2018 winners and highly commended

A highlights video from the 2018 Awards is available to watch here. 

The Finance For The Future winners and highly commended for the 2018 awards are:
 

EMBEDDING AN INTEGRATED APPROACH AWARD   

Winner: 

Yorkshire Water (UK)

Yorkshire Water, a major supplier of drinking water and provider of treatment systems for wastewater, created a Total Impact and Valuation Assessment platform reporting on impacts and dependencies across the six capitals. It intends to embed the six capitals approach into every decision-making process in the company, thus building on its work since its first integrated report in 2014. This creates insights at a strategic level.

Judges’ comments: 

Led by finance they have built a framework that provides the business, as a whole, with a different longer-term perspective incorporating a range of financial and non-financial capitals. There was a clear roll-out of governance to ensure widespread use and adoption of their integrated approach. Yorkshire Water’s integrated approach demonstrated breadth in looking at all aspects of ‘capitals’ and provided examples of how considering a multi-capital view impacts decision making across the organisation. There was clear leadership from the finance function supported by strong governance and engagement with the wider business including linkage to executive short and long term remuneration. The judges were impressed at their commitment to continuous improvement and the journey they were on.

Highly commended:
 HSBC (UK)

HSBC had a clear focus on embedding thinking in all parts of the business with finance, at its best, driving a rigorous and challenging approach to the measurement and definition of targets, influencing and taking customers and key stakeholders on the journey with them.

Judges’ comments: 

The judges were impressed by the focus on embedding thinking in all parts of the business with finance, at its best, driving a rigorous and challenging approach to the measurement and definition of targets, influencing and taking customers and key stakeholders on the journey with them. HSBC are delivering a deeply embedded approach, led from the top and with a broad organisational culture. They have developed new systems and processes to support their strategic focus and drive change. For example, by linking the cost of capital to sustainability performance metrics. The judges were impressed at the degree to which they’re taking on an integrated view to build something that’s core to their strategy.

INNOVATIVE PROJECT AWARD

Winner:

Chelsea & Westminster Hospital Foundation (UK)

Faced with budgetary pressures Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation partnered with commercial organisations with expertise in online treatment to create a service that would enable patients who wanted a check-up for sexually-transmitted infections to register online for testing kits which would allow them to bypass clinic visits completely. Starting in February 2018 the service has already dealt with 20,000 returned kits with numbers growing rapidly as awareness of the service grows. It is forecast to save £10m a year while delivering safe, sustainable user-friendly services for London residents.

Judges’ comments: 

This entry presented an innovative way of improving sexual health across London whilst reducing pressure on a dedicated and stretched NHS. The significant benefits were delivered by finding new ways to collaborate, which the entrants recognised as an essential ingredient in their sustainability strategy. The judges were particularly impressed by the ambition of the project and that it was implemented in a measured and considered way. Chelsea and Westminster developed a programme which saved money while delivering a safe and user-friendly service to their patients.  The finance department was integral throughout the project and set an example for other similar organisations to follow. The judges recognised the challenges faced by the team and admired the robust project management and implementation, as well as compelling evidence of results.

 COMMUNICATING INTEGRATED THINKING AWARD

Winner:

 Salesforce (USA)

In March 2018 Salesforce, a US company that creates customer relationship management platforms, became one of the first companies to include an environmental, social and governance section in its annual 10K filing. The company sees its leadership in sustainability, equality and philanthropy to be a competitive advantage and communicates its work in these areas in other official Government filings as well as communicating with investors.

Judges’ comments on Salesforce: 

Salesforce has integrated their values of trust, growth, innovation and equality since inception, which has led to sustainability being embedded in the DNA of the company. Salesforce have integrated sustainability into all aspects of their company, including official filings and communicating with investors. In the highly competitive environment of Silicon Valley, Salesforce is trailblazing in the competition for talent, employing their brand value and living their purpose.

Highly commended: 
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (UK)

The Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust created an integrated sustainability strategy called Care Without Carbon that aims to save money, improve patient wellbeing, reduce environmental impacts and ensure sustainability principles are understood and embedded across the organisation. Integrated thinking has made the Trust more financially stable and communicating results, voluntarily through their non-mandatory sustainability report, has aided patient care, staff retention and also the spread of the system and its benefits to other Trusts.

Judges’ comments on Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust:

With limited resources, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust have taken the initiative with an innovative approach to improve the well-being of patients and staff while addressing climate change. Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust has revised their approach to resource stewardship, ensuring that saving money and improving patient wellbeing go hand in hand with reducing environmental impacts and ensuring sustainability principles. Their leadership in this area, within their own trust and as their ideas spread more widely, has a game-changing potential for society which is better for patients and better for the planet.

INVESTING AND FINANCING AWARD

Winner: 

Fonkoze Financial Services (Haiti)

Based in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Fonkoze, is a micro-finance organization that aims to lift communities out of poverty, through providing loans to mostly female clients, while operating in a financially self-sustaining manner. The aim is to be profit-making rather than profit-seeking. Its loan portfolio reaches 70,000 borrowers and a sister not-for-profit organization providing literacy training and healthcare services.

 

Judges’ comments:

Fonkoze are transforming lives in Haiti in a systematic but very tangible way by lifting people out of poverty through micro financing. They have been very innovative as it is the finance team that has shown a sustainability driven organisation to be commercially viable so they can achieve their goals. The judges were extremely impressed by how Fonkoze are transforming lives in Haiti in a systematic but very tangible way by lifting people out of poverty through a widespread microfinancing model. Fonkoze measure indicators to judge how customer’s financial strength and viability changes over time, such as levels of literacy and home quality. A truly successful impact investment model in action in one of the neediest parts of the world.

Highly commended: 
Econet Life & Steward Bank (Zimbabwe)

Cassava, a subsidiary of Econet is a Zimbabwean telecoms company offering mobile-based banking services. The ability to offer access to further products such as life insurance through a mobile device at affordable rates has brought substantial benefits to the people of Zimbabwe. Econet and Steward Bank have utilised their business skills to effectively segment the market and to deliver positive financial and social impact.

Judges’ comments: 

Econet and Steward Bank have identified a market with a clear social purpose and managed to make it financially sustainable. The funeral insurance line of business stood out for its cultural and social sensitivity. The judges were impressed by how a successful telecoms company has identified a market with a clear social purpose and made it financially sustainable. They specifically noted how Econet has utilised it business skills to effectively segment the market and for positive financial and social impact.  The funeral insurance line of business stood out for its cultural and social sensitivity.

BUILDING SUSTAINABLE FINANCIAL PRODUCTS AWARD

Winner:

 Grofin (Mauritius)

Grofin is a pioneering development finance institution, based in Mauritius, which supports small and growing businesses across Africa and the Middle East. It aims to generate employment, strengthening value chains and building markets to raise economic growth and improve living conditions in the low to middle income countries, ‘the missing middle’, in which they operate. It has developed a business support model to provide SMEs with guidance, mentoring and coaching both before and after providing funding. Since it launched its small and growing business fund in 2014 it has supported 1400 entrepreneurs and sustained more than 37,000 jobs.

Judges’ comments:

Grofin is delivering real social benefits in a challenging environment in which no one else is working, through a unique combination of expert advice and financial support. The judges were impressed by how well Grofin's Success Through Effective Partnerships initiative delivered benefits against the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in countries which need the Goals to be fulfilled. The judges were impressed by the scale of the project that has already been achieved and excited by plans for further international expansion. Grofin has spotted an opportunity in an area of the market where traditional providers of capital would not normally provide support and enabled these businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed.

Highly commended:
 Abundance Investment (UK)

Abundance is a direct investment platform offering investments and financial products that can be used to build a portfolio of direct investments generating long-term sustainable outcomes. It specialises in debt finance and the issuance of amortising debentures that can work favourably for both small businesses and investors. It works in areas like renewable energy, the green economy and in housing, generating financial returns while being good for the environment.

Judges’ comments:

Abundance has created an innovative idea that has required immense determination and skill to become regulated and which is delivering outstanding results. Abundance have opened up a channel for likeminded investors and created a financially sustainable company which also delivers on social and environmental issues. The judges also noted the further innovation shown through the online secondary investments trading tool and the scalability of the products.

DRIVING CHANGE THROUGH EDUCATION, TRAINING AND ACADEMIA AWARD

Winner:

Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (UK)

Grantham Research Institute have provided vital, open access data and analysis to The Transitional Pathway Initiative (TPI). The data analyses progress that large global corporations are making on the transition to a low carbon economy. Their collaborative approach and the insights that the Grantham Research Institute are providing to the TPI are enabling better informed investment decisions and engagement by investors. As academics, the project enables them to have real-world impact, not just through the findings of the research but also through fully accessible data.

Judges’ comments: 

The Grantham Research Institute is central to the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), enabling investors to make climate competent decisions using academically rigorous data via a clearly accessible and open source tool. The initiative educates in a range of ways, informing investors, improving corporate performance and offering student learning opportunities. The Grantham Research Institute received the unanimous support of the judges because it clearly demonstrates a learning pathway for better decision making in financial markets. Their contribution to the Transition Pathway Initiative represents a leading example of effective collaboration between academia and the investment community, with potential to deliver tangible outcomes on climate change.

Highly commended:
Future Fit Foundation (UK)

A truly sustainable future requires a rapid and radical shift in the way the global economy works. The Future Fit Foundation’s free-to-use tools enable this shift by helping business leaders, investors and policy makers respond authentically to today’s biggest social and environmental challenges. The Future Fit Business Benchmark is the first tool to comprehensively define the line in the sand that every company ultimately needs to reach, and ideally surpass, to play its role in an environmentally restorative, socially just, and economically inclusive society.

Judges’ comments:

This entry is a great demonstration of why education is not just restricted to the classroom. The translation of academic rigour to sustainable business practice is admirable. Future-Fit’s benchmark enables companies to learn how to integrate societal expectations with business decision making, resulting in meaningful disclosure. This entry is a great demonstration of why education is not just restricted to the classroom. The judges admired the translation of academic rigour to sustainable business practice. Future-Fit’s benchmark enables companies to learn how to integrate societal expectations with business decision making, resulting in meaningful disclosure.