We’ve achieved some remarkable milestones in our first year. Julie Baddeley, Chair of Chapter Zero, captures the highlights and plans for the future.
We’ve achieved some remarkable milestones in our first year. We now have more than 900 members. 47 companies in the FTSE100 and 100 companies in the FTSE250 have a director who is a member. This rapid growth (despite the challenges of COVID-19) shows the non-executive community’s recognition of the increasing urgency of the challenge faced by businesses during the UK’s transition to net-zero emissions, and the increasing focus of investors, consumers, and regulators on the climate issue.
Here are a few highlights from our first year:
- We hosted almost 30 climate-related events and webinars in collaboration with many of the key organisations in the UK that are engaged with the decarbonisation challenge, including commercial experts, academics, regulators, investors, government and a range of Board advisors.
- We launched the Chapter Zero Directors’ Climate Journey to give our members a foundation of climate knowledge and confidence in their ability to take the conversation into the Boardroom.
- As the network grew, other organisations included us in initiatives aimed at helping business transition to green operating models, including the Goal 13 Impact Platform and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Race to Net-Zero campaign.
- To meet the evolving strategic needs of the Board, we launched the Change Management Toolkit which outlines an end-to-end roadmap – from prioritising climate change on the Board agenda to monitoring and reporting, and includes case studies.
We are grateful for the support we continue to receive from our partners: The Centre for Climate Engagement at Hughes Hall, Cambridge, which has provided our secretariat throughout the year, the CBI, ICAEW, Carbon Trust, and The Royal Institution; as well as our Supporting Chairs and collaborators who are included on the website.
Our first year of activity has been made possible by partnerships, collaborations and pro bono contributions from many organisations and individuals. We believe this degree of working together is a testament to the commitment of the business community to delivering net zero.
The profile of the climate emergency has increased greatly in the past year: in the press, with investors, with consumers and employees. Although the response to the pandemic has inevitably given Boards significant short-term challenges, our research confirms that climate change remains high on the agenda focusing on its risks and opportunities, and increasingly on reporting, such as Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure’s (TCFD) recommendations. There is also a growing expectation that companies will have a clear climate strategy and plan of action.
In recent months many companies have made commitments to net-zero transitions, several with ambitious timetables. The theme of Build Back Better has resonated widely, and we look forward to supporting our members in the coming year as the UK and the rest of the world prepare for the next international climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021.
Newer members have indicated that it can be difficult to initiate the climate conversation and engage in effective Boardroom debate on the topic. We hope that our events, resources and networking are helping you all.
Please encourage your fellow Board members to join Chapter Zero.
Julie Baddeley, Chair of Chapter Zero
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