Accounting for Sustainability launches U.S. chapter of its CFO Leadership Network

Accounting for Sustainability, a nonprofit founded by the Prince of Wales, has launched the first U.S. chapter of its global Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network in San Francisco.

The networking group is made up of eight founding members, all CFOs of large U.S. companies, including Salesforce.com Inc., Caterpillar Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co. The group aims to help business leaders infuse sustainability and solutions to social and environmental challenges into core strategy and business processes.

The founding members of the U.S. chapter of A4S’s CFO Leadership Network signed a charter that includes a commitment to take action and use their collective influence to engage, enable and collaborate with other CFOs and the broader business community on tackling sustainability issues.

The organization targeted its outreach to finance chiefs after research showed that while many sustainability stakeholders viewed CFOs as obstacles, they were often leaders in this area.

The network, which functions as a forum for CFOs to share best practices, focuses mainly on embedding sustainability considerations in all the decisions a company makes before reporting its results. These include strategic planning, capital investment and risk management.

The networking group is the latest in a series of efforts by the global business community to tackle concerns about climate change, pollution and other environmental challenges. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board in November launched 77 industry-specific market-based standards for measuring, managing and reporting how corporate actions affect society and the environment.

Prince Charles helped establish Accounting for Sustainability in 2004, and the organization launched its first CFO Leadership Network in Europe in 2013. The British royal family member has long been an advocate of environmental and sustainability causes.

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