18 Oct

Leadership and innovation celebrated at Finance for the Future Awards

The Finance for the Future Awards celebrate financial leadership and innovation by business, public and not for profit sectors. The six winners who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in embedding sustainability into their business models and decision-making have been announced.


The Finance for the Future Awards, founded by ICAEW and The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) in partnership with Deloitte, are in their seventh year. The awards celebrate good business practices from around the world and recognize the essential role of the finance function in driving sustainable outcomes and building resilience by embedding environmental and social issues into decision-making.

The winners, with the judges’ citations, are:

Embedding an Integrated Approach Award

Winner: Yorkshire Water (UK)

Judges’ citation: “Led by finance they have built a framework that provides the business, as a whole, with a different longer-term perspective incorporating a range of financial and non-financial capitals. Clear roll-out of governance to ensure widespread use and adoption of their integrated approach.”

Highly commended: HSBC (UK)

Judges’ citation: “The judges were impressed by the focus on embedding thinking in all parts of the business with finance, at its best, driving a rigorous and challenging approach to the measurement and definition of targets, influencing and taking customers and key stakeholders on the journey with them.”

Communicating Integrated Thinking Award

Winner: Salesforce (US)

Judges’ citation: “Salesforce has integrated their values of trust, growth, innovation and equality since inception, which has led to sustainability being embedded in the DNA of the company.”

Highly commended: Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (UK)

Judges’ citation: “With limited resources, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust have taken the initiative with an innovative approach to improve the well-being of patients and staff while addressing climate change.”

Innovative Project Award

Winner: Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation (UK)

Judges’ citation: “This entry presented an innovative way of improving sexual health across London whilst reducing pressure on a dedicated and stretched NHS. The significant benefits were delivered by finding new ways to collaborate, which the entrants recognised as an essential ingredient in their sustainability strategy. The judges were particularly impressed by the ambition of the project and that it was implemented in a measured and considered way.” 

Building Sustainable Financial Products Award

Winner: GroFin (Mauritius)

Judges’ citation: “Delivering real social benefits in a challenging environment in which no one else is working, through a unique combination of expert advice and financial support.”

Highly commended: Abundance Investment (UK)

Judges’ citation: “An innovative idea that has required immense determination and skill to become regulated and which is delivering outstanding results.”

Investing and Financing Award

Winner: Fonkoze (Haiti)

Judges’ citation: “Fonkoze are transforming lives in Haiti in a systematic but very tangible way by lifting people out of poverty through microfinancing. They have been very innovative as it is the finance team that has shown a sustainability driven organisation be commercially viable so they can achieve their goals.”

Highly commended: Econet and Steward Bank (Zimbabwe)

Judges’ citation: “The judges were impressed by how a successful telecoms company has identified a market with a clear social purpose and managed to make it financially sustainable. They specifically noted how Econet has utilised its business skills to effectively segment the market and for positive financial and social impact. The funeral insurance line of business stood out for its cultural and social sensitivity.”

Driving Change through Education, Training and Academia Award

Winner: The Grantham Research Institute

Judges’ citation: “The Grantham Research Institute is central to the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), enabling investors to make climate competent decisions using academically rigorous data via a clearly accessible and open source tool. The initiative educates in a range of ways, informing investors, improving corporate performance and offering student learning opportunities.”

Highly commended: Future Fit Foundation

Judges’ citation: “This entry is a great demonstration of why education is not just restricted to the classroom. The judges admired the translation of academic rigour to sustainable business practice. Future-Fit’s benchmark enables companies to learn how to integrate societal expectations with business decision making, resulting in meaningful disclosure.” 

Richard Spencer, ICAEW Head of Sustainability, said: “All the finalists and in particular the winners should be very proud of their accomplishments. Not only have they shown that embedding sustainability in business models and financial success don’t have to be mutually exclusive but that it can drive improved business performance. They have set a great example to the wider business community in how to use financial leadership to create more sustainable economies.”

Jessica Fries, Executive Chairman, A4S, said, “We need real innovation and leadership if we are to tackle the social and environmental challenges faced. Finance has a key role to play. It is exciting to see so many organizations from around the world developing business models and approaches that seek to provide solutions, and support the transition to a sustainable economy.”

Veronica Poole, global IFRS leader and UK head of corporate reporting at Deloitte, said: “This year’s winners were selected from a very strong shortlist of organisations. The finalists, and overall winners, all demonstrated best-in-class business practices that not only recognise the interests of shareholders, but wider stakeholders, such as customers, employees, society and the environment. We have seen exceptional examples of application of integrating thinking and of communicating that integrated thinking in corporate reporting. Clear articulation of organisational values, culture and purpose beyond profit directly impacts trust in business.”

Finance for the Future is not just an awards ceremony. Since its inception, it has also led to the development of a community of engaged finance professionals. These individuals are committed to creating more sustainable outcomes for their organisations and society, and to sharing their stories with others.  

For more information, visit http://www.financeforthefuture. org

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