Business leaders join forces to ensure climate action stays top-of-agenda

For Sustainable Business Council and Climate Leaders Coalition

More than 150 New Zealand business leaders have joined forces to collaborate on a collective vision for a sustainable, zero carbon New Zealand.

Leading business organisations, the Sustainable Business Council (SBC) and the Climate Leaders Coalition (CLC), today launched their new strategies with a shared vision bringing more opportunities for them to partner on key climate action initiatives.

Chair of SBC’s Advisory Board Karen Silk says the strategies respond to the loud call from SBC members and CLC signatories for greater leadership, ambition, and collective action, and to ensure climate remains a key focus in the Covid-19 recovery.

“SBC is providing a platform to collaborate with CLC, working together and in partnership with others, while still retaining our own distinct brands. These key partnerships include working with government on sustainable, future-focused projects to accelerate action towards a zero carbon economy, and feeding into the independent Climate Change Commission’s advice to Government next year,” says Ms Silk.

CLC Convenor, Mike Bennetts says, “Over the past two years, CLC has created the momentum for CEOs to lead the way by signing up to ambitious climate change commitments. The next phase for us will be demonstrating progress against these commitments and making even more aspirational moves to accelerate further action.

“We now have 18 organisations signed-up to our 2019 Statement to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees. This is in addition to the original 2017 Statement to keep warming below 2 degrees. The economic impacts of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic present risks to climate action, heightening the need for continued business leadership in this area.”

Wright Communications Managing Director Nikki Wright said she had signed up to the target because even small businesses need to play their part to reduce emissions.

“We are challenging ourselves to further reduce our emissions in order to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees. Wright Communications is just one of 18 signatories to the Climate Leaders Coalition’s new aggressive target. We must do something about climate change, even if there are few of us. Our carbon footprint is small but if every SME in New Zealand did what we did, it would add up to significant carbon savings,” she says.

Mike Burrell, SBC’s Executive Director says, “Our SBC members highlighted two key issues through the strategy process – climate action, and thriving people, which includes ensuring a just transition towards a zero carbon economy.

“The Zero Carbon Act and the Climate Change Commission provide business with the framework to move towards a zero carbon future. SBC and CLC are committed to taking urgent action to achieve this. SBC will work with CLC to provide a platform for businesses to collaborate and to partner with government and other organisations to achieve our shared vision – a New Zealand where business, people and nature thrive together.”

Dr Rod Carr, Chair of the Climate Change Commission, delivered the keynote speech at today’s launch.

The strategies are online here:
• Sustainable Business Council: Strategy 2020-2025
• Climate Leaders Coalition: Strategy 2020-2025 

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