2012 launch press release

Awards launched to celebrate financial leadership in business sustainability

Financial leaders play a vital role in the creation of long-term sustainable value - the finance function is in a unique position to support or lead the creation of sustainable success for businesses and organisations. This was the message delivered by industry leaders at the launch of the Finance for the Future Awards developed by NatWest, ICAEW and The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S).

The Awards were launched at a panel debate at LSO London chaired by Robin Fieth, Executive Director of ICAEW. On the panel were Graham Hales, CEO of Interbrand London; Bruce Davis, Retail Director of Abundance; and Nigel Bretton, Chief Financial Officer RBS Corporate Banking. The panel was introduced by Kathryn Winup, FD Business and Commercial at RBS.

The Finance for the Future Awards will reward those organisations that have changed their corporate behaviour to embed business sustainability at the heart of their organisations, supported by the finance function.

The Awards are open to all organisations operating in the UK, with six categories ranging from start-ups to established major corporates and also include not-for-profit and public sector organisations. The Awards will recognise and reward them for showing how the finance function will have driven or had a significant role in embedding and measuring sustainable performance.

Speaking about the ICAEW’s involvement in the Finance for the Future Awards, Robin Fieth, Executive Director, ICAEW said, “Finance professionals are in a unique position to influence the strategy of organisations and ensure the strategy reflects behavioural changes to make sure sustainability becomes embedded for the ultimate long term value for shareholders.”

Duncan Sloan, Head of Community Banking at NatWest said, "We are pleased to be playing our part in recognising how the finance function can drive a shift in corporate behaviour and organisational practice that can create long term sustainable value. The economic recovery relies on successful and sustainable businesses and that's why it is important we showcase those who are bringing new ways of doing business and creating the foundations for consistent performance."

Jessica Fries, Director of The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S), said, “These Awards are important as they highlight the crucial role the CFO and finance function can have in making the case for sustainable behaviour and realising the value that sustainability can bring to the organisation.”

Following a rigorous assessment and judging process, finalists and winners will be recognised for their financial leadership and innovation in the development of their business model or in the financing of their organisation, which have helped to drive change and create sustainable value in their organisations.

The deadline for entries is midnight on 3 February 2012 and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in June 2012.

For more information on the background to the awards and categories, please visit www.financeforthefuture.co.uk

Pictures from the event can be downloaded here.

Media enquiries:

ICAEW: Deborah McSkimming, ICAEW press office, 020 7920 8679 /07876 035 947  

NatWest: Nigel Owen Head of SME Media, 020 7672 1932

The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S): Bethan Walker, Communications Officer,  

Notes to editors: 

  1. As a world leading professional accountancy body, ICAEW provides leadership and practical support to over 136,000 members in more than 160 countries, working with Government, regulators and industry in order to ensure the highest standards are maintained. Our members provide financial knowledge and guidance based on the highest technical and ethical standards. They are trained to challenge people and organisations to think and act differently, to provide clarity and rigour, and so help create and sustain prosperity. The ICAEW ensures these skills are constantly developed, recognised and valued. Because of us, people can do business with confidence.
  2. The ICAEW is a founding member of the Global Accounting Alliance, which has more than 700,000 members worldwide. 
  3. The RBS Group is a large international banking and financial services company. Headquartered in Edinburgh, the Group operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Americas and Asia, serving over 30 million customers.
  4. The Group provides a wide range of products and services to personal, commercial and large corporate and institutional customers through its two principal subsidiaries, The Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, as well as through a number of other well-known brands including Citizens, Charter One, Ulster Bank, Coutts, Direct Line and Churchill.
  5. NatWest and RBS are the leading bank for SMEs providing banking services to over one million SME customers. We have an extensive geographical reach through our network of 2,279 branches and 118 business centres. Our 3,800 relationship managers are based locally in branches and business centres across Britain. 
  6. A4S is a non-profit entity established in 2004 by HRH the Prince of Wales, which works internationally to increase understanding within financial and accounting communities of the central importance of environmental, governance, and social matters in economic success and prospect, and to develop practical approaches to ensure these considerations are embedded in decision-making and corporate reporting.