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Sustainability is a business imperative where tax plays a critical role

Deloitte suggests five ways tax leaders can help their business achieve sustainability goals and accelerate sustainability commitments, following a survey of 335 tax leaders, which found sustainability is a central business issue.

NEW YORK, NY, US, 13 October 2022 — Businesses are embedding sustainability goals into their strategies and processes; measuring and reporting their progress and performance. Simultaneously, tax transparency is a business imperative with companies scrutinising their responsibilities and role in society.

However, for Tax to have a meaningful impact on the business’s sustainability commitments, it needs to stretch beyond compliance and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting to play a bigger role and support the business in new ways.

In June 2022, Deloitte surveyed 335 tax leaders globally and drew insights from a series of in-depth interviews to examine the role of tax departments in sustainability efforts. It found that tax leaders are actively helping their companies with sustainability initiatives, with a majority feeling they are on top of sustainability for the moment.

Based on the survey findings, Deloitte has identified five steps tax leaders could take, alongside supporting actions, that may help them keep pace with the business as it shifts towards a sustainable way of operating:

  1. Identify the tax implications of your business’ ESG strategy.
  2. Understand the tax implications of your company’s value chain.
  3. Prioritise tax transparency on ESG matters.
  4. Transform the tax operating model as it relates to ESG.
  5. Agree on ESG tax roles and responsibilities

“These identified steps, detailed in the report, will assist tax leaders by enhancing their contribution to the business by leveraging tax strategy to optimise business performance from the outset,” said Mick Kane. “Now is the time to leverage the momentum of ESG, to transform the business and the tax function itself.”

About the Deloitte Sustainability & Tax Survey

The report is based on a survey of 335 tax leaders across Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific regions. All major industry sectors were represented in our sample.

KS&R, a global independent market research and consulting firm, also conducted select, one-on-one interviews with tax leaders to garner additional insight.Respondents were all executives (C-suite, owner/partner, board of directors, head of business unit/department, or director/VP) from the finance, risk assessment, or tax functions, within large enterprises.

To dive deeper into these findings, you can view the full report here.