Businesses to lead fight against climate change


Date: 2 July 2019

Businesses to lead fight against climate change

The vast majority of business directors and managers say that business leaders have a responsibility to take action on climate change.

The UK government has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Now a survey of almost 2,000 business leaders and managers conducted by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has found that the vast majority say they are committed to tackling climate change.

Nine out of ten directors and managers said they believe that business leaders should take steps to mitigate climate change and 80% said their own business is already doing so. The top five actions already taken to tackle climate change are:

  • Reducing the amount of waste produced;
  • Introducing energy-saving initiatives across the business;
  • Reducing the amount of travel undertaken;
  • Developing a climate change policy;
  • Selecting suppliers who are committed to tackling climate change.

Both the IoD and the CMI are calling on the government to produce and promote practical guidance for all companies, regardless of size or industry, on how they can contribute to the 2050 target.

"When it comes to addressing the risks posed to the environment, the impetus to change must be shared by everyone," said Edwin Morgan, IoD interim director general.

"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."

Ann Francke, CMI chief executive, said: "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."

The government has launched its Green Finance Strategy this week to increase investment in sustainable projects and infrastructure. City minister John Glen, said: "The UK has a long history of leading the way in tackling climate change, but we need to do more to protect our planet for future generations."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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