The UST Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy held the 17th Washington Sycip Lecture (WSL) last November 4, 2022. Ms. Kristine I. Aguirre, advisory partner at R.G. Manabat and Co., highlighted the current trends and issues in sustainable development. The Philippines’ disaster risk ranking, decarbonization cost reduction, and protection of the vulnerable sectors were among the topics she discussed. Furthermore, Ms. Aguirre discussed the emerging landscape of sustainability reporting across the globe.
Aguirre also discussed the creation of the International Sustainability Standards Board and how its proposed standards might impact certain companies with relevant sustainability issues and topics. The lecture concluded by stating the key factors in fostering sustainability, such as educating stakeholders, establishing the appropriate governance mechanisms, engaging the process owners, and the expansion of systems.
This year’s panel of reactors was composed of Prof. Cheryl R. Peralta, Dr.PH, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, University of Santo Tomas; Mr. Conrad Allan M. Alviz, Partner, SGV & Co.; Dr. Maheran Zakaria, Senior Lecturer, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Malaysia; Dr. Jestoni Babia, Dean of the School of Education and Director of Education for Sustainable Development Center, University of San Jose – Recoletos; Ms. Diane Carmela T. Querrer, journalist and alumna of the College, and Ms. Kathrina A. Nazario, senior management accounting student.
The multi-sectoral panel reacted to the main lecture by highlighting the roles of cultural and contextual nuances in designing sustainability strategies in organizations. Several reactors highlighted the need for sustainability strategies to be anchored and aligned with the organization’s collective identity. Furthermore, the role of technology in creating sustainability strategies was highlighted. Finally, the importance of communication and storytelling in stakeholder management, in the context of sustainability, has been discussed.
The 17th WSL was part of the 18th Foundation Anniversary celebration of the College, with a theme, Sustainability Practices for Inclusive Growth.