Sir Ian Cheshire announced as chair of We Mean Business Coalition

Sir Ian will work alongside current chief executive María Mendiluce

The We Mean Business Coalition is on a collective mission to work with corporate partners to drive policy changes that enable emissions to halve by 2030. The coalition has today (1 February) welcomed former Kingfisher chief executive, Sir Ian Cheshire, as its new chair.

Sir Ian has a long history in the area of corporate sustainability. As well as overseeing the creation of Kingfisher’s Net-Positive commitment, Sir Ian was previously the non-executive chair of Debenhams and a former Barclays Bank chair and is currently on the board of directors at BT. Sir Ian was knighted in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to business, sustainability and the environment.

Kingfisher was one of the world’s first major businesses to commit to becoming Net Positive. More recently, B&Q and Screwfix owner Kingfisher built on its overarching vision of becoming a ‘net-positive’ business with a 2025 commitment to create more forests than it uses.

“I am honoured to take on this role chairing the preeminent global organisation working with business to act on climate – the greatest challenge of our generation. I know that business has a vital role to play in transforming economies and systems that will cut global emissions in half by 2030 and secure a long-term sustainable future. Since its inception, the Coalition has helped lead the global movement of businesses committing to bold climate ambition,” Sir Ian said.

“Now we must deliver. As a former CEO, who dealt with these issues every day, I understand the challenges and the huge opportunities this moment presents. The We Mean Business Coalition, our partners and the thousands of businesses we work with are ready to act in ways that are fast, measurable and inclusive.”

Sir Ian is also chair of the UK Government’s Global Resource Initiative taskforce, which has helped create a legal duty for companies to declare the origins of their supply chains. He also chairs the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Spire Healthcare Group; Menhaden Capital

He joins the We Mean Business Coalition, in part, to increase the number of companies that are committed to accelerating climate action. He will work alongside current chief executive María Mendiluce, who stepped into the role vacated by Nigel Topping, who served as High Level Champion for Climate Action at COP26.

Mendiluce spoke to edie at COP26 in Glasgow last year. You can watch the video interview, where Mendiluce discusses that the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C is ‘alive, but in intensive care’, here.

Matt Mace

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