All articles by Web Asia

Web Asia

How CFOs and the cloud can support sustainability

With projects and employees scattered across two continents, Skanska is one of the biggest construction companies on earth. Not that the Swedish giant simply turns up at a site and starts laying bricks. On the contrary, success increasingly relies on intelligent use of data and the cloud – both in the finance department and across the business more broadly. Nor are these functions necessarily mutually exclusive, with the company’s finance director heavily invested in areas like sustainability. Andrea Valentino talks to Magnus Persson, CFO at Skanska since 2018, to learn more.

How data can boost energy sustainability

The better a state is doing, so the saying goes, the less you should think about it. By that measure,
the British government has seen better days. From market turmoil to runaway house prices, it recently
feels like the country can do little else but worry. Energy is another persistent concern, especially as
temperatures drop and gas prices stay frustratingly high. National Grid, it goes without saying, is at the
centre of these developments. But, as Andrea Valentino finds out when he catches up with Andy Agg,
the company’s CFO, the organisation is focused on far more than merely keeping the lights on

Why sustainability reporting is vital to European business

Last August, a group of 86 CFOs signed an open letter encouraging the sharpening of new rules around sustainability reporting. The dramatic move came after the founding of the International Sustainability Standards Board – a new body tasked with improving reporting standards, and one that many finance directors felt lacked clarity. But beyond the headline debate, what is the ISSB proposing, and why did so many CFOs decide to poke their heads above the parapet? Phoebe Galbraith investigates, along the way talking to Jessica Fries of the Accounting for Sustainability Project, the organisation behind the letter, and Maria Ferraro, CFO and chief inclusion and diversity officer at Siemens Energy.

Why the world will continue to globalise

After the ravages of Covid-19, China is returning from self-imposed isolation – and globalisation is back with a vengeance, despite strong headwinds in the global economy. Jim Banks talks to Steve Altman of the DHL Initiative on Globalisation; Richard Bolwijn at UNCTAD; and Terence Toland of Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council, to understand how global FDI remained resilient amid these challenges and what the future holds for global trade.

How logistics and sustainability are combining across Europe

Contemporary society would be impossible without the mail – a fact vividly evidenced by the size of modern postal fleets. Poste Italiane has tens of thousands of vehicles, a scale shadowed by public and private enterprises across Europe. Given how many polluting combustion engines these fi gures imply, moreover, it should come as no surprise that logistics fi rms are rushing to electrify their vehicles. But given the continent’s vast geographical and cultural variations, how are staff securing vehicles that fi t a land of huge cities and narrow country lanes – and how much support are they getting from their colleagues in government? Andrea Valentino talks to a range of experts to learn more.

The vital importance of corporate security – and cybersecurity

From terrorist attacks to flash floods, every corporate office is vulnerable to risk these days. That’s even before you consider the implications of global pandemics, with potentially anyone posing a risk to hundreds of staff in an instant. Not that the situation is hopeless. Dovetailing careful research into the threats with sophisticated new technology, all while understanding how cyber and physical threats interact, chief security officers are fighting back. Tallha Abdulrazaq investigates, exploring how CSOs navigate the dual threat landscape businesses face in today’s world.

How human capital management can boost productivity

The cost of living crisis is the biggest worry across Europe, with 93% of the continent’s citizens citing it as their greatest concern in 2023. Yet, even as pressure on bank accounts steadily rises, many parts of Europe remain a paradise for jobseekers. With inflation soaring, moreover, what role should CFOs play in balancing individual prosperity with corporate balance sheets? Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe talks to Jean-Bernard Moens, finance director at travel start-up Omio, and Charles Cotton, the senior reward and performance adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, to learn more.

How big data helps pharma plan for tomorrow

Boasting a history spanning four centuries, Takeda is one of the most storied pharma companies on the planet. But that hardly means its operations are stuck in the past. The Japanese bioscience giant’s development of cancer therapies, as well as its battle against life-threatening viruses, is incredibly complex – especially when factoring in its wider responsibilities to patients, industry partners, and even the planet at large. To ensure Takeda’s finances are robust enough to cope, its Europe and Canada CFO is increasingly reliant on digitalisation to augment decision-making, find efficiencies and grow influence. Dan Cave talks to Alexander Musil to learn more.

How culture and tech boost mergers at DEPT

Completing a successful merger or acquisition is the ultimate goal for any company – but sadly, that’s often easier said than done. There are numerous elements that must align for a meeting of two fi rms to be successful, not least around infrastructure migration and culture. Andrew Tunnicliffe speaks with DEPT CFO Mickey Kalifa to find out how this uniquely positioned business combines the two

How data and reporting boost ESG goals at FCC Construcción

Every industry is gripped by financial transformation – but María Carrasco’s is surely undergoing more change than most. Highly decentralised and reliant on a cobweb of contractors and suppliers, construction CFOs like her can gain much from leaning on the latest fintech innovations. Yet, as the firnance director at FCC Construcción explains, her work increasingly transcends these straightforward financials, instead encompassing a deep focus on sustainability. Andrea Valentino catches up with Carrasco to learn more, along the way exploring how even the biggest reporting revolution won’t necessarily change a finance team’s daily schedule.