Learn How CFOs Can Foster Sustainability, Achieve Growth
Finance leaders seeking to improve both sustainability and growth at their businesses should consider looking closely at how they manage their travel & expense processes and the technology that makes them happen.
T&E is a great place to start when addressing both those challenges, as it provides opportunities for increasing efficiency as well as measuring and influencing your business’s impact on the planet. That’s one takeaway from our new CFO Insights, How to Steer Sustainability Performance with a Financial Agenda, which is informed by research as well as regional CFOs at SAP.
Businesses, of course, invest in sustainability and other social and governance improvements for many reasons: lowering costs, raising productivity, avoiding financial penalties, and improving brand value. Woven through all those is reducing their environmental impact.
CFO Insights: How to Steer Sustainability Performance with a Financial Agenda
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The fortunate thing is that an automated T&E solution is well placed to accomplish both growth and sustainability goals. For example, a solution can reduce paper, provide employees sustainable travel options, free employees for meaningful work, and deliver information that measures sustainability and drives better business decisions.
“Measuring financial and non-financial KPIs is critical for turning sustainability into a leading indicator into the overall health of the business,” said Gina McNamara, Chief Financial Officer of SAP Asia Pacific region and Japan “Finance teams can transparently communicate how well the business performs by benchmarking, measuring, and managing T&E data with a comprehensive and flexible foundation of technology, processes, data, and talent.”
Here are three areas that CFOs in SAP offices worldwide suggest focusing on to move businesses forward.
1. Measure Performance with a Trusted, Flexible Foundation
Businesses wanting to improve – and measure – their impact have the good intentions. What they often lack are the tools and processes to make it happen. Nearly a third – 31% – struggle to put the right programs and policies in place.
Maybe your finance team already has efficient ways to gather data for sustainability measures and use that information to ensure compliance and satisfy regulatory needs. But advanced analytics and tools can take you past that point and let you move faster and more fully to greener outcomes. One way is to provide travelers with flights, lodging, and meeting locations that are more sustainable choices because they are data-driven choices.
2. Expand Your Focus from Efficiency Gains to Business Optimization
CFOs and other finance leaders must perform a balancing act with sustainability and growth. You know the value of travel to building relationships, but also are tasked with gauging and limiting the environmental effects of those trips. And you know employees are concerned, as demonstrated by 49% of business leaders saying employees are highly active in sustainability efforts.
Providing employees the tools to assess and minimize their impacts can be an effective approach in your balancing act. In-app messaging help them make greener choices when make flights, hotels, and other travel options. Electronic receipts can derail the paper trail. Meanwhile, the finance team gains more accurate and timely spending data. All the while, sustainability becomes part of your culture.
3. Find Value in Every Step of the Sustainability Journey
It’s natural, though less wise long term, that businesses set aside sustainability strategies somewhat while contending with inflation and other disruptions. But lessening the attention you pay to sustainability can affect growth over time. Maintaining focus is important even with budgets under pressure.
A recent study3 revealed 61% of finance leaders don’t have near-real time visibility into their spending data, a lack of clarity affecting both sustainability and decision-making. Consistently pursuing sustainability measures and investing in intelligent technology can help close that gap and deliver the ability to pursue new markets, innovate, and increase your customer base.
Get a copy of the latest CFO Insights, How to Steer Sustainability Performance with a Financial Agenda, to learn how to achieve both greater sustainability and business growth for your business.
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