Time to act on climate change: A step-by-step guide for boards and management on the path to net zero

With many organisations grappling with increasing pressure on climate change, Governance Institute of Australia has launched a new guide designed to be used as a roadmap on the path to net zero.  

The new Guide for boards and management on the path to net zero responds to recent major climate policy developments as well as the significant shifts in expectations on organisations to take action, including disclosure of climate risk. 

“Based on the findings from a specially convened Governance Institute working group, the new guide is designed to assist all organisations – large and small and across sectors – to take immediate action on climate,” Governance Institute CEO Megan Motto said. 

“Many organisations still do not see climate change as an immediate threat,” Ms Motto said. 

“But the recent series of extreme weather events have confirmed that climate and climate risk management need to be front of mind for every organisation. And this mindset shift needs to happen immediately.” 

Ms Motto said the guide is designed to be taken to senior managers and directors in a bid for climate to be built into the organisation’s strategy 

“It provides clarity and guidance in a complex and uncertain arena,” Ms Motto said. 

And board buy-in is essential, with tips included in the guide on how to engage your organisation – top down - on the key issues. 

“Engaging the board is the first step in setting up effective climate governance,” Ms Motto said.  

“You will need a business case, and this must follow a review of how the organisation’s priorities and risks may be impacted by climate change. Individual business units who will be tasked with carrying out the board’s plan must be educated as the next step.” 

Key steps to net zero:

  • Governance: Orchestrating the climate change conversation. How do you embed climate into the core of an organisation?  
  • Strategy: Planning for net zero. How do you deal with the challenges related to transitioning to net zero?  
  • Expectations: Managing legal and stakeholder expectations. How do you manage expectations on climate disclosure and action amongst evolving legal expectations?  
  • Reporting: Selecting a framework. How do you select a reporting framework which addresses stakeholder needs? 

Ms Motto said the new guide is essential reading for boards and senior managers and quick action on the issue of climate governance is required. 

“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.” 

Download the guide

CEO interview: What organisations need to do now on climate change

To drill down further into the key findings of our new climate change guide, as well as the most pressing net zero issues for organisations, we speak to Governance Institute CEO Megan Motto.

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