Categories & Criteria

The Finance for the Future Awards highlight good business practices internationally by recognising the roles which the finance function within organisations, and the wider finance community, play in helping to build resilient organisations through embedding environmental and broader social issues into their decision making.

We define sustainability, in its broadest sense, as business models that create positive social and environmental outcomes and deliver long term value.

Entrants must be able to demonstrate how the role of the finance function and financing has been key to building a sustainable organisation – one which delivers long term financial performance while operating within environmental, social and other constraints and/or generating long term value. 

We are looking for examples of best practice and ideas that could be transformational in the way business is done. 

Examples can include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing an innovative approach to finance that brings together representatives from across the organisation's value chain to address industry wide challenges to achieving a sustainable business model.
  • Developing a new product or service (including financial products) which links sustainability with financial returns.
  • Developing an integrated commercial and sustainability strategy and rolling out measures of performance across the organisation, which drive the way your organisation is run.
  • Developing a new way to incorporate sustainability issues into business decisions such as capital investment appraisal, procurement or research and development spending.
  • Allocating financial capital in a transformational way that helps to create a more sustainable business model.
  • Developing ways to measure the value created by your organisation's response to social and environmental risks and opportunities, and how this response delivers improved commercial outcomes. 
  • Finding ways to communicate the value of a strategic and integrated response to environmental, social and other wider risks and opportunities to the capital markets in an effective way.  

When referring to the finance function, we recognise it can take different forms. It can be a finance department reporting to a Finance Director, either centrally configured or dispersed across an organisation. For smaller organisations, the finance function can sometimes be external, such as its accountant. We will hereafter simply refer to the "finance function" to capture any of the various forms it may take.  

Importantly, the role of the finance function must have been key to the project and those involved should be able to speak about their role during the assessment and judging process. The only exception is award for investors and financial services, which will look at the role the finance institution has played in delivering transformational change.  

The awards are free to enter and open to all organisations globally, including businesses, charities, social enterprises and those in the public sector.

These awards are unique in looking at the crucial role financial decision makers play in helping to create sustainable business models. Our goal is to raise awareness of the benefits of moving to a sustainable, resilient business model among the business and finance community. As part of a wider programme of engagement, case studies of all the winners and networking events will be developed to share examples of leading practice and inspire more organisations to start embedding sustainability within their financial decision making.  

Deadline for entries is midnight (UK time) on Tuesday 31 May 2016.

Large business
This award is for business with a turnover of more than £100m or more than 1,000 employees.
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Small and medium-sized enterprise
This award is for businesses (including social enterprises) with a turnover of less than £100m or less than 1,000 employees.
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Public sector and third sector
This award is for organisations that are (part of) a government department or local authority, charities or not-for-profit organisations.
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Communicating integrated thinking
This award is for organisations that are demonstrating clearly, through communicating to their providers of financial capital, how sustainability, in its broadest sense, is embedded into their overall strategy and decision making process and how this ‘integrated thinking’ is contributing to a sustainable business model which delivers long term value.     
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Investing and financing
This award is open to the investor and capital markets communities. This includes organisations that oversee, develop or advise on financial products and services AND investors that have driven investment in sustainable outcomes that deliver long term value across capital markets. e.g. investment firms, asset management firms, banks, insurance companies or stock exchanges. 
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Innovative new idea
This award recognises an innovative new idea and this category is open to ideas developed by individuals or groups of individuals (teams of maximum four individuals including teams within an organisation).
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Finance leader of the future
This award recognises exceptional future leaders within the finance community. This individual should have the potential to become a finance leader who drives the sustainability agenda.
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