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Why Board Directors need climate change training

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

The more climate change dominates the funding, regulatory and operational landscape, the more important it becomes for directors to have a working understanding of climate change and its relevance to their organisations.

Climate training helps fulfil vital Board duties

It is a key duty of corporate boards to safeguard the long-term viability of their businesses[1]. Addressing both climate risks and opportunities is a big part of that.

The 2023 Global Risks Report unequivocally puts climate and environmental risks at the very top of concerns over the next decade – and states that they are the risks for which we are least prepared for.[2]

Good climate change training can empower Boards to discuss these risks confidently by demystifying physical and transactional risks, such as the ones outlined by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

It should focus on opportunities, not just on saving costs from reducing company’s own emissions, but by involving suppliers, investors and colleagues.

"As investors assess how well companies are positioned in the face of climate change, they are increasingly paying attention to the climate governance systems of the companies in question as a predictor of performance.”[3]

83% of personal investors say that, in the next 12 months, they will invest or divest based on social responsibility and/or environmental sustainability factors.[4] Government funding increasingly demands strong environmental performance as well. Climate competence isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s becoming essential.

Climate training can help influence change

Board Directors are in a powerful position to influence their organisations.

Sometimes they might be hesitant to discuss climate change because they might feel like they don’t understand the ins and outs.

Our climate change training explains climate change as simply as possible, but doesn’t dumb it down. We talk about what carbon actually is, and we describe the whole carbon cycle. We also talk about the ecological crisis more widely, including biodiversity loss and water stress. We talk about both the causes and impacts of climate change, and climate justice.

We are positive about the power of organisations to make a difference, but we don’t shy away from calling things as they are.

How do we manage to cover the role of Board Directors in tackling climate change, the risks and opportunities of taking action, and explain what climate change actually is, in just one hour? Through extensive research of the company and what’s relevant to them before training and by providing a bespoke plan for continued development for later – that includes a week-by-week reading list to study the subjects we cover in more depth.

If a company has its own sustainability team, they might be able to provide this kind of training in-house; we can provide training materials or guidance.

The important thing is to encourage more boards to have conversations about climate change.

Jane Goodall said: ‘You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.’

What Directors do and say in a board meeting makes a difference. Putting climate change at the centre of the agenda can help the long-term viability of a business, and the long-term chances of our planet’s survival.

You can find out about our Climate Change Training for Board Members here.

Climate change and Board directors

[1] [2] [3] [4]


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