2016 Launch Event

Finance for the Future 2016
Award Launch Event

The 2016 Finance for the Future Awards were launched in Edinburgh on Tuesday 16 February 2016.

Hosted by the Sustainable Business Initiative (SBI) at the University of Edinburgh Business School during their Innovative Learning Week (ILW), the event was attended by over 55 guests including finance professionals from business and practice as well as students from various Scottish universities. It was a great opportunity for attendees to get an overview of the awards & categories available, learn about the benefits of entering, connect with the local finance and sustainability community and share insights on the best sustainable business practices.

The event started with the Finance for the Future showcase giving guests the opportunity to engage with past winners and finalists and hear about their entries and the benefits their projects have delivered. Guests also connected with representatives of ICAEW, HRH the Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) and the University of Edinburgh Business School’s Sustainable Business Initiative and found out more about their forthcoming activities.

During the reception, guests were also encouraged to choose one of the Sustainable Development Goals that meant the most to them, take a selfie with one of the boards provided and share it on Twitter with their ambition for the Goals.

Following SBI Director Kenneth Amaeshi’s introduction, Richard Spencer, ICAEW Head of Sustainability gave an overview of this year’s awards categories with an emphasis on the new category “Financial services and markets” (now open to organisations that develop financial products) and the new concept around the Innovative New Idea category. Now open to individual or group individuals, the category would be setting a challenge around the Sustainable Development Goals. He also explained that a good entry not only needed to demonstrate positive long-term environmental, social and economic impacts but also that sustainability was at the core of their business (and not just an add-on) and that it was fundamental for the finance functions to be key in driving changes within their organisations.

Eilidh Brunton, Group Recycling Consultant at Vegware, explained that winning the 2014 SME Award was particularly special as it highlighted the solid financing behind their sustainable business recognised the contribution of their finance team. She also spoke about Vegware’s products and the work they did to raise awareness among their customers. She finally talked about the work the organisation did within the local communities and the funding of projects both locally and globally.

George Cobb, Group Sustainability Accountant at SSE, addressed the audience as a double-winner of in Finance for the Future in the 2015 large business award and Future Finance Leader categories. He described the main function of his position as “helping decision makers at SSE make the “Best Value” decisions now and in the future”, and talked about his role to link sustainability and finance within the organisation. Talking about the awards, he said that his first attempt to enter the awards in 2013 helped them tremendously with their 2015 success, as the constructive feedback they received, motivated them to re-enter and win.

The Q&A session, which followed the presentations, was primarily directed to both awards winners and focused on the involvement of the finance function within their winning initiatives.   

Paul Adderley, Managing Director of Sustainable Opportunities Solution and past ICAEW Members in Scotland (IMS) President, closed the event and thanked all the speakers and emphasized on Scotland’s sustainable success stories.

Pictures of the awards launch are available on our photos gallery.

A storify summary of the tweets collected from the event using #F4TF is available here.

Click here to read the blog on the Launch Event from the Sustainable Business Initiative.

The event was hosted by:






The University of Edinburgh Business School and Sustainable Business Initiative were delighted to host the event. Such events form part of our wider programme of engagement with business and we would be delighted to discuss how we could work with you and your organisation. Many interactions are designed to provide students with the opportunity to benefit from ‘real world’ industry insights and perspectives and can take many forms, ranging from company visits and the hosting of student projects, through to informal round table career related discussions and participation in lectures to provide practical case studies.

The Business School also delivers a range of Executive programmes and carries out faculty based consulting and collaborative research.

If you would like to find out more please contact Aidan Hetherington, Corporate Engagement Manager, on > or 0131 650 9841 for an informal chat.

Further details can also be found on the School's website and more information about SBI can be found here.