Sustainability is this year’s focus at the World Economic Forum, and on the topic, President Trump’s keynote speech maintained that we should avoid overreacting to activists’ claims and stay focused on the economy. Greta Thunberg’s speech, in contrast, noted that: “The world, in case you hadn’t noticed, is currently on fire.”
Although not directly addressing President Trump, their widely contrasting positions show us the extent to which the sustainability debate is split.
However, as large organisations and groups across the world begin to take sustainability seriously, and climate disasters across the world seize headlines, the naysayers’ voices are being drowned out. From the World Economic Forum this week to a focus from many and varied fronts over the course of last year, sustainability is the word of the moment. In 2019, a brief from the Business Roundtable (an association of 181 American corporate CEOs focused on developing the American economy and offering opportunity for all) was dedicated to redefining the purpose of an organisation. It is no longer just shareholders’ interests that must be served when future-proofing companies. Protecting the planet, customers’ interests and helping the broader ecosystem to which you belong are imperative.
There is a loud clamouring from across the world for companies to respond to urgent obligations around their sustainability. This is the reason why, in late 2019, Treasury Today Group launched our first Global Sustainability Study, looking at the awareness and adoption of sustainability in corporate finance teams in organisations across the world.
Help us to cut through the chatter by sharing your thoughts and your company’s position on the issue of our time. Taking part in the study should take no longer than 15 minutes, and by doing so you will help us to create a roadmap for a more sustainable future in corporate finance.