Chapter Zero: New executive-level forum launched to place climate change in the boardroom

Chapter Zero is in discussion with other FTSE chairs about becoming involved in the initiative

Chapter Zero: The Directors’ Climate Forum was launched on Monday (24 June) in the UK as part of the World Economic Forum Climate Governance Initiative. The initiative has been supported by the chairs of HSBC, Hammerson, L&G and Merian Global Investors and Polar Capital Technology Trust.

The forum will develop board-level knowledge of the implications of climate change and how it will impact company operations and performance. A network of members will be created, including chairs and non-executive directors, to share best practice, board-level responses to climate change.

HSBC’s chair Mark Tucker said: “Climate Change is not only one of the biggest challenges facing UK businesses today, it is also a huge opportunity. Meeting the challenge and making the most of this opportunity depends on corporate Boards being well briefed and committed to focussed action.

“This is not confined to resource companies and car manufacturers. It affects all corporate sectors.”

Chapter Zero is in discussion with other FTSE chairs about becoming involved in the initiative. In addition, leading industry bodies such as ICAEW, the CBI, the Royal Institution and The Carbon Trust are also supporting the initiative.

Zeros to heroes

Almost two-thirds (60%) of the UK public believe that the chief executives of corporations should be leading the national fight against climate change, a survey has found. Conducted by consultancy Kin&Co, the survey quizzed two groups of 1,203 and 2,084 adults respectively on their attitudes to sustainable business and climate action.

Across these two groups, 69% agreed that climate change is now an “urgent issue” for large brands, rather than something likely to affect them in the distant future. Indeed, 59% said they would like to see their favourite brands declare a ‘Climate Emergency’, as the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments did earlier this month.

CBI’s director general Carolyn Fairbairn said: “Delivering a net zero economy by 2050 will require urgent action from businesses across all sectors. Companies must respond to growing demand from investors and customers by making climate change a Boardroom priority. Firms that act now will not only play their part in avoiding the devastating impact of climate change but also steal a march on their competitors.”

Over the past few months, edie has conducted and published a number of exclusive interviews with the chief executives of some of the world’s biggest companies.

From Nespresso using sustainability as a competitive advantage to SC Johnson’s boss outlining his thoughts on plastics collaboration, the interviews provide unique insight into the minds of a chief executive. Interviews with the chief executives of British Airways and Firmenich are also available to read.

Matt Mace

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