New guidance for finance teams to build sustainability into strategic planning

    A new guide on strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting has been produced by finance professionals to help businesses embed sustainability into their decision making.

    The guide helps finance teams to navigate the complexity of a changing world by providing tools, practical examples and guidance on how to integrate sustainability into strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting.

    The long term economic, social and environmental outlook is increasingly complex and uncertain. Failure to respond effectively to social and environmental trends can result in missed opportunities. Effective response can help organizations to improve their decision making and risk management. It can enhance their innovation and stakeholder engagement and their ability to align business performance with long term value drivers.

    The organizations who took part in the project to produce the guide found clear business benefits to long term strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting by:

    ·         Identifying sustainable opportunities and risks

    ·         Driving investment for long term success

    ·         Aligning performance management with long term value drivers

    ·         Reducing cost

    ·         Providing brand benefits

    ·         Encouraging better employee and customer engagement

    Jessica Fries, Executive Chairman, A4S said:

    Social and environmental issues now top the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Register. There is a clear need for organizations to adapt their financial processes to respond to a changing world. It can be a challenge knowing where to start, which is why this guide is designed to give CFOs and their teams practical advice and case studies developed by finance for finance

    Scott Longhurst, Managing Director Finance & Non Regulated Business, Anglian Water Group commented:

    Whatever line of business we are all in, as a finance community we all share the necessity to have a financial plan that delivers the business strategy, securing the long term success and sustainable future of the business

    Craig Vink, Partner, Deloitte commenting on the guide said:

    Complex social and environmental trends are placing a greater need for leading organizations to practice integrated thinking and build sustainability into their decision making process. This guide has been designed to help with this transition

    The guide can be downloaded from http://www.accountingforsustainability.org/strategic-planning