COP26, shareholder conversations and crypto
As this edition goes to press, governments from around the world are gathering in Glasgow for the United Nations’ climate change conference COP26. The world is waiting to hear if leaders can act together to introduce the global policy framework needed to wean economies off fossil fuels and achieve net zero by 2050.
Corporate treasury is focused on a few key issues, say respondents in this edition’s Q&A feature: how new rules on carbon trading and emissions could impact treasury, particularly investment decisions and the cost of carbon-intensive imports and exports; the introduction of climate taxes to pay for governments’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); new rules around investing in carbon sinks to offset emissions, and looming regulation to limit emissions in their supply chains.
Despite all the unknowns, one thing is certain. Integrating ESG is costly, and companies need their investors on side. Continuing the theme, in this issue we also explore how corporate boards can improve their conversations between shareholders when it comes to ESG. Novartis’ ESG Director, Madeleine Szeluch, talks about how identifying material risks has helped gain control of the narrative and ensure powerful and effective conversations.
“This ain’t going away; it’s not a flash in the pan,” said one interviewee in our feature on bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, blockchain and stablecoins. If companies are going to innovate in this new frontier it will likely start with treasury, and we explore the pros and cons of considering bitcoin as an investment or using digital currencies as a payment method.
Elsewhere, we look at the role of a modern treasurer – from taking on a more strategic role within the organisation to stepping up in areas ranging from ESG to M&A, their remit has never been wider. Something that resonates with our Corporate View interviewee, Sayan Mukherjee, VP, Group Treasurer of Nexperia, the global semiconductor manufacturer. He discusses how a philosophy of ‘efficiency wins’ is preparing the company for ambitious growth ahead. Lastly, our Market View reflects on why inflation, and interest rates, are set to rise further in the coming years.