Academy

The A4S Academy is a CFO-sponsored programme, which empowers and equips finance teams with the skills needed for their businesses to succeed in the face of environmental and social risks and opportunities. The programme is for senior finance professionals.

The Academy is focused on practical implementation, with structured support provided for participants. The programme draws on leading practice and utilizes tools and guidance from the A4S Essential Guide Series developed by finance, for finance. Participants have access to a variety of knowledge-based materials, experienced practitioners and skills development sessions to support them through the year-long programme.

Graduation from the Academy is dependent on completion of a short case study, evidencing the progress participants have made against their personal programme objectives. Academy graduates are invited to join the alumni network, where they will have ongoing access to events, support and a community of peers from whom they can continue to draw inspiration.

WHY THIS, WHY NOW?

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

Businesses are at a critical juncture. Over the next few decades, the success and failure of organizations will be determined by how they respond to environmental and social risks. Beyond risk, there are also huge opportunities to be made from the innovation, efficiencies and new markets which sustainable business models create.

To achieve a sustainable economy, businesses need to be able to deliver financial returns in the short and long term, while generating positive value for society and operating within environmental constraints.

Finance has a vital role to play. To ensure finance professionals excel in the new economy, their skills and competencies need updating. How will they price externalities, how will they navigate the changing business landscape and how can they deliver on ‘purpose’?

The A4S Academy is a small investment of time but with the potential to create a lasting impact. Participation in the programme enables finance leaders and their teams to shape a sustainable future for their organizations.

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Interactive webinars

The interactive webinars are part of the A4S Academy programme but are open to all.

As part of the Academy programme we are running a series of interactive webinars starting in May. These interactive webinars will be an hour-long and will cover a specific topic focusing on how organizations can embed sustainability considerations into finance processes. The interactive webinars are part of the A4S Academy programme but are open to all. They are designed for finance professionals but may be of interest to those in other disciplines. They are free to attend. The dates, topics and links to register are below.

Access finance: 
debt finance 

26th May 2020 

07:00 PDT / 10:00 EDT / 15:00 BST / 16:00 CEST 

This interactive webinar will explore how risks and opportunities relating to major environmental and social trends impact debt financing decisions. We will consider actions that are being taken by companies and other capital market participants to integrate these issues more systematically. Finally, we will present the A4S Top Tips for Treasury Teams on Implementing a Sustainable Finance Framework

Register >

Speakers:

Mark Kaye, CFO, Moody’s who will give his perspective on latest ESG trends, recent investor approaches, and how issuers can capture the opportunities around sustainable financing.

Pasi Kyckling, Group Treasurer, Stora Enso who will discuss Stora Enso’s sustainable finance framework and recent green bond issuance.

 

 

 

Lead the way:
managing future uncertainty 

17th June 2020

08:00 PDT / 11:00 EDT /  16:00 BST / 17:00 CEST

This interactive webinar will look at techniques that companies are using to "future-proof" financial decision making by helping them to understand, measure and incorporate future risks and uncertainty around social and environmental risks and opportunities.  

Register >

Transform your decisions: 
strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting 

16th July 2020

08:00 PDT / 11:00 EDT /  16:00 BST / 17:00 CEST

This interactive webinar will consider how companies have incorporated sustainability into their strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting, and harnessed the information enabled by technology in the process.

Register >

 Measure what matters: 
capitals accounting  

13th August 2020

08:00 PDT / 11:00 EDT /  16:00 BST / 17:00 CEST

This interactive webinar will explore various aspects of capitals accounting from looking at biodiversity, to how companies are considering their human capital.  

Register >

Note on Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 is currently causing significant disruption in many parts of the world, with large numbers of companies and governments restricting travel or gatherings. We recognize that participants’ and presenters’ ability to attend the Academy’s kick-off workshops will be significantly affected.

What is going ahead?

The Academy programme commences with a virtual briefing for participants, which takes place in advance of each face-to-face kick-off workshop. These briefings set out the structure, walk through the learning programme and confirm expectations for Academy participants. They also introduce participants to pre-work, including a range of online materials and reading with which it is helpful to complete prior to the kick-off workshop. These briefings will take place as planned, allowing extra time for completion of pre-work.

Kick-off workshops in Singapore and Sydney are scheduled for September. These are currently planned to go ahead, unless restricted by:

  • Guidelines from the Singaporean or Australian government;
  • Participants’ or presenters’ ability to attend due to ill-health, company travel policy, travel disruption or government guidelines

Should participant numbers drop to the extent that it is considered detrimental to participants’ experience or no longer viable then we will consider whether postponement of the September workshops may be appropriate.

What is being postponed?

The A4S Academy kick-off workshops scheduled for April to June are being postponed, to be held later in the year. These workshops were taking place in London, Amsterdam, San Francisco and Toronto. The application process for these workshops remains open, with applicants who were accepted onto the programme prior to postponement having first priority on new dates once released. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by completing the expression of interest form. This will give them access to the pre-work and a range of online activities that they can complete to build knowledge of sustainability and the role of finance.