Why sustainability and finance?
The transformation of finance is essential to achieving a sustainable future
Finance teams are an asset to their organization and a vital element in building a sustainable world. To live up to this potential, they need to recognize the risks and opportunities associated with sustainability and be able to act on them. Without this, the finance function can be a barrier to change.
Finance teams are powerful in an organization because they:
- Control the flows of money and finance that are critical in enabling or blocking what the organization does
- Provide the information that is vital to decision making
- Influence others to take action
Sustainable businesses deliver financial returns in the short and long term while generating positive value for society and operating within environmental constraints. Organizations that fail to address environmental and social risks will be less resilient to these challenges, and so put their own existence at risk.
“It is not necessarily a choice between making money on the one hand and ‘doing the right thing’ on the other. On the contrary, once it is recognized that ‘business as usual’ is unsustainable it follows naturally that those organizations which start to develop resilient business models will be the ones that succeed.”
HRH The Prince of Wales
“A healthy society and environment must underpin our economies. The future of business, and our planet, depends on our ability to rethink and evolve our business models. Simply put, investing in sustainability makes good business sense.”
Mark Hawkins, President and CFO, Salesforce; Chair, USA Chapter of the A4S CFO Leadership Network
How sustainability benefits finance
Our research shows that there are many financial benefits to considering sustainability in your decision making.
A4S combines technical expertise with broad reach within the finance sector. This means that we can provide guidance and convene senior leadership to inspire action, transform decision making and scale up.
A4S’s work is led by A4S network members – finance leaders who promote practical action for sustainability in their organizations.
A4S has a truly global network where our members can share best practice, get support from their peers and collaborate. We work with:
- CFOs and finance teams
- The global accounting community
- Investors, capital markets and the wider finance community
- Governments, regulators and policymakers
- Business schools and academia
Our CFO Leadership Network members operate in 190 countries, and our Accounting Bodies Network (ABN) represents two thirds of the world’s accountants.