The Prince of Wales has joined with a group of chief financial officers (CFOs) to encourage sustainability in business.
As part of his Accounting for Sustainability project, the prince announced the new leadership network, made up of CFOs, in order to change the values at the heart of business.
Speaking at the event, he said, “All too often the mainstream financial and accounting system focuses on short-term financial results.
The prince added, “It does not adequately reflect the dependency of our economic success on the health and stability of our communities and of the natural environment. They are all too often a forgotten part of the equation.”
This is not the first time the prince has attempted to engage the financial services in sustainable practice. Back in October, he criticised the pensions industry, calling for leaders to abandon “quarterly capitalism”.
At the event on Thursday, he added, “I know for many finance professionals, ‘sustainability’ is a term that immediately suggests the kinds of measures that frustrate the maximisation of profit. It is a ‘nice-to-have’, but it has no seat at the boardroom table. And yet, the opposite is true. There are clear links which demonstrate that those businesses addressing environmental and social issues deliver improved commercial returns. So, the bottom line is that sustainable business equals good business.”
The prince, who turned 65 this year and became a grandfather in July, has long been an influential figure in environmentalism. Speaking on his birthday, he explained his motivation for wanting to stimulate change, saying, “I don’t want to be confronted by my future grandchild and them say, ‘Why didn’t you do something?’”