CFOs more involved in sustainability, finds Deloitte survey

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Chief financial officers (CFOs) are becoming increasing involved in sustainability, according to a new global survey by Deloitte.

The survey - CFOs and Sustainability: Shaping their roles in an evolving environment – polled chief financial officers and finance directors in 250 companies across 15 different industries and in 15 countries.

It found that in 2013 a total of 83 per cent of respondents stated that they are always involved or frequently involved in setting their company’s sustainability strategy, up from 65 per cent in 2012.

But the survey also revealed that accountability for sustainability to the board has shifted towards CEOs or chief sustainability officers. In 2013, 16 per cent of CFOs reported that they were accountable to the board for sustainability, down from 26 percent in 2012 – whereas 62 per cent said CEO’s were accountable, up from 44 per cent in 2012.  

Other key findings include:

  • Energy efficiency and emissions reductions were joint top in CFO’s investment priorities in the next two years.
  • Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of CFOs believe there is a strong link between sustainability performance and financial performance.
  • The impact of sustainability on key financial decisions has increased in M&A, capital allocation and capital raising.
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