Chapter Zero: Leading on climate from the boardroom

Post Date
27 February 2024
Read Time
3 minutes
  • Climate resilience planning & design

This article has been written by guest contributor, Patricia Rodrigues Jenner, Chapter Zero Fellow and ESG leader.

It’s imperative for companies to have a sense of urgency, push beyond climate pledges and take real, transformational action. Boards and leadership committees are uniquely positioned to help this drive world progress – and there are organisations available to help boards do this.

I am a Fellow of Chapter Zero, the Directors’ Climate Forum. We are here to equip and inspire non-executive directors (NEDs) and chairs to lead on climate from the boardroom and embed climate into business strategy and operational resilience.

The network was set up in 2019 by a group of NEDs, who knew their businesses must respond to climate change.

They could see that NEDs hold a unique position with the potential to make this happen, but need relevant information and climate understanding tailored to their role. They decided to found Chapter Zero and build a community of NEDs who were equipped, ready and prepared to act. Today’s membership is nearly at 3,000 and we are part of a wider, global network called the Climate Governance Initiative with 30 Chapters in 71 countries, all mobilising boards to address climate change.

I have been a member of Chapter Zero for more than three years, and have found the network provides NEDs with up-to-date, relevant information, in addition to meaningful business connections in relevant fields. The transition to address climate change continues to evolve, both technically and increasingly politically, and only those NEDs with sector understanding augmented by a network such as Chapter Zero are able to focus and continue to fulfil directors’ duties on the climate and sustainability front. It helps that Chapter Zero is a very inclusive network, with events that I find enable peers to exchange experiences and discuss approaches that both are and are not working.

Chapter Zero is a philanthropically funded organisation, free of charge for members from all sectors. As well as events and content tailored specifically to our non-executive roles, members can access opportunities to network and engage in topical discussions with peers, as well as access to toolkits and scorecards, designed to encourage and support action. You can read more information about what being a member involves.

Transition planning

In the UK transition, we expect transition planning to progress in earnest this year, ready for regulatory reporting requirements. These could come into effect as soon as January 2025. One of the topics Chapter Zero will focus on this year is transition planning and how non-executive directors can contribute to and influence this, using their roles and position on the board.

Chapter Zero has recently released the Transition Planning Toolkit, designed to support you as a NED and your board in overseeing the development of a credible transition and delivery against that plan. The final piece of this toolkit will be released later this year.

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