Now, more than ever, finance professionals have the opportunity to lead the way in an eco-conscious economy. Earth Day is recognized every year on April 22, illuminating the importance of sustainability and environmental initiatives. While the celebration lasts one day, the truth is that climate change and environmental issues are a prominent part of the business landscape throughout the year.
Consumers are opting for earth-friendly products and services, employees want to work for environmentally conscious companies, and government regulations are promoting responsible business practices and curbing climate change while penalizing companies that don’t comply.
Add it up and there is a strong case to be made for implementing and advancing green practices within your organization. CFOs and finance executives must take a leadership role in their company’s ability to meet – and benefit from – the challenges of an environmentally conscious business.
Accounting Principals looked at how finance teams can contribute to a company’s environmental sustainability initiatives by expanding their traditional functions.
Just as you monitor exposure to co-employment, insurance, confidentiality, and other risks, the finance department can evaluate the environmental impact of current policies and procedures then make quantitative and qualitative recommendations for improvement.
Supply Chain Auditing
Evaluate existing relationships and determine if your suppliers reflect your company’s commitment to sustainability. Utilizing the wrong suppliers can expose you to consumer backlash or government penalties. Ensure your company is aligned with proven, trusted, and environmentally responsible partners.
You’re an expert with numbers, so you can quantify how green initiatives affect your bottom line. Determine how to best capture sustainability data and its financial impact in order to convey the information to internal and external stakeholders, along with conventional financial data.
Explore green measures that grow your profits. Consider filing documents electronically, replace paper files with electronic records, allow employees to work remotely if possible, and swap out water coolers with water filters to cut down on expenses. These small changes can have a tremendous impact on your company’s financial return and your environmental footprint.
Budget For Innovation
Empower your company to identify opportunities by allocating R&D funds for eco-friendly products and services. Some brilliant innovations – and effective profit drivers – like hybrid cars and recycled packaging were propelled not just by engineers but by CFOs who believed in the power of such initiatives.
Going green is no longer an option – it is a business imperative. As a financial professional, you are in a unique position to make a significant difference for your company and for the planet. As we celebrate Earth Day across the globe, we encourage you to implement some of our recommendations and seize the tremendous opportunity before you.