8 June 2011
For a corporate investor, the green agenda is key, says [Helen] Garthwaite. “If you’re investing in corporates or providing equity for corporate acquisitions, you want to know that the businesses you are investing in have got a green health check,” she says. “How are they future-proofing their business? Are you checking that those you invest in have a board that is genuinely alive to these issues, and are they taking appropriate steps to future-proof the business against associated risk?”
Garthwaite adds: “A health check on a company should now include a sustainability component. If you’re sitting at board level you’ll want to know, is this going to be a real risk for my business? Is it going to impact financially and when? Can I take steps to manage associated cost and risk? Does it create business or new market opportunity? Finally, what are the soft issues? Will it impact upon my brand, PR or recruitment strategy? Am I going to lose staff engagement if I fail to take on board the green agenda? Is my customer base or supply chain already attuned to sustainability issues? If so and I ignore it, do I risk losing staff, customers of market share?”
Reproduced with permission from RBS Business Agenda Magazine, Quarter II, 2011.