The guide outlines how corporate leaders can combine ambition, action and advocacy to drive progress towards the world's climate goals, according to WMB
Businesses seeking guidance on how to align their activities with best practice in the fight against climate change can draw on the expertise set out in a new guide published yesterday by We Mean Business, a global coalition of non-profits backing corporate action towards net zero emissions.
The guide - Climate Leadership Now: the new bar for business action on climate change - lays out what "corporate climate leadership needs to look like in the coming decade", and urges firms to respond to the climate crisis with a combination of "ambition, action and advocacy".
The 26-page guide draws on six years of experience working with corporates on climate action efforts since the We Mean Business coalition was founded in 2014, over which time more than 1,300 companies with a market capitalisation of nearly $25tr commit to climate action through its initiatives.
It urges firms to align their corporate ambition with the best available climate science, by setting targets for net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner backed by clear interim CO2 goals through the Science Based Targets initiative.
Alongside this, firms should identify and implement actions that will enable them to deliver on this ambition, including engaging with their supply chain to combat CO2, and to boost transparency towards goals through public disclosure and reporting, it adds.
In addition, the guide calls on corporates to advocate for climate action at all levels, through corporate lobbying efforts, industry peers and trade groups.
"Business only has a short window of time left to prepare for the zero-carbon future so now is the time to step up," said Maria Mendiluce, CEO at the We Mean Business coalition. "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."
While the guide is focused principally on corporates capable of playing a lead role in fight against climate change, We Mean Business is also seeking to step up its support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), work which received a significant boost yesterday thanks to a $1m grant to the coalition from US telecoms giant Verizon.
The grant is geared at helping We Mean Business provide one million SMEs globally with tech-enabled, carbon footprint quantification tools and skills in pursuit of a target for a 50 per cent reduction of their carbon emissions by 2030, placing them on a track to reach net zero by 2050.
The funding will support the development of climate curricula and online emissions assessment tools, including online classes and coaching, for 10,000 SMEs, according to Verizon.
"Small and medium businesses account for the majority of businesses worldwide, giving them a unique opportunity to enact significant impact on climate change," said Rose Stuckey Kirk, chief corporate social responsibility officer at Verizon. "We are committed to helping these businesses thrive, especially those with minority ownership, and providing the tools to have a long-lasting impact on their sustainability efforts."
The new partnership with We Mean Business forms part of Verizon's sustainable business plan Citizen Verizon, which outlines Verizon's own sustainability goals, including to source or generate renewable energy equivalent to 50 per cent of its total annual electricity consumption by 2025 and become carbon neutral across its operations by 2035.
Mendiluce welcomed the $1m funding. "For major corporations to deliver on their climate commitments they need to work with suppliers to reduce emissions at pace," she said.
As many as 11.5 million people now work in renewable energy worldwide, but IRENA warns strong policy action essential to sustain growth in the wake of Covid-19
French oil major takes over Source London EV network after acquisition of Blue Point London from the Bolloré Group
Online fashion retailer has trained its designers in making its clothing and jewellery more sustainable, recyclable and reusable
Construction company outlines plan to achieve zero carbon across its own operations and its building developments by 2030 without the use of carbon offsets