Prince of Wales launches CFO sustainability network

An alliance of chief financial officers (CFOs) working for several of Europe's most well-known corporations have joined a Network aimed at embedding environmental and social issues into company strategy and finances.

Established by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales under his Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project, the Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network will focus on developing and sharing successful strategies “so that these become the ‘norm’ across all businesses”.

This will include improved modelling of future risk and uncertainty as well as engagement with investors and other stakeholders to increase their understanding of the commercial benefits of sustainable business models.

Launching today at the eighth A4S Annual Forum, member organisations joining the Network include BUPA, Burberry Group, Danone, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Unilever.

Commenting on the Network, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales said: “CFOs have a vital role to play in making sure their businesses thrive, not just today, but tomorrow and into the future. The bottom line is that sustainable business equals good business.

“I am therefore delighted that the A4S Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network will play a key role not only in communicating why sustainability makes business sense, but how to start accounting for it. Our children and grandchildren are depending on it,” he added.

Co-chair of the A4S CFO Leadership Network and CFO of Sainsbury’s John Rogers said: “HRH The Prince of Wales has rightly recognised the vital importance of bringing sustainability issues into the very heart of corporate governance and accounting.

“What used to be seen as greenwash needs to become as natural to company finance teams as it is to Corporate Responsibility departments or even NGOs,” he added.

Corporate Responsibility managers and sustainability professionals across industry will welcome the network as many have criticised CFOs for holding corporate sustainability back, with some CFOs still viewing sustainability as an uneccessary cost.

The Network will be extended globally during the course of 2014.

Leigh Stringer

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