New guide launched to help companies to report their climate policy positions
- 14 November 2013
LONDON: A pioneering new guide has been released by seven top international organizations at COP19 in Warsaw, that calls on companies to align their corporate sustainability initiatives and climate policy.
The Climate Group, in partnership with the UN's Caring for Climate, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature, Ceres and CDP, developed the Guide for Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy to provide companies around the world with practical guidance for engaging constructively in climate policy debates.
The report draws on interviews with over 75 business and policy leaders from 20 countries, to help set baseline expectations for companies to provide proactive input for governments to create effective climate policies.
For the first time, companies have a guide to manage and report on their direct and indirect influences on climate policy. It helps companies connect sustainability commitments, including emissions reductions across value chains and efficiency improvements, with their corporate policy positions, in a transparent and accountable way.
Looking at past research on corporate lobbying and public policy advocacy, the authors define five core elements of responsible engagement and suggests three practical actions for companies:
- Identify the company’s opportunity and legitimacy by creating an inventory of its influences on climate policy;
- Align its positions and influences to ensure consistency and accountability; and
- Report on climate change policy influences, intentions and outcomes using a three-tiered framework for transparency.
The report is the focus of the Caring for Climate Business Forum, November 19-20, at COP19 in Warsaw, Poland, where the role of business in policymaking is receiving increased attention as the pressure is on to achieve a global, legal climate agreement by 2015. Caring for Climate is an initiative convened by UN Global Compact, the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Environment Programme.
“Engagement by the private sector that is collaborative, serious and solutions-oriented is vital, and can help ensure widespread support for sustainability, climate action and broader UN goals. With leading technological and social innovations already in place, there is enormous potential to produce results if greater scale is achieved,” said UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell. “The time is ripe for enlightened business leaders to scale up corporate sustainability by engaging responsibly on climate policy, ultimately helping to drive energy efficiency, renewables and technology in a low-carbon economy.”
"When it comes to climate policy, many leading businesses are struggling to match their words and their actions. This report finds that seven of ten businesses have not fully aligned their sustainability goals with government affairs practices," said Andrew Steer, President and CEO, WRI. "Those businesses that are serious about addressing climate change will follow the actions in this guide."
Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, said: ”With public scrutiny – and distrust – of the corporate world more intense than ever before, businesses need to follow their words on climate with initiatives that affect real, tangible, measurable change, and engage in policy debates in a manner that is ethical, consistent and transparent. Climate leadership is not some sort of “moral” imperative: it entails real business benefits and the avoidance of real business risks. Active, responsible and transparent engagement in supporting policies consistent with imperatives of climate science lies at the heart of this leadership: this report provides a tool to guide such engagement.”
Visit c4cbusinessforum.org or contact Heidi Huusko at email@example.com for more information.