If you are like most people, your eyes probably glaze over at the mere mention of financial accounting, auditing and reporting. And you probably don’t think of your corporate accounting unit as being in the vanguard of environmental sustainability. But as Carol Adams has explained, finance professionals have a natural role to play in gathering and reporting the data that is crucial to the environmental performance of companies and organisations.

In presenting her paper, “A role for finance professionals in improving sustainability performance” at the recent National Local Government Finance Management Conference, Carol wondered if participants would see the link between environmental and financial sustainability. Would she need to convince financial professionals, and public sector ones at that, that they have a role to play in environmental sustainability?

As it turned out, they needed no convincing. In fact many felt that the processes and cultures within which they had to operate did not support them when it came to pursuing environmental improvement. It’s perhaps a situation many dedicated sustainability professionals can sympathise with. And in line with public concerns, it seems that within local government the emphasis on environmental sustainability has declined in recent times.

Carol explains more about why the public sector should do more on environmental sustainability, and the expanded role that finance professionals can play in her blog article on the reaction to her paper. It’s also worth taking a look at her presentation slides (link at the top of her article).

So how about having a chat with your corporate finance team? You might find some unexpected “allies with influence” in your quest to save the planet.

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