By Kelly W. Fisher, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC Bank USA
As we prepare to come together for the first fully in-person AFP since 2019, it provides us with the opportunity to pause and consider our world as it is today. Among the many changes we can see is the rise in the prominence and importance of ESG. “ESG” (environmental, social and governance) were merely initials to many before a confluence of challenges — including the pandemic, increasing climate disasters, and the fight for equality — took over our daily lives and caused us to realize that we all have a responsibility to take action. And that now certainly includes those in the world of finance.
According to research by Accenture, 68% of businesses want financial leaders to take responsibility for ESG. And there is good reason for that. Finance and capital are essential to stopping the cataclysmic impacts of climate change and social inequality. Additionally, within a company and its c-suite, the CFO and the treasury teams have the unique ability to make the right decisions about finance and investments, as well as the skills around measurement, data and reporting, that ensure real transparency and impact.
This year at AFP 2022 we will meet with two leading financial professionals from Carhartt and Lineage Logistics to hear how they are working with their sustainability colleagues and their banks and other partners to use financial solutions to tackle their ESG goals.
Michelle Domas, SVP, treasury and tax, will discuss Lineage’s $4.3 billion equity raise and how they transformed their capital structure with a $2.8 billion corporate credit facility, using the funds for global greenfield developments, facility expansions, M&A activity and technology innovations.
Katie Clow, Carhartt’s director of treasury and risk, will share how she’s formed a strong collaboration with her inclusion and sustainability colleagues to ensure a future for all hardworking people.
Join us as we ask key questions, including:
- What should be the role and responsibilities of CFOs and treasury professionals in advancing progress in ESG?
- What concrete examples have we seen where finance drove change within an organization? What internal and external factors were key to realizing those accomplishments?
- What impacts will the new Inflation Reduction Act have on companies and banks with an ESG agenda?
- What tools can you use as a finance professional to have greater connection and collaboration with your sustainability, procurement and other colleagues?
- What role does a treasury professional play in driving improved investor perceptions of your company’s ESG progress?
All these questions will be answered in a way in which we hope will help us to innovate, collaborate and drive a revolution in the way finance can ensure a sustainable future for us all.