NEW GUIDE RAISES THE BAR FOR CORPORATE CLIMATE LEADERSHIPThe We Mean Business Coalition
NEW GUIDE RAISES THE BAR FOR CORPORATE CLIMATE LEADERSHIP
The We Mean Business coalition issues an enhanced call for business action on climate change, redefining what it takes to be a corporate climate leader in this crucial decade.
NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2020 — Today the We Mean Business coalition launched a new guide, “Climate Leadership Now: The new bar for business action on climate change.” The guide outlines the action businesses need to take to be considered credible corporate leaders in the 2020s. It builds on the private sector’s impressive commitment to climate action to date, and makes a clear case for even further action given the severely increasing risks that the changing climate poses to the global economy.
According to the guide, which builds on the coalition’s years of experience working with companies, for a business to be considered a leader on climate, it must respond to the climate crisis with Ambition, deliver on that ambition with Action and speak up to secure wider change through Advocacy.
In doing so, companies can increase their competitiveness and resilience — especially in the context of the economic downturn — and accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy that leaves no one behind. The principles outlined in “Climate Leadership Now” include:
- Aligning corporate ambition with the best available climate science. This entails setting a target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, at the latest, and setting strong interim targets along the way through the Science Based Targets initiative.
- Identifying and implementing action that will enable companies to deliver on their ambition including engaging with their supply chain. Companies need to be transparent about progress toward goals through disclosure and reporting.
- Advocating for climate action at all levels — through corporate lobbying efforts, industry peers and trade groups.
The We Mean Business coalition was founded in 2014 to galvanize business leadership on climate change and influence policy in the lead-up to the formation of the Paris Agreement. Since then, more than 1,300 companies with a market capitalization of nearly $25 trillion have committed to bold climate action through the coalition partners’ initiatives. Although significant, this ambition needs to be complemented with greater action to ensure we halve emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050, which is required to limit the worst impacts of climate change according to the latest climate science.
Access the We Mean Business coalition’s latest guidance for businesses in the “Climate Leadership Now” guide here.
Maria Mendiluce, CEO, the We Mean Business coalition, said: “Business only has a short window of time left to prepare for the zero-carbon future so now is the time to step up. For business, climate action builds resilience, increases innovation, cuts costs and attracts investment. We are seeing companies from even the most challenging sectors taking climate action and reaping the rewards. We now need to see this new level of leadership from business across the board – increasing its level of ambition, action and advocacy to drive us forward at the pace needed.”
Eliot Whittington, Director, Corporate Leaders Group, said: “There’s an increasingly visible need for business to act as a matter of urgency. There’s also now clear evidence that companies taking climate action outperform their peers. And we have a greater understanding than ever before of what leadership needs to look like. It’s critical that companies step up now to harness the benefits of climate action but also to ensure they prioritize the right actions at the right level of ambition right now and work with policymakers to accelerate the transition to net-zero. This is going to be the only way of doing business in the future.”
Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO, The B Team, said: “We need to transform the way we lead, we need more courage and accountability and we need to be more holistic. We can no longer separate climate from planetary boundaries or inequality. We are facing multiple crises and we need an economic reset where we recognize the interconnectedness of all these issues and address them accordingly. There needs to be a new definition of business success which goes beyond shareholders, and climate leadership on behalf of all stakeholders is a central part of it.”
Helen Clarkson, CEO, the Climate Group, said: “This is the climate decade – we need to halve emissions by 2030. For companies this means it’s time to look across their business operations and value chains to identify where they can deploy emissions-reducing solutions and where they need to innovate. There are already plenty of shovel-ready climate solutions in terms of power and transport as well as energy efficiency, and this is the time for businesses to adopt those at scale to drive the market shifts required.”
Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group (IKEA), said: “This is the most important decade of human kind and more and more leaders across businesses, governments and society are setting high ambitions and commitments that require that we accelerate action and scale solutions that many more can benefit from. Together we have it in our hands to design and invest in a future that leaves no one behind – that is clean, green and more just. We need to recover and reset for generations to come.”
Dimitri de Vreeze, co-CEO, Royal DSM, said: “Everything mentioned in the We Mean Business coalition’s Climate Leadership Now guide – ambition, action and advocacy – is mutually reinforcing. We must showcase ambition and deliver a credible pathway to decarbonization together. As just one company, our impact on reducing global emissions might be limited, but we can all make much bigger waves by encouraging others and leading by example. We can show how it’s possible for anyone to do well by doing good.”
About the We Mean Business coalition
The We Mean Business coalition is a group of nonprofit organizations working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The global coalition brings together seven organizations: BSR, CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Together we catalyze business action to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Find out more at wemeanbusinesscoaltion.org.