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Why Treasurers Must Embrace – and Finance – Sustainability

  • By Ira Apfel
  • Published: 2014-04-15

Sustainability is no longer about corporate citizenship or philanthropy. It’s absolutely critical to the life of companies—and sustainability starts with treasurers.

That’s the message Andrew Winston will deliver at the CTC Corporate Treasurers Forum, June 4-6 at The Langham Chicago and sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Winston, author of the “The Big Pivot,” will explain why it makes financial sense for companies to embark on sustainability projects right now.

“My work is about navigating megatrends that are affecting business deeply, changing operating costs, raising risks, and impacting revenues,” Winston said in an interview. “Weather-proofing your supply chain, for example, is critical. There’s real cost to these issues now. When food prices rose a few years ago, Coca-Cola’s annual costs, mainly for corn, rose $800 million—that kind of sudden cost shift forces a new look at financing and cash flows.”

Winston co-authored the international best-seller “Green to Gold.” He received his BA in Economics from Princeton, an MBA from Columbia, and a Masters of Environmental Management from Yale.

“It’s up to business” to make business more sustainable, Winston said. “I don’t think it’ll come from government or consumers,” he said. “We as consumers don’t know how to. And government is broken. It’s got to come from business and we have the resources and skills to make it happen. That means treasurers have to figure out the financing tools to help solve these problems.”

Treasurers may register for the CTC Corporate Treasurers Forum by May 9 to save at www.AFPonline.org/CTCforum.

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