Organisations and firms around the country have been urged to take their net zero commitments seriously moving forward, with a new road map for climate change launched by Governance Institute of Australia today (19 April).
As net zero goals become increasingly important in the era of climate change, Governance Institute has launched a new guide designed to be used as a road map for organisations.
The new Guide for boards and management on the path to net zero responds to recent major international climate policy developments, significant shifts in expectations on organisations to take action – including disclosing climate risk – and ongoing concerns about a lack of firm action at a national level.
Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Governance Institute chief executive Megan Motto said that the guide would be useful for companies that know they need to take action regarding climate change – but don’t know where to start.
“Many organisations know they need to take action on climate change, but they don’t know how to get started. They may be overwhelmed, confused or simply unable to get clear advice on the next steps,” she said.
“This very practical, step-by-step guide has been created to fill that vacuum. It is designed for organisations of all sizes and across sectors. It can be used to get board buy-in on the issue, and to kick-start a review of how your organisation’s priorities and risks may be impacted by climate change – because they will be impacted.”
Based on the findings from a specially convened Governance Institute working group, the new guide will assist all organisations – large and small and across sectors – to take immediate action post-pandemic, Ms Motto added.
“The pandemic has dominated the agenda for two years, in some cases pushing other important issues off the radar. But these other issues have not simply gone away – they are there urgently awaiting attention,” she said.
“So, if it’s not already, climate and climate risk management need to move to the front of mind for every organisation – quickly.”
The guide outlines key steps to net zero, including how to orchestrate the conversation around climate change, how to deal with the challenges related to transitioning to net zero and selecting a framework that addresses stakeholder needs and expectations.
“Many organisations are starting to feel the direct and indirect impact of climate change, but many still do not see it as an immediate threat. Extreme weather events are no longer just the domain of nightly news reels depicting distant lands. They are happening to us, in our suburbs, with severe fires and floods impacting our friends and family,” Ms Motto added.
“The key message is: Do not put this off. Organisations need to recognise that the time to act is now. There can be no delay.”