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Finance for the Future 2023: open for submissions

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 28 Mar 2023

The awards for the finance teams, both big and small, taking the lead in addressing issues of climate change, social issues and natural capital is back for another year.

For more than 10 years, Finance for the Future – a joint venture between ICAEW, Deloitte and Accounting for Sustainability – has recognised pioneering finance functions from across the world for their efforts in adapting and innovating to address sustainability issues. 

Companies and charities such as Burberry, Aviva Investors, NatWest, Britvic, Tesco, Unilever and the National Trust have received the award in the past, alongside smaller organisations such as First Nations Finance Authority and Make My Money Matter. 

The award programme is now open for submissions for 2023. Entrants can put themselves forward for the following categories:

Communicating integrated thinking 

This award recognises organisations that are practising authentic integrated thinking and are communicating this to their providers of financial capital. The communications must explain how sustainability is embedded in the organisation’s overall strategy and decision-making process. The finance team must play a critical role in achieving this. 

Embedding an integrated approach

This award recognises companies where sustainability is embedded in the overall strategy and decision-making processes. It recognises finance teams that play a critical role in delivering this. This category will be split into two shortlists of listed and unlisted organisations.

Moving financial markets

This award recognises organisations that have investment activities, products and services that demonstrate ambition to build a more sustainable financial system.

Driving change in the finance community

This award recognises the contribution of individuals, organisations or joint entrants in driving action to integrate sustainability through education, training and academia. Entries can be self-nominated or nominated by a third party and must be relevant to the wider accounting or finance community.

This year also sees the introduction of the Finance for the Future Leadership awards, which will be given out to entrants selected from across all categories that show examples of best practice in climate, biodiversity and nature, and social impact.

Past winners have talked about what the awards mean to them, and how the recognition has had a positive impact on their business. Forico, a forestry company based in Tasmania, Australia, won in the ‘Embedding an integrated approach (non-listed companies)’ category last year.

“Forico was delighted to be recognised internationally in the Finance for the Future Awards in 2022 for our innovative Natural Capital Reporting, which embedded sustainability conversations and decision-making,” says its CFO Rayne van den Berg. “Having our team’s effort and passion acknowledged among such an inspiring cohort of finalists has been important in sharing our business’s story in a credible and meaningful way for better decision making that considers natural capital alongside financial metrics.”

The judging panel, which is made up of business and sustainability leaders from all sectors, are looking for strong stories backed with evidence of tangible results, as well as business, environmental, natural and/or social benefits. 

“It’s fine to talk about goals. However, we want to see what you are actually doing, and how this connects with your business purpose and commercial success. Give tangible examples, and the companies that are able to do that are the most successful,” says Sarah Webster, Director of Sustainable Business, Britvic Plc and a 2022 judge for the listed ‘Embedding an integrated approach’ category.

“Year on year, it just gets better and better,” adds Mardi McBrien, Director of Strategic Alliance, IFRS Foundation, past winner, former head judge and long-running lead judge for ‘Moving financial markets’. “That’s what keeps me coming back for more: to be able to see what’s really happening and what’s at the forefront of reporting globally.

“That’s why these awards are so important – it’s because they award the people that will often be working away behind the scenes to really drive these outcomes. It recognises them, it recognises their team and their organisation for their ambition and their leadership.”

The Finance for the Future awards are one of the only awards in this space that are completely free to enter.

Finance for the Future

The 2023 awards are open for entries.

Finance for the Future Awards logo

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