This is the first Bulletin from Chapter Zero, the Directors’ Climate Forum, established in June to help chairs and non-executive directors across all sectors prepare to address the risks and opportunities presented by climate change in UK boardrooms. It is part of the World Economic Forum Climate Governance Initiative.

Mitigating the effects of climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the corporate sector globally. Recognising the scale and urgency of addressing the challenge, the purpose of Chapter Zero is to enable non-executive directors of UK PLCs to:

  • develop their knowledge of the implications of climate change
  • understand better how it will affect their companies
  • bring an informed contribution to the boardroom in order to shape individual company responses.

Chapter Zero is supported by Mark Tucker, Chair of HSBC; David Tyler, Chair of Hammerson; Sir John Kingman, Chair of L&G; and Sarah Bates, Chair of Merian Global Investors and Polar Capital Technology Trust. It is partnering with ICAEW, the CBI, the Royal Institution and Carbon Trust, and is hosted by Hughes Hall at the University of Cambridge.Click on the Chapter Zero Membership Form to enrol as a member and have access to our events and board level materials.

Please do share this Bulletin with any other Non-Executives in your network and encourage them to enrol as a member.

 

Launch of the Chapter Zero Tool Kit

We are piloting a tool kit for chairs and other non-executives to help them better understand the climate change challenge, and assess their organisations’ readiness to tackle it.

The tool kit, and associated assessment tool, was developed especially for Chapter Zero members by consultancy The Berkeley Partnership; a great example of the pro bono help we are receiving. To try out the tool kit, register as a Chapter Zero member and we will send you the link.

 

Climate Change briefings

Chapter Zero will be running a series of events in the autumn, in collaboration with Deloitte. These will be 90-minute morning briefings in Central London with business leaders and subject matter experts, covering:
• bringing climate change on to the board agenda
• understanding the risks and opportunities, scenario analysis and strategy
• choosing metrics and targets
• financial statement impact and narrative reporting in the annual report.

The first will be on 13th September at 8.30a.m. with Simon Thompson, Chair of 3i plc and Rio Tinto plc as the keynote speaker, who will be joined by panel members. Further dates and speakers are being finalised. To register for the first briefing on 13th September or the second briefing, provisionally scheduled for 14th October, contact climate@hughes.cam.ac.uk.

 

Scenario Workshops

Our partners Carbon Trust led a pilot scenario planning workshop for Chapter Zero members in July. The workshop considers how to develop scenarios to illustrate the potential business impacts of climate change action and the risks and opportunities, translating this into changes in company value and cash flow. Members who took part are giving feedback on the event with a view to a refined version being run several times over the next 12 months, starting in October. To express interest in attending, contact climate@hughes.cam.ac.uk.

 

Risk Workshop

On 13th September we will be holding, jointly with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Deloitte UK, an interactive workshop for Non-Executive Directors, particularly Audit and Risk Committee members, on the implications of climate change for enterprise risk management. The content draws on new expert guidance developed by COSO, the professional body for risk management practitioners, and Ernst & Young, and has been specially adapted by Deloitte UK to meet the needs of Non-Executive Directors. This workshop is full but if you are interested in attending a future one, contact climate@hughes.cam.ac.uk.

 

Films and learning modules

You may not yet have seen the excellent films put together by Deloitte and our partners ICAEW, with help from the Centre for Climate Change Engagement at Hughes Hall. As well as setting the scene on the impacts of climate change, they cover strategy, reporting, metrics and setting targets.

If you haven’t seen them yet, do go to https://deloitte.co.uk/climatechange/ for some valuable summer viewing.

 

Our new logo

We have a new logo, designed by branding experts Wolff Olins following a competition amongst their staff worldwide. They also came up with the name Chapter Zero; an example of the help we are getting from not just our official partners, but other organisations who want to support this important initiative. We are working on our website (currently hosted for us at Hughes Hall) and a new and improved version will launch in September.

 

Non-Executive Directors’ voice on climate change

One of the roles of Chapter Zero is to engage with organisations involved in the business climate change agenda. For example:

  • Chapter Zero collaborated with the Investor Relations Society and Fidelio to hold a roundtable discussion to explore how investors engage with companies on the topic of climate change, and how investor relations can contribute to better informed boards
  • Chapter Zero Steering Committee members Susan Hooper and Gillian Karran-Cumberlege spoke at the ICSA: The Governance Institute Conference in July. Susan spoke on the keynote panel, “The Future Board”, about the risks which climate change poses to the Board, while Gillian moderated a panel on Boards in Crisis; with climate change flagged as a key emergent disrupter
  • Gillian also led a Fidelio roundtable breakfast with FTSE 100 Audit Committee Chairs last month focusing on the changing agenda of the Audit Committee. She was joined by Carol Bell, another Chapter Zero Steering Committee Member and an Audit Committee Chair. Climate change was identified as one of three key themes shaping the audit agenda today.
  • Chapter Zero Steering Committee Chairman, Julie Baddeley, took part in a panel discussing investor engagement at the recent Sustainable Finance Forum in Oxford.