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Climate Leadership Now

The new bar for business action on climate

The climate crisis poses a huge danger to the global economy and to the viability of business. Fortunately, a growing number of companies are taking action on climate change because they know it is critical for their long-term success and they know leadership brings reward. The role of corporate climate leaders is more important than ever. The scale of corporate action to date has been impressive, but it is not enough to deliver a sustainable future. The bar for leadership is rising and we know the most forward- looking businesses are rising to meet it. Climate Leadership Now, a new guide from the We Mean Business coalition, lays out our shared vision for what corporate climate leadership needs to look like in this critical decade.

The guide

In this guide, we set out the characteristics that all well-run companies will need to adopt to progress in key climate action areas. We explain the frontiers of leadership that the most ambitious companies are currently exploring. We set out how companies will need to demonstrate accountability, to give their leadership credibility. And we finish with a checklist of steps and actions setting out how companies can show climate leadership. Hundreds of companies are already on this journey, and most of them have gone further and faster than they believed possible before they started. Thousands more companies will join them and these actions will become the new business as usual.

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Ambition

Leading businesses respond to the climate crisis with Ambition.

Climate ambition is a commitment to shape the future. It represents a vision for a positive future including business outcomes, better jobs and greater environmental protection. It is how businesses tell the world they understand the transition to zero-carbon is underway and are up to date and on board with the changes they need to take. Companies that lay out their climate ambition stand to win a reputation for leadership and a head start on their competitors. By joining the race to decarbonize, they position themselves at the forefront of the new economy, ideally set to seize new opportunities and well positioned to comply with emerging regulation.

Action

Leading businesses deliver on ambition with Action.

After setting out a leading ambition, business needs to deliver on it. This is a process of innovation and change that, done right, can unlock business transformation to be a leading part of the economy of the future. It can deliver new competitive advantage that will grow as the economy decarbonizes. Conversely, the risks from inaction and delay will also continue to grow as the carbon-intensive business models of the old economy become less viable. And more and more other actors will expect nothing less. As stock valuations and capital flows increasingly demonstrate, investors see the growing value of rapid decarbonization and are directing their money accordingly. As policy makers set their own plans and ambitions, the growing weight of law and regulations will also reaffirm this direction.

Advocacy

Leading businesses speak up to secure wider change through Advocacy.

Most climate solutions require system-wide changes in the way society operates. The private sector is a unique and powerful engine for developing and delivering those solutions. To accelerate the transition, government needs to be on board to make the rules for a zero-carbon economy clear to all. For this to happen, corporate climate leaders must step into the arena of public discussion and political debate, and – together with like-minded allies – clearly and confidently make the case for change. At We Mean Business, we know that ambitious company action emboldens governments to set stronger policies, which in turn are essential to enable the scale-up of business actions. We call this the ‘ambition loop’ and leading companies recognize the role they play in it.

 


Guide Downloads

Executive Summary       Full Guide      Steps Towards Leadership

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