This is our third Chapter Zero Bulletin and our membership is growing daily. We are now more than halfway to our target of 500 members by the end of the year. Feedback is very positive, with members particularly appreciating the quality and relevance of our events, the use of the tool kit and the helpful resources on our website. Members are also valuing being able to share experiences on this difficult boardroom issue with each other, and with those from different sectors. 

Help us reach our milestone of 500 members by sharing the link: http://www.chapterzero.org.uk/join-us so that your colleagues and contacts can benefit from our work.

Chapter Zero events

We still have several events scheduled for the rest of 2019, and are planning a full programme for 2020 – more details in the next bulletin. Our events are open to our non-executive director members – join us.

Carbon Trust Scenario Planning and Strategy Workshop

At this workshop our partner, The Carbon Trust, help participants consider how to develop possible 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.

Chapter Zero and Deloitte Climate Crisis Briefings:

After two successful events in September and October we have two remaining briefings in the series.

20 November: Choosing Metrics and Targets (08.30 – 10.30 a.m., London)
Boards are finding this challenging, particularly if they are looking at including Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics in executive pay.

6 December: Financial Statement Impact and Narrative Reporting in the Annual Report (08.30 – 10.30 a.m., London)
With the advent of mandatory reporting on climate issues coming ever closer, companies are setting out to substantially improve the way these issues are dealt with in their public statements, and investors are looking for more and more information and data.

If you missed the event on Bringing Climate Change on to the Board Agenda back in September with Simon Thompson, Emily Farnworth, Emma Howard-Boyd and Susan Hooper do catch up with the speeches and panel discussions (video edit and key takeaways). We will let you know as soon as the session from the 14 October on Understanding the risks and opportunities, scenario analysis and strategy, with Richard Gillingwater, Daniel Klier and Karina Litvack, is available in the same way.

Workshop on Enterprise Risk Management & Climate Change

Together with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Deloitte UK, we hosted a pilot workshop for NEDs on the implications of Climate Change for Enterprise Risk Management. Drawing on new expert guidance developed by COSO, the professional body for ERM practitioners, the highly interactive session included a board game simulation of a corporate boardroom facing climate-related challenges, and provided training specially adapted to the needs of non-executive directors, in particular Audit and Risk Committee members. Following excellent feedback, Chapter Zero plans repeat sessions in the near future, in addition to rolling out the training to 12 other countries.

Chapter Zero debuts at WEF Sustainable Development Impact Summit

As world leaders and businesses converged on the UN General Assembly during New York Climate Week, the World Economic Forum hosted its annual Sustainable Development Impact Summit. It dedicated a session to the Climate Governance Initiative, home of the CGI Principles for boards launched in Davos last January 2019 (the underpinnings of Chapter Zero training content). Chapter Zero was given star billing, and Steering Committee member Karina Litvack outlined to an international audience how the growing network of country Chapters is enabling NEDs from around the world to access specialist training and networks of experts and like-minded directors.

Our Planet: Our Business film available to stream

Many of you will have seen the David Attenborough Our Planet series on Netflix earlier in the year, but you may not be aware that there is a version available to watch sponsored by the WWF and our partner ICAEW, edited for a business audience. Click here to view the corporate edit. Michael Izza, CEO of ICAEW, launched the film with a speech (click here to read our summary), showing the ICAEW’s commitment to using its huge reach – 150,000 chartered accountants worldwide – to take a lead in tackling the issue.

Transition Pathways Initiative: the Grantham Institute

The TPI, developed by The Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics, now covers progress on climate change action and discussion across the globe. Take a look at their website to see what progress is being made.

If you haven’t yet done so, we encourage members who are interested in climate change scientific research and insights to this newsletter produced by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London. It provides a regular and highly accessible update on the latest academic views, on both innovations and opportunities, as well as the climate science.

Partner events

CBI – The Low-Carbon 2020s – a Decade of Delivery, 4 November

This briefing on the role of the board on sustainability and climate change is being held 08.30 – 16.30. The event is free if your company is a CBI member. To reserve your place click here.

The Huxley Summit, 27 November

If you haven’t attended one of these summits, they attract a wide range of participants. This year chairs and non-executives from many large companies will be present, including directors from National Grid, Sage Group, Arup, AstraZeneca, Barclays, Berkeley Homes, Rentokil, and National Express. This illustrates the range of sectors which find the Summit of value.

For more information, click here. The morning and lunchtime sessions are on climate change and will explore how UK business and government can use their global reach to make a significant impact. To register your interest, email: rsvp@huxleysummit.org

YouGov International Climate Change survey results

YouGov carried out a poll on perceptions around climate change during the period 11 June – 22 July 2019. The results make interesting reading. Here are the summary findings and full results.

Chapter Zero website

Check out our Resources where you can find the United in Science report convened by the Science Advisory Group of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, as well as the latest report by Clyde & Co on Climate change: Liability risks for businesses, directors and officers. The coming wave of litigation.

Non-executive directors’ voice

Julie Baddeley, Chair of Chapter Zero, was on the judging panel for the Finance for the Future Awards, where a key focus this year was on climate change. The awards were announced on 10 October and celebrated the work of Imperial College Business School, Ecology Building Society, SSE plc and Stora Enso in the Climate Leadership category.

Chapter Zero Steering Committee members have also supported the FRC Lab work on Climate and Workforce reporting, to look at how companies might meet the needs of investors in these areas. We will put the report on our website when it is launched in October.

Steering Committee member Gillian Karran-Cumberlege led Fidelio Partners’ seventh A Seat at the Table” board learning programme at Hever Castle. For the first time the programme contained a climate change module which was very positively received. It included a case study which drew upon board insights and experience from Chapter Zero steering committee members, as well as other core material that board members need to be aware of when considering climate change risk. Some of the “A Seat at the Table” participants and contributors subsequently became Chapter Zero members; viewing it as a source of support and guidance for board climate change effectiveness.

Julie Baddeley attended a summit at Findhorn on Systemic Risk: what next for asset owners, which explored the role of asset owners, such as pension funds, major endowments, and other investors from around the world, in driving action to tackle both climate risk and the need to build strategies for keeping global warming to 1.5 °C.  She was able to present some of the challenges the corporate world faces in responding to the need for more urgent action, and debate how investor pressure is likely to drive faster change in the near future.

Wolff Olins presented Change, Really on 15 October – an annual leadership summit – talking about organisations making real change. What actually works? What goes wrong? What are the special challenges in today’s climate of uncertainty? Steering Committee Member Gillian Karran-Cumberlege presented Chapter Zero and the importance of bringing climate change into the Boardroom discussion, enabling non-executive directors to make a constructive contribution to “making real change”.