Theo: “CSRD forces organisations to become future-proof in a broad sense: environment, social, finance, governance, human rights…” Sustainability is embedded within the entire organisation and requires a different way of doing business. Marcel: “The controller can’t do it alone – they need to bring together people with all kinds of expertise. If departments don’t work together, the organisation won’t meet sustainability goals and you get red flags in your CSRD reporting. But organisations also need to work together. Both within the supply chain and beyond by collaborating in their network with partners, knowledge institutions, governments and many more.”
Licence to operate
Sustainability is much more than good intentions and regulation. Organisations that fail to take part also risk putting themselves out of business. Marcel: “In the long run, you will lose your reputation and your licence to operate.” Theo: “With the public, with the legislator, with suppliers, with all stakeholders.” Marcel: “Or you will go bankrupt. Your position in society is the objective: what do you add in terms of multi-value creation? Only if that position is awarded to you will you be able to invest and acquire funding. This will prevent you from going out of business in the long term.”
Fagro sees its own service provider role changing. Theo: “We will go from being an organisation of finance professionals to an organisation of impact professionals.” This role fits Fagro well. “We see how processes are carried out throughout an organisation. We also see the risks and opportunities.” Marcel: “And we financial consultants like to play this new role too. The controller is often the organisation’s conscience.” Theo sees another advantage: “That new role also fits in with the curious nature of our people.”
Sustainable business model
Marcel: “But of course you first look at your own organisation – we need to learn to think in an integrated way too. Including about the nature of an assignment.” This can sometimes lead to advice that initially looks strange to the client. “What the client wants now is not always what they need in the longer term. The intention is that they take the next step along their path, rather than repeating the same ones over and over.” Theo: “We put an end to short-term thinking and develop a sustainable business model.” Marcel: “And in that new business model, the service is all about awareness – and we provide tools for this. Who do we need to energise in order to turn the red flag in the report into a green one? Assurance, too. After all, down the line we must also make it clear that it works."
Fagro is inspired by its clients. Marcel: “For example, civil society organisations such as Neos, which focuses on homeless people and emphasises impact by its very nature." Theo: “And take a commercial company such as Signify, which transformed itself from a lamp vendor to a sustainably organised service provider with the credo ‘Lighting as a service’.” Marcel: “Maybe we will eventually deliver multi-value creation in the form of ‘consultancy as a service’.”
From Fagro to FaGroW
30 Fagro consultants are already training to be impact professionals. In addition, a number of enthusiastic consultants and business managers are working on internal projects relating to sustainability. Over the next few months, Fagro will be meeting with its clients in a series of round-table sessions in various regions.