Dr. Kent Swift Appointed to Global Sustainability Standards Board

Kent Swift, Professor of Accounting

Dr. Kent Swift, Professor of Accounting and Paul and Betty Haack Distinguished Faculty Fellow of UM’s School of Business, has been invited to serve as a member of the prestigious Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB).

Formed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an organization recognized and trusted worldwide for setting sustainability reporting standards, the Global Sustainability Standards Board is an independent board consisting of 15 members, all with diverse professional backgrounds and proven expertise in global sustainability reporting. According to the GRI website, the board’s “sole responsibility” is to set “globally accepted standards of reporting.”

After being asked to develop the university’s first course in sustainability reporting five years ago, Dr. Swift quickly recognized the unmet need for courses and training in this area both on a national and global scale. In the past four years, the course he designed has become highly sought after, being taught both here on the UM campus and at Aarhus University in Denmark. He has also focused much of his academic research on the topic, diving into data on both the quality and methods of sustainability reporting.

Following the initial success of the course and many additional hours of course development, Swift organized a workshop at the American Accounting Association’s 2016 meeting, showing accounting professors from around the world how to begin developing effective courses in sustainability reporting.

When asked about his new position on the Global Sustainability Standards Board, Dr. Swift’s excitement is obvious.

“It’s the culmination of five years of effort to be involved with an organization like this that has such a global impact.” 

Tying it back to UM and the School of Business, Swift adds,

“One of the University of Montana’s key initiatives is sustainability. The connection to GRI and GSSB will only add to UM’s reputation of being on the leading edge of global sustainability efforts.”