CFOs join to promote sustainability

Environmental and social issues are to be put at the heart of corporate decisions, the money men behind some of Europe's big name firms and services pledged today.

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The Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network was founded by the Prince of Wales

Environmental and social issues are to be put at the heart of corporate decisions, the money men behind some of Europe's big name firms and services pledged today.

They have come together as part of the new Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network, founded by the Prince of Wales and set up by the Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project.

The aim of the network, launched today, is to focus on how the CFOs can include these issues in financial decisions.

"The bottom line is that sustainable business equals good business," the Prince said in a welcome message.

"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."

Anglian Water, Bupa, Burberry Group, British Land, The Crown Estate, Danone, Royal DSM, Marks & Spencer, National Grid, Sainsbury's, SSE, South West Water, Unilever, United Utilities, Walmart EMEA and Yorkshire Water have already signed up.

The network is being launched at the eighth A4S annual forum.

The A4S CFO Leadership Network co-chairmen John Rogers (CFO, Sainsbury's) and Pierre-André Terisse (CFO, Danone) and network member Rolf-Dieter Schwalb (CFO, Royal DSM) are set to attend.

Showing leadership on how companies should respond to challenges including climate change, a rising and ageing global population, rapid urbanisation and increased consumption are some of the issues to be tackled by the network.

It will also spread the message to investors and stakeholders so they can understand how there is a potential commercial gain to be made from sustainable business models.

Mr Rogers praised the Prince for recognising " the vital importance of bringing sustainability issues" into corporate governance and accounting.

Arguing that this approach needs to become "natural" to company finance teams, he said: "I'm pleased to be co-chairing this significant new initiative and urge my counterparts in business and public organisations to contribute their skills and experience to the A4S CFO Leadership Network."

The network is to be extended globally during 2014.