the calls for a global agreement on climate change and we raised awareness of the importance of that goal. I’m delighted that the judges recognized our contribution with this award.”
While Colombia is not a leading emitter, the United Nations has named the country as a leader in terms of its commitment to the organization’s new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). “Colombia played a key role in formulating the SDG agenda and provided an influential first proposal for the SDGs at the start of the negotiations with Guatemala,” wrote the UN in a recent report. “It was also the first country that planned to align its national development objectives with the goals.” The body noted that Colombia is also among the representatives on the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
“The COP21 communications campaign is part of our ongoing commitment to advancing environmental sustainability and campaigning on essential public interest matters like water sustainability and protecting natural habitats,” said Lord Michael Hastings, global head of corporate citizenship at KPMG International.
In terms of general business adaptability — not just in regards to climate issues — KPMG recently found that Colombian companies are ahead of the curve for the region. Its Change Readiness Index ranked the country’s enterprises as the fourth most prepared for change in the Latin America and the Caribbean, behind only Chile, Peru, and Panama. Its business environment finished 31st in the world in terms of “change readiness,” while Colombia’s economic diversification and labor market placed 35th and 36th overall, respectively.
Among its many activities in Colombia, where KPMG operates offices in Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, the firm also recently added its expertise to the nation’s ongoing tax reform debate. President Juan Manuel Santos has submitted his overhaul plan to Congress with an aim toward shoring up public finances that have been decimated by the loss of oil-related revenue in recent years.
KPMG detailed all the many proposals that — if enacted — the administration believes will help it retain its investment-grade BBB credit rating. “The government intends for Congress to vote on the bill before the end of the calendar year so that the measures would be enacted by January 1, 2017,” stated KPMG in its report.
A representative of KPMG also recently presented at the same event as Colombian Commerce Minister María Claudia Lacoutre on a “Colombia Business Forum” panel to discuss the push for growth in trade between Colombia and the United Kingdom. The event coincided with President Santos’ first-ever official state visit to London, where U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced millions of pounds worth of investment plans to further develop bilateral trade and exchange.