When it comes to the C-suite, no role is as evolutionary in recent years as the CFO.
With increased adoption of digital technologies, disruptions caused by the pandemic, and a wave of geopolitical and economic uncertainties, the Chief Financial Officer is increasingly taking a pivotal role in an organisation’s strategic agenda.
And now – as the sustainability agenda rises, CFOs are tasked increasingly with integrating sustainability into financial strategies.
This shift, driven by the roll-out of reporting regulations such as CSRD, sees the financial chief step into the spotlight and spearhead the sustainability agenda.
As Jarkho Virranta, Director of Finance Consulting at EY puts it: “With their extensive networks, in-depth understanding of data, and mastery of financial tools, CFOs can take the lead. By integrating ESG considerations into financial strategies, CFOs can drive sustainable transformation while ensuring profitability.”
This is certainly the steer for Daimler Truck Holding, one of the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers with revenues of €50.9 billion and ambitious plans for decarbonisation.
Daimler Truck Hires CFO With a Sustainability Focus
A key player in the EV sector, with bold ambitions for carbon-neutrality, Daimler recently announced the appointment of Siemens’ executive Eva Scherer as its new Chief Financial Officer – one with a Sustainability focus.
In making the appointment, the Board considered not only “professional expertise” but placed particular emphasis on “open-mindedness, diversity, potential and enthusiasm to drive change”, according to Joe Kaeser, Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Scherer, who currently serves as Siemens' Global Head of Investor Relations, has long had sustainability in her sights.
Fusing both broad financial experience and sustainability expertise, Scherer has held various leadership roles within Siemens over 20 years including as CFO for Siemens Middle East and Asia-Pacific – where she established a regional HQ in Singapore for Siemens’ building technologies division.
In this role, she landed multiple projects for Siemens including on Australia’s Greener Government Buildings programme to improve the energy efficiency of government facilities across the country.
Passionate about the pursuit of clean energy, Scherer is also a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, where she was instrumental in developing the Alliance for Clean Air, a group of multinationals partnering on improving air quality.
Scherer’s focus on and passion for clean energy will continue in her new role, which she begins on April 1, as she announced on LinkedIn: “A topic that has been close to my heart for a long time is sustainable transportation and I will contribute to this topic in a new capacity… as Daimler Truck CFO.”
Daimler Truck Leading the World of Sustainable Transportation
This appointment of a finance chief with a focus on sustainability comes as Daimler Truck accelerates its plans to lead the world of sustainable transportation.
The ambition is for all new trucks and buses to be carbon-neutral on the road in Europe, the US and Japan by 2039 and globally by 2050.
“We are fully committed to make passenger and freight transportation emission-free,” says Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck Holding. “Thus, we are implementing our dual strategy with battery-electric and hydrogen-powered drives and bring vehicle after vehicle into series-production.”
In decarbonising transportation, Daimler Truck is pursuing a dual-track strategy with hydrogen- and battery-powered vehicles.
The company has 10 battery-electric truck and bus models in series production worldwide – and is working intensively on the battery-electric eAtego for medium-duty distribution haulage.
What's more, Daimler is electrifying the complete city bus portfolio for the European market by 2030, with a goal to have an electrically powered interurban bus in its portfolio by 2025.
And with a goal to offer coaches with a hydrogen-based fuel cell drive from the end of the decade, Daimler has established fuel-cell joint venture with Volvo Group and cellcentric to build one of the largest series productions of fuel-cell systems in Europe.
Proving the feasibility of using liquid hydrogen in road transportation, the company’s prototype Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck recently completed a trip of 1,047 kilometres across Germany with one fill of liquid hydrogen under real-life conditions.
Daimler Truck is building a customer-trial fleet of Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Trucks which are expected to be deployed in mid-2024.
In more recent moves, Daimler has partnered with the UAE’s clean powerhouse Masdar to explore the feasibility of liquid green hydrogen exports from Abu Dhabi to Europe by 2030.
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