Exploring the Opportunity and Barriers to Financing Sustainability
As companies have responded to pressure to address Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues in recent years, tensions have emerged between the potentially conflicting priorities of profit versus social purpose. These tensions often come to a head in the finance function as it carries out its range of responsibilities - from identifying and investing in opportunities for value creation through to managing risk.
It is clear that greater investment from business is required if we are to address societal challenges and move towards a low carbon world, and finance functions have a critical role to play in supporting this transition. However in order for meaningful change to occur, the financial benefits of incorporating sustainability concerns into core business strategy must be more widely understood and the barriers to integrating this understanding into strategic financial decision-making must be overcome. Failure to address these challenges, and to engage finance leaders whilst doing so, will impact long-term business performance.
With a range of finance stakeholders from across the value chain we aim to explore the question of what it will take to fully integrate sustainability into business strategy and investment decisions. In doing so we will consider how can the various associated risks be managed and, crucially, where does the business value really lie?