Building a Sustainable Treasury Function: Time for Action
Foreword by Lance Kawaguchi, Global Head – Corporates, Global Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC
As the sustainability conversation gains in popularity across the globe, every part of a corporation – including treasury – is now expected to contribute to and help advance the organisation’s overall environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy.
Moreover, as sustainable financing becomes increasingly available, treasury departments are finding that they have a bigger part to play in helping to drive the sustainability agenda. But treasury’s role in ESG is by no means limited to financing.
As we explore in this supplement, there are many ways in which corporate treasurers can positively influence the sustainability goals of their firms – in particular by focusing on environmental, social and governance objectives.
Recent technological advances and the move away from paper-based processes towards digitisation, for example, are enabling treasurers to become more environmentally friendly. Meanwhile, treasurers can look after the ‘social’ element of their business ecosystem through initiatives such as supply chain finance, as well as employee wellbeing initiatives
And while treasurers already play a significant role in governance, as more ESG-related regulations and standards are issued, and society’s expectations of good corporate citizenship evolve, treasurers will find their involvement in governance increasing.
While this may seem like an additional burden on an already under-resourced department, it is important to remember that ESG is an opportunity for the organisation to innovate, grow, and improve risk management. What’s more, treasurers are not alone in their ESG efforts – they can call on the support of a banking partner that has made its own commitments to sustainable business practices.
Throughout our 153-year history, HSBC has worked hard to meet our obligations to society and to help its customers and communities to thrive. Our sustainability approach focuses on three main areas: sustainable finance, sustainable networks and entrepreneurship; and future skills.
As a bank, we have committed to provide $100bn of sustainable financing and investment by 2025. And within our Global Liquidity and Cash Management business, we are helping treasurers as they work to meet and exceed their organisations’ sustainability goals. Digitisation, automation, and cloud-based computing are just some of the areas where we can help you to make a positive difference.
Going forward, we will continue to work together with you, our corporate clients, to build creative solutions that contribute towards your company’s growth goals and ESG objectives in tandem. I look forward to having these discussions with you.