The environment is still top of the global agenda as climate change continues to be a major cause for concern and the reason why numerous natural disasters and extreme weather events happen. At the same time, the push for Corporate Social Responsibility is gathering pace as members of Gen Z and millennials demand the implementation of their core value of sustainability. It is a perfect moment for us, as corporate treasurers, to ask ourselves how we can contribute towards sustainability. And the answer lies firmly in our management choices.
CSR and sustainability
There’s no disputing the fact that sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are now central concerns for businesses and, as a result, they also affect the treasurer’s role. What many banks also call Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors are fast becoming obligatory and an integral part of internal processes.
Digitisation is enabling further enhancement of the efficiency of these processes, whether operational, environmental or social. But companies need to truly embrace the idea that it’s the responsibility of all firms to chip in. And it’s not only by deploying ‘clean’ funding or ‘green bonds’ that they can contribute - even if such funding is clearly desirable. In fact, there are plenty of other, smaller actions that can help support businesses’ claim to be responsible.
The objectives are manifold: to reduce costs, risks and travel, to go paperless, to automate processes, to improve wellbeing at work, to respect diversity and to add value. And the need is all the more pressing due to the fact that, rather than being a mere fashion or trend, sustainability now constitutes a duty imposed by a European Directive , which obliges firms to produce reports on the subject.