Tag: Will Gardiner

Forbes: Drax joint-second most trustworthy company in Europe

I’m delighted that Drax Group plc has been named by Forbes magazine and MSCI ESG Research as one of the 50 most trustworthy companies in Europe.

In fact, Drax came joint second across the whole continent among companies judged who ‘consistently demonstrated transparent accounting practices and solid corporate governance’.

It’s a massive tribute to everyone involved with Drax that world-leading business experts have recognised our commitment to trust and integrity in this way.

Of course, that commitment goes much further than our accounting practices alone. (I believe my British colleagues would say that it runs right through Drax like the writing in a stick of rock.)

Indeed, it was one of the reasons I was so honoured to be asked to join Drax as CFO. From my very first meeting with CEO Dorothy Thompson, I could see that Drax would always strive do the right thing, in the right way.

That’s just as true for our sustainability data as it is for our business data.

It was our commitment to doing the right thing that led Drax to take on the decision to convert Drax power station from coal to compressed wood pellets.

It is our commitment to doing the right thing that means Drax is reducing emissions by over 80 per cent while giving people and businesses all over the UK the reliable, renewable power that they need.

And we know we can save bill-payers money at the same time.

The UK is lagging far behind the rest of Europe when it comes to generating energy from compressed wood pellets. Drax is committed to bringing us closer to the European average, while helping us move from the fossil fuels of the past to the renewables of the future. And yes, you can trust us on that.

Three ways to judge a CFO

It’s a good question, because you can’t build a great company without a great chief financial officer (CFO). But as a shareholder, how can you judge how well your CFO is doing? Without setting myself up for a fall, the answer I gave our investor broke down into these three questions:

  1. Are they keeping control? At its heart, the first part of any CFO’s role is to make sure that their business is under control and that all risks are being properly managed. They need to maintain a strong balance sheet and keep reporting and communications clear and transparent. Above all, they need to make sure there are no surprises.
  2. Are they improving efficiency? The second part is making sure the organisation is always working as efficiently as possible, keeping a strong hand on costs and ensuring that current revenue streams are always optimised. Above all, they need to be making sure that less money is going out and more money is coming into the organisation.
  3. Are they allocating capital wisely? The final task of any CFO is investing shareholder’s money in the best projects – first internally and second externally. Above all, they need to have a clear consideration of cash returns for shareholders.

So now the next time you wonder how well your CFO is doing, you know how to judge them.

This article was originally published by Will on LinkedIn.