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Highlights from the Chairperson’s Guide to Climate Integrity

The World Economic Forum and the Climate Governance Initiative in collaboration with Deloitte, explored how organisations, guided by their Chairs, Non-Executive Directors and Board Members, can earn and enhance trust through a transparent and credible sustainability transition.

Their report was published in July 2023.

Here are a few highlights:

1. Trust in company climate statements is low. It's unsurprising considering that the 2021 research by the European Commission found that 42% of corporate climate claims were exaggerated, false or deceptive. As stewards of the corporation, Boards of Directors have a crucial role in building and maintaining trust.

'Building and maintaining strong trust can yield significant value for the business, driving greater customer loyalty, employee productivity and community acceptance, as well as reinforcing investor and supplier relationships and business resilience during setbacks.'

2. To counteract the possibility of deteriorating trust, board members can demonstrate climate integrity by instilling strong principles and values within the organisation to genuinely respond to climate change and be honest with all stakeholders in their response.

3. Transparency doesn't mean only communicating success stories: communicating challenges, uncertainties and trade-offs can help build trust.

4. Recognising that people are at the heart of the transition can support the achievement of sustainability targets and help businesses strengthen trust with stakeholders.

5. Capability and reliability in delivering climate and nature commitments are integral to how your company's competence will be viewed.

As stakeholders become increasingly engaged and knowledgeable on environmental topics, there will be greater pressure for companies to demonstrate that their commitments are scientifically credible, for example, aligned with or approved by independent frameworks such as the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi) for climate and the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) for nature.

To conclude,

'Leaders are expected to balance being bold while being realistic – in line with obligations to act in the company’s best interest..
.. Business is being challenged and is responsible for responding more quickly, diligently and authentically to climate change and nature degradation.'

You can read the full report here.

Private Goodness offers climate change training to Boards of Directors. We conduct extensive bespoke research for each company and then distill it into a focused 90-minute session for your Board. We cover the fundamental building blocks of understanding climate change (its causes and impacts), as well as climate risks and opportunities specific to your sector, and relevant policies of your competitors.

We also provide a template for a follow-up meeting about climate action with key discussion points and resources, to empower the Board to continue the conversation and take action for people and planet.

We also offer a 4-hour course to individual directors. You can read about it here:


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