Shaping the future of finance: Engaging CFOs to mobilize finance for social impact

Published: 22 Oct 2018
Type: News

Singapore, 23 October 2018: Today, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has released a new publication highlighting the role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in enhancing the social impact of business. 
Mobilizing Finance for Corporate Social Impact: A Primer for Chief Financial Officers provides a short introduction to corporate social impact, targeting the CFO and outlining four actions CFOs can take to support the social performance of their organizations.

WBCSD defines social impact as the positive and negative effects that businesses have on people and society through their operations and supply chains, as well as through the products and services they provide. It isn’t just a feel-good issue - it shows up in corporate financial metrics. However, in many companies, financing for social impact can be hard to find, as there are no standard typologies of social impact strategies for business, or of the financing solutions that make sense.
Under the leadership and support of JPMorgan Chase & Co., this publication brings together insights from interviews and conversations with WBCSD members from across sustainability, finance and investor relations functions on how they are tackling this challenge. The findings indicate that CFOs provide a critical link between social impact strategy and action. While playing an increasingly strategic role in their companies, CFOs are crucial in influencing how their companies approach social impact, and in obtaining and allocating the capital needed to execute their companies’ social impact strategies. Building the engagement of the CFO community can help to mobilize better financing for corporate social impact and enable companies to drive sustainable value for business and society.

The publication quotes José García Cantera, Chief Financial Officer at Banco Santander: “Not everyone understands these issues well or what the real risks are. Raising the level of awareness, elevating these issues internally and externally is critical”. With this primer as a starting point, WBCSD invites CFOs alongside their finance and investor relations teams, investors and partners, to continue the conversation.

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