Paris, France, 01 July. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of major European companies that make up the Coalition of CFOs for the SDGs have joined UN Global Compact Under-Secretary-General and CEO Sanda Ojiambo and other leaders from the United Nations, governments and civil society at the UN Global Compact’s SDG Investment Forum to share ideas and provide recommendations to help unlock private capital and create a market for traditional SDG investments .
Speaking at the opening of the event, Sanda Ojiambo, Under-Secretary-General and CEO of the UN Global Compact, underscored the relevance of the discussions in the current global climate:
“Right now, multiple crises are shaking our world. War, food shortages, energy shocks and inflation wreak havoc in rich and poor countries […] Instead of jumping from crisis to crisis and from short-term solution to short-term solution, we will all benefit if we plan ahead and lay the foundations for a more resilient world. […] CFOs must take a leadership role in defining and aligning sustainability and financial goals – not just for the good of their business, but for the good of our planet.
Alberto De Paoli, CFO of Enel and co-chair of the Coalition of CFOs for the SDGs, said:
“Leading members of the Coalition are working together, and within their companies, to promote deeper integration of the SDGs into investment and corporate finance. Understanding how companies act to move towards sustainable businesses using the SDGs as a compass is key to defining ambitious pathways for all actors in the financial value chain.
Marie Morice, Head of Sustainable Finance at the UN Global Compact, said:
“CFOs have a crucial role to play in pushing the private sector towards more responsible and sustainable operations. Scaling and building a global movement of CFOs through the CFO Coalition for the SDGs, both regionally and sectorally, will have a positive impact on the planet and society as well as on the results.
Nils Pederson, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact France said:
“With new opportunities aligned with the SDGs and the rise of the sustainable investing market, CFOs are believed to have a critical role to play in reshaping the future of corporate finance and investing. as a catalyst to help achieve the SDGs.”
The UN estimates that there is an annual funding gap of $3-5 trillion to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With less than eight years to go, achieving the SDGs will require the sustained mobilization of large-scale public and private resources. As stewards of trillions of dollars in corporate investments, CFOs are uniquely positioned to reshape the future of corporate finance by aligning corporate investments with the SDGs and linking corporate finance relevant and credible SDG targets.
The conference included a series of panel discussions and presentations from investment professionals, governments and CFOs who discussed the central role of CFOs in accelerating an effective transition; Investments aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals in macro-sectors including construction and real estate, telecommunications, media and technology, industrial goods, consumer products, energy and utilities; quantitative measures for ambitious change; the role of regulators, including the EU taxonomy on sustainable activities and the role of UN agencies, including the UN Capital Development Fund.
Speakers included Alberto De Paoli, Chief Financial Officer, ENEL; Nils Pedersen, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Local Network, France; Jürgen Esser, Chief Financial Officer, Danone; Maria Carrasco, Chief Financial Officer, FCC Construction; Géraldine Picaud, Chief Financial Officer, Holcim; Jill Klindt, Chief Financial Officer, Workiva; Fawaz Sabri, SDG Financing Expert, UNDP Country Office, Afghanistan; Carole Ferrand, Chief Financial Officer, Capgemini; Maher Al-Haffar, Chief Financial Officer, Cemex; Miguel Viana, Director of Sustainable Development and Investor Relations, EDP Group; Pedro Christ, Chief Financial Officer, Beontag; Lisa Remke, Deputy Coordinator, Sustainable Fellowship; Silvia Pavoni, Founding Editor, Sustainable Views, Financial Times; Emmanuel Buttin, Policy Officer, Sustainable Finance at the European Commission; Rahul Shosh, Managing Director, ESG Outreach and Research, Moody’s; Kjell S. Rakkenes, executive vice president, sustainability, society and communications, Nortura; Xavier Michon, Deputy Executive Secretary UNCDF; Dena Assaf, United Nations Resident Coordinator, UAE and Karin Svensson, Development Finance Coordinator, SIDA.
The event was hosted by business journalist and former CNN anchor Maggie Lake.
The UN Global Compact will launch an on-demand academy session to learn more about the CFO principles that support businesses in the transition to sustainability.
Notes to Editors
About the CFO Coalition for the SDGs
The CFO Coalition for the SDGs is a platform where global CFOs and other business leaders can collaborate with peers, investors, financial institutions and UN agencies to develop principles, frameworks and recommendations to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into corporate finance and to create a market for traditional investments within the framework of the SDGs. Investors and governments are increasingly recognizing that there are huge opportunities for the private sector to play a critical role in the transition to a sustainable and climate safe future. The CFO Coalition for the SDGs is reviewing the role of CFOs as architects of long-term sustainable value creation. It is an initiative of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the largest corporate responsibility initiative in the world.
For more information, visit www.cfocoalition.org
About the United Nations Global Compact
As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the UN Global Compact is a call for businesses around the world to align their operations and strategies with the ten principles in the areas of human rights , labour, the environment and the fight against corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale collective global business impact by upholding the Ten Principles and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through responsible businesses and ecosystems that enable change. With over 15,000 business and 3,000 non-commercial signatories based in more than 160 countries and 69 local networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative – a Global Compact uniting businesses for a better world.
For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org.