Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to provide opening remarks on the second day of the CSR Upmanship Conference in Toronto, organised by the great people at EthicsScan. I had planned to talk about CSR strategy and then a couple of days before the conference something happened that changed my views on CSR completely. See the speech I delivered below and please let me know what you think of what I am proposing.
The fact that people break the law is a fact. It’s not always preventable. That’s not about sustainability. Sometimes it’s just breaking the law.
It’s just incredible how everyone is jumping down the throat of sustainability and sustainability reporting as a result of the Volkswagen crimes against emissions. Is the sustainability movement so fragile that the deliberate fraudulent behavior of one corporation can disrupt the credibility of thousands of corporations that are making genuine efforts to act ethically, responsibly and … wow, even legally? The first thing many people are saying now that Volkswagen is down the tubes is: “Aha, vindicated at last, that’s the end of CSR. Just look at Volkswagen’s last Sustainability Report. What a waste of paper. This just proves that CSR is all a big waste of time. It’s about time we started refocusing on business and leaving out the sustainability PR stuff.”
Breaking Down Silos: How Accountants and Sustainability Professionals Are Collaborating to Reduce Risks and Maximize Opportunities
The Sustainability Team cannot do it alone!
The time has come to break down the barriers that prevent organizations from moving quickly on the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change and other sustainability issues. At our next event you will hear firsthand from those who are succeeding.
On October 1st TSSS will host a panel of experts including Robert Siddall, the CFO of Metrolinx, Mike Valente from the Schulich School of Business, Jennifer Ash, VP Finance and Operations at Frontiers North Adventures and just announced, Antoine Belaieff, Director of Regional Planning at Metrolinx. Panelists will share insights into how collaboration between finance and sustainability teams can reduce risk and increase profitability.
- Have you ever failed to get support for a sustainability initiative because you couldn’t establish the right metrics to make your case?
- Have you ever wished that you had a finance department ally?
- Are you frustrated by the lack of cohesion for driving sustainable change within your organization?
- Have you ever tried to make a case for supply chain challenges or revenue shortfalls that are glaring risks but you lacked the support you needed from finance?
If you answered YES to any to these questions then this event is for you.
Distinguished Guests (see full bios below):
Some of the topics that we will explore include:
- What role do accountants play in identifying and managing the risks and opportunities of climate change?
- How are silos being torn down when accountants and sustainability professionals work together?
- What do case studies by Canada’s national accounting body show about the role finance is playing to support organizations as they adapt to climate change?
- What are the secrets to using the finance team to boost your company’s sustainability initiatives?
Where and When:
DATE: Thursday, October 1st, 2015 (registration closes Friday September 25th)
TIME: 4:30-7:30 PM (snacks & networking from 6:45-7:30 PM)
LOCATION: Loyalty One, 438 University Ave., 12th Floor, Toronto (use elevators on the left in the lobby)
TWITTERCHAT: #tssschat from 5:15 – 6:00 PM EST
LIVESTREAM available: Register for password