Businesses need to lead the fight against climate change, say UK Managers and Directors

Posted On: 
28th June 2019

Business leaders are ready to lead the fight against climate change, a new survey from the CMI and IoD reveals ahead of the G20 Summit at which the environment will be a key theme.

With the Government committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the survey of almost 2,000 business leaders and managers conducted jointly by the CMI and IoD has revealed that the vast majority are already committed to the essential role that businesses play in tackling climate change:

· 9 out of 10 managers and directors believe that business leaders should be taking action to mitigate climate change

· 4 out of 5 managers and directors state that their business is already taking action to tackle climate change.

The top three actions already taken to tackle climate change are:

1.    Reducing the amount of waste produced

2.    Introducing energy saving initiatives across the business

3.    Reducing the amount of travel undertaken

The CMI and IoD know the net-zero target can only be achieved with the support of leaders and managers from organisations of all sectors and sizes across the UK. Both bodies are calling on Government to produce and promote practical guidance for all companies, regardless of size or industry, on how they can contribute to the 2050 target.

Ann Francke the Chief Executive of The Chartered Management Institute said:

“Across business, it seems like the argument for tackling climate change has been won. This is one of those rare issues where the Government faces a broad consensus on a policy issue and should be able to get on the front foot.

“Sustainability should be core to good management practice, and an integral part of every organisation’s business model. Today’s best leaders and managers know that the next generation of young professionals want to work for purpose-led organisations which are aware of their impact on the environment.

“Government can support businesses with practical guidance on how they can contribute to the national target. Regardless of what happens in Westminster in the coming months, it is comforting to know that this issue will be driven forward by inspirational leaders and managers.”

Edwin Morgan, Interim Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

“Long-term sustainable success is the basic principle of good corporate governance, so it’s no surprise that directors overwhelmingly feel it’s one of their responsibilities to tackle climate change.

“When it comes to addressing the risks posed to the environment, the impetus to change must be shared by everyone. The Government has raised the bar by setting a challenging emissions target, but it can only be achieved if businesses respond, with boards setting a clear direction which is embedded throughout their organisations. 

“Members of the IoD and the CMI clearly agree they must play their part, and it is vital that leaders in business of all shapes and sizes contribute to this ambitious goal.”

Full survey results:

Conducted between 25 April - 5 June 2019, with 1,092 CMI and 893 IoD respondents.

Which of the following actions, if any, should business leaders take to help tackle climate change?

 

CMI

IoD

Reduce emissions from their business

75%

65%

Cut their carbon footprint

75%

63%

Commit to responsible corporate engagement in climate policy

69%

62%

Report annually on greenhouse emissions

39%

23%

Commit to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure

39%

38%

Choose sustainable alternative fuels

52%

39%

Commit to smart energy use (such as cutting out energy waste, using smart buildings)

76%

69%

Commit to 100% renewable power

32%

27%

Business leaders should not be responsible for taking action against climate change

7%

10%

Don't know

4%

7%

Other (please specify)

6%

1%

 

Which of the following action, if any, has your organisation taken specifically to help tackle climate change?

 

CMI

IoD

Appointed a senior champion for climate change

18%

9%

Developed a climate change policy

21%

12%

Reduced the amount of waste produced

59%

61%

Reduced the amount of travel undertaken

38%

37%

Selected suppliers who are committed to tackling climate change

19%

14%

Introduced energy saving initiatives across the business

57%

50%

I am not aware of any actions that my business has taken

15%

10%

Don't know

8%

15%

Other (please specify)

5%

1%