CFOs playing bigger role in driving sustainability efforts

One-half see sustainability as key driver of financial performance: Deloitte
||Last Updated: 09/19/2012

Two thirds of CFOs are involved in driving sustainability strategies at their organizations, and more than one-half said their involvement has increased over the last year, according to a global survey released by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTTL).

"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," said Dave Pearson, Deloitte sustainability leader at DTTL.

"As such, 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."

Sustainability seems to be becoming increasingly operationalized, with the percentage of CFOs and COOs accountable to their company's boards for sustainability issues nearly doubling from 20 per cent to 36 per cent in the past year, found Sustainability: CFOs come to the table.

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, found the survey of 250 CFOs in 14 countries across five continents.

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 center efficiency equipment (52 per cent) and electric vehicles (35 per cent).

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