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Ripples Into Waves: Progress with ESG, D&I and Impact Investing

By January 13, 2022No Comments

NeuGroup members using corporate balance sheets to help companies do good continue to up the ante.

HP treasurer Zac Nesper has a trending post on LinkedIn promoting an interview he did with Global Finance about HP’s award-winning sustainability bond framework. In the post and the interview, Zac is kind enough to cite a discussion he led in November at a NeuGroup for Tech Treasurers (aka Tech20) meeting with Joachim Wettermark, treasurer of Salesforce, the first software company to issue a sustainability bond.

  • “We discussed using our platforms as treasurers for good,” Zac says, adding, “It is fun when you get in there and look at different ways that treasurers are using their treasury function as a platform to drive change.”

Here’s the backstory.

Creating ripples in the pond. The session with Zac and Joachim updated a NeuGroup joint session in May 2021, “Treasury as a Powerful Force for a More Equitable World,” with our Tech and Mega-Cap Treasurers groups. That featured a panel of six members, all leaders in using treasury as platforms for good, including Apple treasurer Gary Wipfler, who had announced his retirement and wanted to share how this mandate was an important part of his legacy. We dubbed this the “Ripple in the Pond” session in recognition of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s idea that each action can be a pebble in the pond that creates a ripple for change—and every ripple can build on the next to ultimately create a wave.

  • The objective of the original session was to provide examples of using treasury platforms for good that would inspire others to follow suit. Each panelist offered to serve as a mentor and help others build on what they had done. One suggested we collect these examples to help yet more NeuGroup members with treasury-for-good initiatives.
  • We released the first round of examples from our “Survey of Responsible Investing and ESG Initiatives” in October. The “Ripples Into Waves” discussion Zac led in November was a part of a series of sessions highlighting these initiatives and more. Indeed, NeuGroup has been proud to host dozens of sessions where members have shared D&I endeavors, social impact investing ideas (including in our D&I working group) and ESG/sustainability frameworks (ESG working group) in sectors including retail, manufacturing, healthcare, media and telecom, as well as oil and gas and tech.

Tremendous energy. Since so many of our members, like Zac, are making diversity and sustainability a part of their core treasury vision, we will continue to collect examples and add them to our member repository and promote them in sessions. We agree with Zac: “The energy in this space is tremendous.”

  • NeuGroup will continue to do its part to encourage members to share and learn from each other, and up the ante on leading their companies to do good with their balance sheets (in ways that are aligned with long-term enterprise value). 
  • In this way, we hope to create more ripples that turn into waves of treasurers using treasury to do good.
Vanesha Jaiswal

Author Vanesha Jaiswal

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