New Guide Helps Companies Report Their Climate Policy Positions
New York, 14 November 2013 /3BL Media/ – For the first time ever, companies have a guide to manage and report on their direct and indirect influences on climate policy. The UN Global Compact, in cooperation with seven leading international organizations, today released guidelines to help companies engage in climate policy in a transparent and accountable way that is consistent with their sustainability commitments.
The Guide to Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy sets baseline expectations for companies to provide proactive, constructive input for Governments to create effective climate policies. It helps companies to connect the dots between sustainability commitments, such as emissions reductions across their value chains and efficiency improvements, with their corporate policy positions.
There is a mixed record on public policy engagement. In a recent survey of UN Global Compact companies, only 30 percent have aligned their traditional government affairs activities with their corporate responsibility commitments, such as taking action on climate change.
The report comes as the role of business in policymaking receives increased attention and negotiators meet at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP19) in Warsaw, Poland, in order to guide progressive businesses to lobby in favor of a global, legal climate agreement by 2015. Businesses and investors are also becoming more aware of the risks of climate change, and want clear and consistent climate policies in place to create a productive operating environment.
To address calls for alignment by business, investors and other stakeholders, the guide establishes the core elements of responsible corporate engagement and translates that into three practical actions for companies to provide a constructive and positive voice on climate policy:
· 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.
“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.”
The business case for companies to engage responsibly in climate policy has strengthened as companies are increasingly asked to track and report their policy positions. Responsible corporate engagement can help a company to execute on its corporate strategy; create trusted relationships with Government and generate regulatory certainty; enhance shareholder value; build and sustain public and stakeholder trust; and promote policies that protect against impacts from climate change.
"When it comes to climate policy, many leading businesses are struggling to match their words and their actions. This report finds that seven of 10 businesses have not fully aligned their sustainability goals with government affairs practices," said Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute. "Those businesses that are serious about addressing climate change will follow the actions in this guide."
The Guide to Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy is the result of research and interviews with more than 75 business and policy leaders from more than 60 organizations across 20 countries. It will be highlighted at a special session of the inaugural Caring for Climate Business Forum during COP19, on 19 November in Warsaw.
· Download the Guide to Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy
UN Global Compact
Kristen Coco, Public Affairs and Media Relations
+1 917-367-8566, +1 917-288-0787
World Resources Institute
Lauren Zelin, Senior Media Officer
John Hay, UNFCCC Media Relations Officer
Penny Cross, Director of Communications
Mandy Woods, Head of Comms & Marketing: Global
Climate & Energy Initiative
Peyton Fleming, Communications Director
The Climate Group
Nicholas Mandalas, International Media Manager
About the UN Global Compact
Launched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. As a multi-stakeholder leadership initiative, it seeks to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With more than 8,000 corporate participants in 145 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. www.unglobalcompact.org
With 195 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. For the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. In Doha in 2012, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which establishes the second commitment period under the Protocol. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system. www.unfccc.int
About United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. To accomplish this, UNEP works with a wide range of partners, including United Nations entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society. www.unep.org
About World Resources Institute
WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in the United States, China, India, Brazil, and more. Our more than 300 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain our natural resources—the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being. www.wri.org
CDP is an international, not-for-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information. CDP works with market forces, including 722 institutional investors with assets of US$87 trillion, to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce them. CDP now holds the largest collection globally of primary climate change, water and forest risk commodities information and puts these insights at the heart of strategic business, investment and policy decisions. www.cdproject.net
The mission of the WWF, one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Through its Global Climate and Energy Initiative, WWF aims to address climate change by engaging with business, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling green finance and working nationally and internationally on low carbon frameworks. www.wwf.panda.org
Ceres is a nonprofit organization mobilizing business and investor leadership on climate change, water scarcity and other sustainability challenges. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of over 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $12 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of nearly 30 businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. www.ceres.org
About The Climate Group
The Climate group is an independent, not-for-profit organization working to inspire and catalyze leadership for a Clean revolution: a low carbon future that is smarter, better and more prosperous. For all. Founded in 2004, The Climate Group has operations in China (Beijing and Hong Kong), Europe, India and North America. www.theclimategroup.org
About Caring for Climate
Launched by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, “Caring for Climate” is the UN Global Compact, the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) initiative aimed at advancing the role of business in addressing climate change. It provides a framework for business leaders to advance practical solutions and help shape public policy as well as public attitudes. Chief executive officers who support the statement are prepared to set goals, develop and expand strategies and practices, and to publicly disclose emissions as part of their existing disclosure commitment within the UN Global Compact framework, that is, the Communication on Progress. Caring for Climate is endorsed by over 350 companies from 50 countries. www.caringforclimate.org