5 Ways Tax Leaders Can Help Reach Business Sustainability Goals

ESG reporting and tax’s critical sustainability role

Deloitte research reveals that tax departments are actively helping their companies with sustainability initiatives through compliance and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting, with a majority feeling they are on top of Sustainability for the moment. However, to keep up with the demands of sustainability, others suggest specialization and advisory support related to ESG is required.

Deloitte surveyed 335 tax leaders globally finding that while tax departments are supporting their business’ sustainability efforts through compliance and ESG reporting, they can do more to help their organization accelerate their business sustainability goals and address a central business issue. The report provides five easy steps for tax leaders to take to optimize business sustainability performance.

People used to see sustainability as one of those fluffy things, with the idea was that sustainability teams would work in their little corner without much support from other teams. But with the pressures coming from regulators, investors and others, and the [sustainability] targets that we’ve put out there publicly, there was a realization that if we’re going to take this seriously, we have to do this as an organization and make tax and finance part of the journey.

Stephanie Fielding, Director of Tax and Sustainable Finance, Bupa

Take these five steps to help optimize business sustainability performance from the outset

Taking tax to the next level

Sustainability measures are likely to start to permeate every aspect of business in the not-too-distant future.

Our survey found that while many tax leaders feel they are on top of sustainability issues for the moment, others suggest specialization and advisory support related to ESG is required. With more change anticipated, tax leaders need to have broad understanding of these fast-evolving areas of sustainability to distinguish themselves and create value for the business.

Tax leaders who help to embed tax into business strategies and financial decisions from the outset, are becoming more integral and valuable to their companies than ever before, and by doing so are making themselves indispensable. Those that are not prepared for these conversations may leave value on the table.

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About the research

The research discussed in the paper “Five ways Tax Leaders can help achieve ESG goals” is based on online surveys with 335 tax leaders across Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific regions. KS&R, a global independent market research and consulting firm, also conducted a series of in-depth one-on-one interviews with tax leaders to garner additional insight.

Respondents were all executives (C-suite, owner/partner, board of directors, head of business unit/department, or director/VP) from the finance, risk assessment or tax functions, within large enterprises. They represented companies in the consumer; financial services; life sciences and healthcare; energy, resources, and industrials; and technology, media, and telecom industries. All respondents were from organizations with an annual revenue of at least US$500 million.

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