Implementing a Sustainable Finance Framework: Top tips

These top tips have been developed to help treasurers implement a sustainable finance framework, based on insights from members of the A4S CFO Leadership Network and the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT).  

The rapid growth in sustainable finance presents interesting opportunities for treasury teams. Lenders, regulators and investors are increasingly incorporating ESG factors into decision making. They see environmental and social, as well as economic, issues as integral to risk and returns. Lenders and investors are seeking to engage with borrowers on these issues and understand how they are responding. Putting in place a sustainable finance framework is an important first step to access this market.   

Even in the current, challenging context, as many organizations focus on near term survival, sustainable finance continues to play an important role. Sustainable finance frameworks support organizations by offering potential avenues for new investment, as well as strengthening both their resilience and that of wider society against risks. Initial research supports this view; companies with good sustainability characteristics are showing greater resilience in this crisis.1

The guidance builds on the A4S Essential Guide to Debt Finance and draws on the experience and examples of issuers to set out five top tips for treasurers. The top tips are based on the practical experience of treasurers, international guiding principles, and an extensive list of framework examples. The technical team of ACT and the Sustainable Finance Programme of the United Nations Global Compact also provided input to the document. 

As events unfold, organizations, large and small, will need to access finance to support their short- and long-term investment plans, and enable their business to adopt a sustainable strategy. Sustainable finance provides part of the solution. 

 

“Businesses must not underestimate the importance of, or the growing opportunities presented by, sustainable finance and it is vital that finance teams adjust their mindsets and cultures accordingly, if they haven’t already done so.” 

Susan Davy, Chief Financial Officer, Pennon Group

 

“Green bonds fit in perfectly with our strategy as sustainability is already integrated into everything we do within the company. Our sustainability agenda covers the social, environmental and economic aspects of our operations throughout the value chain, turning sustainability into a competitive advantage.”  

Pasi Kyckling, SVP and Group Treasurer, Stora Enso

 

1.https://eumultisiteprod-live-b03cec4375574452b61bdc4e94e331e7-16cd684.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/filer_public/04/76/0476480e-88dc-46be-9bec-8bc7794ca199/outrunning_a_crisis_whitepaper_v7.pdf

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