Canadian Manufacturing

CFOs playing bigger role in driving sustainability efforts in their organizations: Deloitte

Survey found percentage of CFOs accountable for sustainability issues nearly doubled in past year

NEW YORK—Two thirds of chief financial officers say they are involved in driving sustainability strategies in their organizations, according to a new global survey.

Launched by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) , the survey, Sustainability: CFOs come to the table, found more than half of CFOs say their involvement has increased over the last year.

The survey—representing 250 CFOs in 14 countries across five continents—provides global insight into how increasingly more CFOs are engaging with sustainability to support their business goals, and operationalizing sustainability to gain a competitive advantage.

“Companies are sitting up and taking notice that sustainability is not just a brand or a corporate responsibility element—it is becoming a key driver of financial performance and the future of business,” Deloitte sustainability leader Dave Pearson said in a statement.

“CFOs have begun to take an active role in driving the execution of sustainability strategies and making key organizational changes within their organizations, such as introducing more sustainable technology and deploying environment-friendly policies.”

According to the survey, the percentage of CFOs and chief operating officers accountable to their company’s boards for sustainability issues nearly doubling from 20 per cent to 36 per cent in the past year.

As such, CFOs have become focused on a number of sustainable operating practices:

  • Increased focus on sustainability in tax and financial reporting: As integrated reporting gains momentum, along with a growing number of green credits and incentive measures, CFOs placed greater importance on sustainability aspects of reporting.
  • The majority of CFOs reported a meaningful impact from sustainability concerns on both financial reporting (74 per cent) and tax matters (54 per cent).
  • Increased investment in technology: To further reduce the footprint of company travel and energy use from data centers, CFOs plan to invest in three specific areas: video conferencing (56 per cent); data centre efficiency equipment (52 per cent); and electric vehicles (35 per cent).

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