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Loud and Proud

11 November, 2022

Although COP27 has focused largely on country-level responses to the climate crisis (or lack of), there have also been some notable moves in the business world. We’ve recently written about both greenwashing and greenhushing, and this week, the UN and SBTi have taken a stance on what credible looks like when it comes to corporate communications and action on carbon.

SBTi announced a new policy where companies that commit to develop valid targets, but fail on that commitment, will now be listed as “removed” (instead of literally being removed) on the SBTi “Companies taking action” database. Signing a commitment letter to the SBTi is the first step to setting targets, and is often celebrated in annual and sustainability reports as progress. It’s also an important signal to investors that the company is taking action on climate. However, this naming and shaming approach aims to nudge laggards over the line to actually deliver on their commitment once made.

A UN report released this week outlines ten recommendations around what companies should be doing and communicating to demonstrate continual alignment to net zero. Many align with those already set out by the SBTi, but the UN calls for public and detailed net zero transition plans, zero investment in fossil fuels and working constructively with governments and multi-lateral institutions to support the transition in developing countries. The report provides a framework for companies who do genuinely seek to build integrity and trust in their climate plans.

And while it came as no surprise to us, new analysis from EY adds to the evidence that taking credible action is better for businesses, and not just for the planet. Climate leadership leads to improved consumer and employee perceptions, and improved finances.

Wherever you are in your journey, you know where we are.

By Jennie Mitchell

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