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. However, this can only continue if they are able to recognize the risks and opportunities associated with sustainability and are equipped to act on them. Without this understanding, the finance function in an organization can act as a significant barrier to change.
Finance teams are extremely powerful in an organization because they:
- Control the flows of money and finance that are critical in enabling and blocking what the organization does.
- Provide the information that is vital to decision making.
- Are influential in compelling others to take action.
Sustainable businesses deliver financial returns in the short and long term whilst generating positive value for society and operating within environmental constraints. Organizations that do not address their environmental and social impacts risk their own existence. As The Prince of Wales has commented:
"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."
How sustainability benefits finance
Our research shows that there are many financial benefits to considering sustainability in your decision making. These include:
A4S provides a unique space for inspiration and action.
A4S's work is led by A4S Network Members - engaging organizations and finance leaders for practical action.
A4S has a truly global network where our members can share from best practice, peer support and collaboration. We work with:
- Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and finance teams
- The accounting community
- Investors, capital markets & the wider finance community
- Governments, regulators & policy makers
- Business schools and academia
“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 and Chair, USA Chapter of the A4S CFO Leadership Network