Media releases

2021 CFO Sustainability Snapshot Survey results

4 November 2021 – Deloitte, the Sustainable Business Council and Toitū Tahua: Centre for Sustainable Finance have today released the findings of the 2021 CFO Sustainability Snapshot Survey, finding that two-thirds of CFOs are on their organisation’s sustainability transition but there is an opportunity for greater and faster action.

“We have seen that most organisations and CFOs have recognised the importance of taking sustainability action and have begun the journey. However, it is vital that CFOs continue to broaden their impact in this area to accelerate their organisation’s sustainability transition, at what is a critical tipping point for New Zealand,” said Andrew Boivin, Deloitte New Zealand Climate Leader.

While many CFOs consider sustainability to be a core part of their role or hold oversight of this business area, 37% of those surveyed do not. This presents a significant opportunity for those CFOs to embrace sustainability and actively incorporate it into their role custodians of strategy, risk management, performance, and value creation.

“CFOs are well-positioned to drive effective action within their organisations due to their end-to-end view of the business, influence with the board and executive, focus on value creation and risk management, as well as holding the toolkit required to align with changing ESG requirements,” said Jo Kelly, CEO Toitū Tahua: Centre for Sustainable Finance.

CFOs identified competitive and reputational advantage (54%), ‘it’s the right thing to do’ (52%) and changing consumer preferences (41%) as the top factors for sustainability action across an organisation, showing that values tend to be the driver for change over compliance.

“The survey reflects that business leaders have a strong value lens when it comes to prioritising sustainability. Most of the CFOs surveyed have already integrated sustainability within their organisational strategy and structure because it’s the right thing to do, and they can see the competitive and reputational advantages that go with it. As a result, most have already taken action on the low-hanging fruit and are becoming increasingly ambitious in their approach and outlook,” said Mike Burrell, Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Council.

The survey also indicated that resourcing and capability were key barriers for organisations to progress sustainability action, reflecting that the sustainability transition requires new ways of thinking, new skillsets, and new investments.

“Some CFOs lack experience with initiating some of the more technical sustainability aspects such as internal carbon pricing or climate-related external reporting. We want to help them navigate these areas as emissions reduction targets and climate-related disclosures become more common, and more important. We know there’s still a way to go, but there’s no doubt sustainability is increasingly a priority for businesses in their strategic planning, which can only be good for Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Mr Burrell.

“While not covered explicitly, we also expect COVID-19 will have an impact on some businesses sustainability plans, particularly where they are dealing with major disruptions or can’t find the skills they need in NZ,” says Mr Boivin.

“Sustainability decision-making is firmly at the heart of the modern CFO’s role. We hope the findings from the survey encourage them to seize the opportunities available, look ahead, and accelerate sustainability investments,” concludes Ms Kelly.

The full report is available here.
 

ENDS

Further contact information:

Sustainable Business Council 
Rebecca Lowe 
Communications Manager 
027 3221 338

Toitū Tahua: Centre for Sustainable Finance
Jo Kelly
CEO
jo@sustainablefinance.nz
 

About Deloitte
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte organisation”). DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms and related entities are legally separate and independent entities, which cannot obligate or bind each other in respect of third parties. DTTL and each DTTL member firm and related entity is liable only for its own acts and omissions, and not those of each other. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more.

Deloitte Asia Pacific Limited is a company limited by guarantee and a member firm of DTTL. Members of Deloitte Asia Pacific Limited and their related entities, each of which are separate and independent legal entities, provide services from more than 100 cities across the region, including Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Melbourne, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo.

Deloitte provides industry-leading audit and assurance, tax and legal, consulting, financial advisory, and risk advisory services to nearly 90% of the Fortune Global 500® and thousands of private companies. Our professionals deliver measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in capital markets, enable clients to transform and thrive, and lead the way toward a stronger economy, a more equitable society and a sustainable world. Building on its 175-plus year history, Deloitte spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte’s more than 345,000 people worldwide make an impact that matters at www.deloitte.com.

Deloitte New Zealand brings together more than 1600 specialist professionals providing audit, tax, technology and systems, strategy and performance improvement, risk management, corporate finance, business recovery, forensic and accounting services. Our people are based in Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin, serving clients that range from New Zealand’s largest companies and public sector organisations to smaller businesses with ambition to grow. For more information about Deloitte in New Zealand, look to our website www.deloitte.co.nz.

© 2021. For information, contact Deloitte Global.

Media Contact:

Anna Radich
Communications Manager
Deloitte New Zealand
Tel: +64-4-470-3500
Mobile: +64-22-014-3594
Email: aradich@deloitte.co.nz

Did you find this useful?