New CFO sustainability survey reveals going it alone is a big mistake

21 November 2022

Analysis of recently released results from the 2022 ‘CFO Sustainability Snapshot Survey,’ confirms that collaborating with sustainability experts and peers is the best way forward for businesses to learn, build sustainability capability and create meaningful impact.

The 2022 CFO Sustainability Snapshot Survey carried out by Deloitte, the Sustainable Business Council, and Toitū Tahua: Centre for Sustainable Finance, found progress towards sustainable action remains largely ‘stagnant.’ 

Respondents said the wide scope of sustainability issues is difficult to navigate and their organisations struggle to cope with the scale and complexity of the challenge.

Barriers to taking action

Survey results also indicated that barriers to action include a lack of resource or capability, an absence of examples of good practice, and limited legislative requirements to guide them around areas to prioritise. 

Total Utilities Director Chris Hargreaves said of the survey, “The results underline what we are seeing on the ground with our clients. Organisations and senior leadership are struggling to find a way forward and often don’t know where to start with measuring and then reducing their carbon footprint.”

“CEOs and organisations are grappling with calculating the cost of taking action versus the cost of doing nothing. However, addressing carbon is becoming a real business problem – not an optional extra and creating a low carbon economy requires considerable planning. 

“Business leaders will need to be adaptable and flexible to meet the Government’s emission budgets and reduction plan and they will need to have a plan to mitigate risks associated with it.”


Advantages of decarbonisation stack up

Chris says despite the lack of progress there is still room for optimism, with the survey highlighting key drivers for sustainable action being values-based rather than solely based on compliance or a cost versus profit exercise. 

A total of 66% of CFOs identified ‘doing the right thing’ motivates sustainable action in their organisation. ‘Competitive and reputational advantage’ (62%) and ‘investor and shareholder demands’ (37%) rounded up the other top three drivers for action.

“There is a growing realisation that the benefits of addressing carbon now are huge in terms of mitigating against the rising cost of carbon, as well as protecting brand and reputation, with more customers turning to sustainable companies,” said Chris.


Reach out to our experts

Science tells us we need net zero emissions to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C – giving us the best chance of preventing irrevocable changes to the climate. This survey underlines the fact that collaboration with experts and peers is essential to making meaningful progress towards this target.

Total Utilities has worked in the NZ energy market for well over 20 years and specialises in assisting organisations with the decarbonisation process and putting together carbon reduction plans.

Chris explains, “We use science-based methodologies to create your pathway to net zero, whilst ensuring a stakeholder led approach. We can also help reduce your business risk by adhering to today’s environmental regulations and preparing you for future legislation.

“Funding challenges are often a significant roadblock to businesses taking action, but the benefits of future proofing your business and cost saving over time help offset this. We can also help you identify cost saving and revenue opportunities that will have a positive effect on your productivity, profits and performance.

“I’d advise senior leaders and CFOs to reach out and talk to one of our experts today. There’s no need or advantage to doing this alone.”


Contact Total Utilities to find out more about our services and solutions.

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