Finance Experts Harp on Businesses Sustainability

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Experts in the financial sector of the economy have listed benefits of business sustainability plan as overall plan to survive and thrive in a competitive environment.

The list of benefits includes, unlocking competitive value, profit and efficiencies, increasing stock liquidity, staff and talent attraction and retention.

They disclosed this yesterday during the Annual Company Secretaries and Registrars Forum themed: “Sustainability and the future of green economy: A Governance perspective”, and organized by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) in Lagos.

Speaking at the event, Director, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Middle East and Africa, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Dr. Omawunmi Kola-Lawal said: “Businesses should embed sustainability to unlock competitive value. Proactive and integrated Environmental, ESG policies can widen the competitive moat relative to other industry players.

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He proposed that for companies to embrace sustainability, they should develop an overarching philosophy and identity using key considerations, improve governance/ management commitment to sustainability, identify appropriate ESG criteria and metrics relevant to industry sector, determine resource needs, build systems, benchmark, pursue inclusion, influence company’s sphere and tell the company story through external reporting.

In his welcome address, President ICSAN, Taiwo Owokalade defined Sustainability as a method of running business to make both profit and ethical impact count as environmental and social issues are embodied in policy mainstreaming of corporations, and other entities.

He also explained that the Green economy espouses embracing sustainability standards which focus on a wide range of issues collectively aimed at protecting the environment through preservation of water resources, protection of biodiversity (including flora and fauna lives), reduction of greenhouse emissions and building of safety mechanisms into many parts of production processes.

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On her part, Partner at PwC, Mrs Rukaya El-Rufai noted that sustainability can also enable economies to accommodate the needs of our environment to ensure inclusion which is very important for us especially Africa as we have high unemployment among others.

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