Burger King CFO: How to bring the c-suite into sustainability


By Brendan Coyne, The Energyst 

July 9, 2019


Tim Doubleday is group CFO at Burger King. He is also chair of the environment leadership team at Business in the Community – and gave a snapshot of how to engage the c-suite in sustainability at the May Hospitality Carbon Reduction Forum.


Doubleday outlined the simultaneous snowballing of environmental regulation and taxes and growing public concern around climate issues.


That has created a climate of fear and risk for businesses, said Doubleday, which feeds through to the CFO as “if you do not respond, your regulatory and tax burden will increase and your customers will go elsewhere”.


Present opportunity


It is time to change the message, said Doubleday. “Don’t talk about risk, talk about opportunity. If you present opportunity to your CEO or chief marketing officer, they will be onboard straightaway. So change the agenda.”


He pointed to the $12tn opportunity identified by United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals; hundreds of thousands of UK jobs – and the trillions of pounds in green funds looking for good, sustainable receptacles.


Doubleday suggested talking to CFOs about the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), which require investors to ensure that the companies in which they invest make continuous, demonstrable sustainability improvements.


This forces both public and private equity investors to push the sustainability agenda, said Doubleday.


Meanwhile the environmental agenda is working its way into the home, and into the mindset of the next generation of employees and customers.


“So if you have the investors pushing from behind and your customers and employees pulling from the front, then from a business perspective, the c-suite has to take notice,” said Doubleday.


His takeouts were:


more, including links