Corporate treasurers are at the sharp end of ESG adoption
The increased corporate focus on environmental, social and governance issues is impacting treasury teams that can struggle to justify their initiatives.
A survey of 150 UK-based chief financial officers conducted by consultancy firm Open Energy Market in May provided some insight into how sustainability considerations have impacted corporate treasury teams.
The vast majority (85%) of the CFOs who responded to the survey believed that achieving net-zero emissions was essential for business growth, more than half (53%) considered sustainability to be very important, while one-in-three identified it as one of the most crucial aspects of their responsibilities.
Almost half of those surveyed viewed the finance department as the key driver of sustainability initiatives, based on its ability to effectively evaluate the cost and return on investment of sustainability projects, assess the feasibility of renewable technologies, incorporate sustainability into budgets, ensure transparent reporting and align financial decisions with long-term strategic goals.
“There is a broader point to be made here,” says Chris Maclean, Open Energy Market's chief executive. “Integrating sustainability into financial decision-making goes beyond individual companies and impacts the overall economy and society.”
The key … is to replace conjecture and static spreadsheet modelling with holistic, dynamic and bespoke financial modelling
But despite CFOs increasingly recognising the need for that, the survey underlined the challenges of realising sustainability goals, with the main barriers to signing off investments including increased overheads and the management of financial risk.