In 2004 HRH The Prince of Wales set up the Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project “To help ensure that sustainability – considering what we do not only in terms of ourselves and today, but also of others and tomorrow – is not just talked and worried about, but becomes embedded in organizations’.
This month the Project launched the A4S Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network, claimed to be the first grouping of its kind to focus on the role CFOs play in integrating environmental and social issues into financial decision making. The Network encourages participation by large company CFOs from around the world. Member companies that will be well-known to Canadians include Danone, Unilever, and Walmart. John Rogers, CFO, Sainsbury’s, and Pierre-André Terisse, CFO, Danone, are Co-Chairs of the Network.
Network objectives are:
- To support the CFO community in the development of sustainable business models
- To share insights, challenges and opportunities to accelerate progress towards accounting for sustainability and collaborate with others to increase the reach and impact of Network activities
- To work together to develop new tools, methodologies and approaches where required in order to embed sustainability into internal decision making processes
- To influence the environment within which organisations operate through engagement with investors and other stakeholders
Network commitments include:
- To act as leaders in this area and to engage the wider CFO community
- To work to achieve tangible outcomes towards more sustainable business models
- To share experiences of ‘successful’ and ‘unsuccessful’ projects in embedding sustainability within decision making and accounting
- To develop guidance to improve transparency in decision making including ways to embed sustainability into capital expenditure appraisal and to better model risk and uncertainty
- To contribute to the development of improved methodologies for the measurement and valuation of natural and social capital in order that they can be taken into account in decision making processes
- To improve investor engagement on the commercial benefits of sustainable business models
- The Network will meet on a quarterly basis with a ‘no delegates’ policy. Members commit to providing resources from their teams to work on Network projects.
This appears to be a project that warrants, and would benefit from, the involvement of many more Canadian companies. More information is available at http://www.accountingforsustainability.org/cfos/network-of-chief-financial-officers