Grandiose royal weddings like the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The birth of babies like Prince George, Princess Charlotte and the newest member of the Royal Family, Prince Louis.
When most Americans think about the British Royal Family, events like these are the first things that come to mind. However, as Securian Financial’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Warren Zaccaro can attest, the duties of the Royal Family go far beyond the pageantry and celebrations.
Warren and 10 other U.S. CFOs met recently with Charles, The Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne, on The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S).
Part of The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation and an example of the important work the Royal Family does to advance the public good, A4S aims to inspire action by finance leaders to drive a fundamental shift towards resilient business models and a sustainable economy. To do this, A4S has three core objectives that underpin everything it does:
- Inspire finance leaders to adopt sustainable and resilient business models
- Transform financial decision making to enable an integrated approach, reflective of the opportunities and risks posed by environmental and socials issues
- Scale up action across the global finance and accounting community
The third objective, through an invitation from ICMIF— the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation of which Securian Financial is a member—drove Warren’s trip to England. At a reception followed by dinner at Clarence House in London, Prince Charles’ personal residence, Warren and the CFOs of some of America’s largest and best-known companies listened to The Prince's ambition to start an A4S chapter in the United States.
“All 11 of us at the dinner were interested in getting an American A4S chapter off the ground,” said Warren. “We represent different companies from different industries, but we all share the belief that getting involved in this project makes business sense.”
Founded by The Prince of Wales in 2004, A4S has active chapters throughout Europe and in Canada. As the 11 U.S. CFOs shared examples of how their companies are embedding sustainability, Warren said one of the biggest benefits of being an A4S member company—learning from one another to influence change—became clear.
“Securian Financial was the only insurance company at the meeting, and while we do not produce tangible ‘stuff’—and the corresponding pollution—that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from and apply to our business what other companies are doing,” said Warren. “In fact, from our ‘Going Green’ sustainable work environment initiatives to Securian Asset Management’s socially responsible investing group, we already are making meaningful progress on sustainability. Our involvement in A4S would help us put an umbrella over our sustainability initiatives and find additional places where we can make an even greater impact.”
Warren believes the next steps in the formation of the A4S U.S. chapter, and our involvement, include further incorporating sustainability into Securian Financial’s internal and external vernacular, finding additional ways we can make an impact, and sharing what we are doing with A4S leadership in Europe and Canada.
“We will then work our circles in the financial services industry to get peer companies involved, as will the other companies in their industries,” said Warren. “This is an exciting and important project. On behalf of Securian Financial, I sincerely thank Prince Charles and his wonderful staff at A4S for inviting us to get involved. Corporate sustainability is an approach that creates long-term stakeholder value by implementing a business strategy that considers every dimension of how a business operates in the ethical, social, environmental, cultural and economic spheres.”
Photo shows: Warren Zaccaro (third from left) and other CFOs meet with Prince Charles in London
This article was produced by ICMIF member Securian Financial for the organisation's internal magazine Sync. Our thanks to Securian Financial for sharing this with us and giving us permission to reproduce this on our website.