Last night saw the Future Awards celebrating financial leadership by companies, the public sector and investors. Five winners were announced, including the winner of the Innovative New Idea Award which was judged on the night following live pitches from the finalists.
The Finance for the Future Awards, founded by ICAEW and HRH The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) and in partnership with Deloitte, are in their fifth year. The awards highlight good business practices internationally by recognising the roles which the finance function, and the wider finance community, play in helping to build resilient organisations through embedding environmental and social issues into decision making.
The winners, with the judges’ citations, are:
Large business award
Winner: Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company
Judges’ citation: “The Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company team brought to life the vital role that the finance team can play to embed sustainability into everyday decision making. It was able to develop an approach that systematically integrated environmental and social factors into capital expenditure across the diverse geographies, changing decisions as a result.”
Highly commended: Skanska UK
Communicating integrated thinking award
Winner: United Utilities
Judges’ citation: “By producing clear, concise, integrated communications, United Utilities has demonstrated how integrated thinking translates to shareholder value in financial terms.”
Highly commended: Novo Nordisk
Public sector and third sector award
Winner: Climate Disclosure Standards Board
Judges’ citation: “CDSB has delivered something of vital importance that others have spoken about but not acted upon for years. The organisation has worked effectively as part of a collaborative network and acted as a catalyst for the development of a broad reporting framework. This framework demonstrates how traditional financial measures and new – primarily environmental – data can coexist for organisations and the institutions that invest in them.”
Highly commended: HM Treasury
Investing and financing award
Winner: Bridges Ventures
Judges’ citation: “Bridges Ventures has created a truly innovative, scalable market offering. The tailored impact measurement framework clearly links financial and non-financial benefits.”
Innovative new idea award
Winner: The Public Services Lab
A collaborative joint venture created by Interserve, Clubfinance, Catch22 and Big Society Capital to help voluntary, community and social enterprises across Merseyside to develop the skills and business practices to deliver innovative, effective and sustainable public services by innovative procurement and delivery models.
Finance for the Future is not just an awards ceremony. Since its inception, it has also led to the development of a community of engaged finance professionals. These individuals are committed to creating more sustainable outcomes for their organisations, and share their stories with others.
The finalists really inspired the judges by showing practical ways to integrate sustainability into decision making.
Michael Izza, Chief Executive, ICAEW said:
“The organisations we are celebrating have demonstrated the highest standards and we are delighted to congratulate tonight’s winners. These awards were founded to showcase the companies that are leading the way in embedding sustainability at every level through the finance function. ICAEW believes that the accountancy and finance profession has a key role to play in helping to deliver a more sustainable world as well as more resilient businesses.”
Jessica Fries, Executive Chairman, A4S, said:
“The finalists really inspired the judges by showing practical ways to integrate sustainability into decision making, creating value for the organisation, the economy and society. They really highlighted the transformation underway among finance teams and the wider finance community across the globe to develop resilient business models and a sustainable economy.”
Veronica Poole, global IFRS leader and UK head of accounting at Deloitte, said:
“What really stood out amongst the winners was authenticity and the way their integrated thinking shone through. Communicating in a way that truly explains what makes companies tick and the values they live by is extremely important in creating trust in business.”
For more information, visit: http://www.financeforthefuture.co.uk/
Build, Buy, Or Retrofit? 3 Green Housing Considerations
Green housing is in high demand, but it’s not yet widely available, posing a serious problem: if you want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, do you invest in building something new and optimize it for sustainability, or do you retrofit a preexisting building?
The big problem when it comes to choosing between these two options is that building a new home creates more waste than retrofitting specific features of an existing home, but it may be more efficient in the long-run. For those concerned with waste and their environmental footprint, the short term and long term impacts of housing are in close competition with each other.
New Construction Options
One reason that new construction is so desired among green living enthusiasts is that it can be built to reflect our highest priorities. Worried about the environmental costs of heating your home? New construction can be built using passive solar design, a strategy that uses natural light and shade to heat or cool the home. Builders can add optimal insulation, build with all sustainable materials, and build exactly to the scale you need.
In fact, scale is a serious concern for new home buyers and builders alike. Individuals interested in green housing will actively avoid building more home than they need – scaling to the square foot matter because that’s more space you need to heat or cool – and this is harder to do when buying. You’re stuck with someone else’s design. In this vein, Missouri S&T’s Nest Home design, which uses recycled shipping containers, combines the tiny home trend with reuse and sustainability.
The Simple Retrofit
From an environmental perspective, there’s an obvious problem with building a new home: it’s an activity of mass consumption. There are already 120 million single-family homes and duplexes in the United States; do we really need more?
Extensive development alone is a good enough reason to intelligently retrofit an existing home rather than building new green structures, but the key is to do so with as little waste as possible. One option for retrofitting older homes is to install new smart home technology that can automate home regulation to reduce energy use.
Real estate agent Roxanne DeBerry sees clients struggle with issues of efficiency on a regular basis. That’s why she recommends tools like the Nest Thermostat, which develops a responsive heating and cooling schedule for the home and can be remotely adjusted via smartphone. Other smart tools for home efficiency include choosing Energy Star appliances and installing water-saving faucets and low-pressure toilets. These small changes add up.
Ultimately, the most effective approach to green housing is likely to be aggressive retrofitting of everything from period homes to more recent construction. This will reduce material use where possible and prevent further aggressive land use. And finally, designers, activists, and engineers are coming together to develop such structures.
In the UK, for example, designers are interested in finding ways to adapt period houses for greater sustainability without compromising their aesthetics. Many have added solar panels, increased their insulation levels, and recently they even developed imitation sash triple glazed windows. As some have pointed out, the high cost of heating these homes without such changes will push these homes out of relevance without these changes. This is a way of saving existing structures.
Harvard is also working on retrofitting homes for sustainability. Their HouseZero project is designed for near-zero energy use and zero carbon emissions using geothermal heating and temperature radiant surfaces. The buildings bridge the gap between starting over and putting up with unmanageable heating and cooling bills.
It will take a long time to transition the majority of individuals to energy efficient, green housing but we’re headed in the right direction. What will your next home be like? As long as the answer is sustainable, you’re part of the solution to our chronic overuse – of land, energy, water, and more.
How the Auto Industry is Lowering Emissions
Currently, the automotive industry is undergoing an enormous change in a bid to lower carbon emissions. This has been pushed by the Government and their clean air plans, where they have outlined a plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
Public Health Crisis
It is said that the levels of air pollution lead to 40,000 early deaths in the UK, with London being somewhere that is particularly bad. This has led to the new T-Charge, where heavy polluting cars will pay a new charge on top of the existing congestion charge. Other cities have taken action too, with Oxford recently announcing that they will be banning petrol and diesel cars from the city centre by 2020.
It is clear that the Government is taking action, but what about the auto industry? With the sale of petrol and diesel plummeting and a sharp rise in alternatively fuelled vehicles, it is clear that the industry is taking note and switching focus to green cars. There are now all kinds of fantastic eco-friendly cars available and a type to suit every motorist whether it is a small city car or an SUV.
Of course, it is the cars that are currently on the road that are causing the problem. The used car market is enormous and filled with polluting automobiles, but there are steps that you can take to avoid dangerous automobiles. It is now more important than ever to get vehicle checks carried out through HPI, as these can reveal important information about the automobile’s past and they find that 1 in 3 cars has a hidden secret of some kind. Additionally, they can now perform recall checks to see if the manufacturer has recalled that particular automobile. This allows people to shop confidently and find vehicles that are not doing as much damage to the environment as others.
With the rise in sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, it is now becoming increasingly more common to see them on UK roads. Public perception has changed drastically in the last few years and this is because of the air pollution crisis, as well as the fact that there are now so many different reasons to switch to electric cars, such as Government grants and no road tax. A similar change in public opinion has happened in the United States, with electric car sales up by 47% in 2017.
The US is leading the way for lowering emissions as they have declined by 758 million metric tons since 2005, which is the largest amount by far with the UK in second with a decline of 170 million metric tons. Whilst it is clear that these two nations are doing a good job, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to improve the air quality and stop so many premature deaths as a result of pollution.
With the Government’s plans, incentives to make the change and a change in public perception, it seems that the electric car revolution is fully underway.