CPA Australia: Demand for ESG talent to boom in Mainland China


BEIJING, MAINLAND CHINA – Media OutReach – 11 October 2021 – Demand for environment, social and governance (ESG) talent in Mainland China will boom in the next five years, according to a survey by one of the world’s largest professional accounting bodies, CPA Australia. This finding comes as CPA Australia as joins 12 global accounting bodies in committing to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

CPA Australia surveyed over 400 accounting and financial professionals across industries in the Greater China region, including 139 respondents from Mainland China. Eighty-eight per cent of surveyed Mainland Chinese accounting and financial professionals expect local demand for ESG talent to increase in the next five years. Seventy-four per cent of respondents expect accountants will play a key role in achieving carbon emission reduction commitments in Mainland China.

Deborah Leung FCPA (Aust.), Executive General Manager International of CPA Australia said, “The results clearly reflect Mainland Chinese businesses’ growing focus on ESG. This ties in with the green and environmental protection commitments of the 14th Five-Year Plan and we are glad to see more Mainland Chinese businesses have begun to consider ESG performance as a key factor for business success.

“Accounting and financial professionals play a critical role as enablers of environmental protections and promoting ESG in the capital market. They are qualified to provide deep business insights about sustainability risks and opportunities, support green finance, and help improve disclosure mechanisms and policy frameworks.

“As an organisation with a global presence and deep commitments in the Greater China market for over 65 years, we acknowledge the impact of climate change and the urgency of taking actions to achieve net-zero emissions and promoting ESG in the businesses.”

The launch of the global accounting profession commitment to net zero emissions is an initiative of The Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project Accounting Bodies Network (ABN), of which CPA Australia is a member. The ABN represents over 2.5 million professional accountants and students in 179 countries.

As part of the commitment, CPA Australia has pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions within our organisation and to provide sound advice to the business community for a just transition to a net zero emissions economy.

“The accounting profession occupies a privileged position in the global economy. As trusted advisers, we’re privy to deep business insights about sustainability risks and opportunities. This knowledge creates an obligation to use our skills to protect our environmental heritage. CPA Australia is a global organisation in a global profession and we’re proud to be part of the global response to climate change,” Leung said.

According to the survey, there is a market shortage of skills and understanding of ESG. Eighty-nine per cent of Mainland Chinese respondents stated that they were looking forward to participating in ESG-relevant training courses in the coming 12 months.

CPA Australia will provide training and guidance to our members to support them in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their own organisations and businesses, as part of its net zero commitment.

“We suggest that accounting bodies, research institutions, universities and businesses collaborate in nurturing ESG experts across the finance and accounting sectors in Mainland China. “With more requirements on ESG information disclosures being issued globally and more investors considering ESG performance as an indicator to evaluate a company, and as a key consideration in their investment strategy, we believe this is a huge opportunity for accounting and financial professionals with solid ESG knowledge and skillset in the future,” Leung said.


Read the Net Zero Commitment here.

About CPA Australia

CPA Australia is one of the largest professional accounting bodies in the world, with more than 168,000 members in over 100 countries and regions, including more than 20,000 members in Greater China. We have offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Our core services include education, training, technical support and advocacy. CPA Australia provides thought leadership on local, national and international issues affecting the accounting profession and public interest. We engage with governments, regulators and industries to advocate policies that stimulate sustainable economic growth and have positive business and public outcomes. Find out more at