Watch the webinar
- John Foster, Director of Policy and Communications, CBI
- Andrew Griffith MP, UK Net Zero Business Champion
- Marte Borhaug, Global Head of Sustainable Outcomes, Aviva Investors
- Andy Wood, Chief Executive, Adnams
- Liz Moseley, Editor and partner, Tortoise Media (chair)
In this session:
John Foster kicked off the session by highlighting the @10am webinar last week with Lord Simon Woolley discussing racial equality and diversity and what business can do. And on Covid, John identified how the Indian variant is causing concern but significant day yesterday with zero Covid deaths.
The CBI continues to engage with Government and push for greater clarity around re-opening, particularly on:
- Covid status certificates and workplace testing funding post-June.
- End of trade credit insurance guarantee and protections for firms.
- End of rent protection: some firms need extra breathing space but recognise difficulty for landlords who haven't received rent since last year.
- Social distancing guidance - most totemic issue for businesses - implications for business costs, operational capacity, and staff wellbeing. Firms really need clarity to help them prepare.
Last week, we also launched our 'Seize the Moment' campaign with a key pillar on decarbonising the economy and mobilising businesses to act. CBI part of several initiatives (links below) and hosting our 'Road to Net-Zero conference' on 14th and 15th June.
Andrew Griffith started by talking about the recently launched the 'Together for our Planet' campaign aimed at helping small businesses engage with net zero and pledge action. Simple small steps, shortening supply chains to reduce travel time, switching off computers at night, and transitioning to electric vehicles. These small steps on aggregate will lead to a big change.
This COP26 is last 'world's best chance to save the planet' and both the G7 and COP26 are huge opportunities for the UK and global action. By businesses making their own pledges we are inspiring action around the world.
Marte Borhaug spoke about Aviva's net-zero pledge which they've set by 2040 and have set some initial milestones in the shorter term around 2025 and 2030. For example, they have set a target of reducing carbon intensity of all investments by 25% by 2025, rising to 60% by 2030. Targets are also for Aviva's suppliers so taking steps across their supply chain to mobilise action.
Highlighted that with the current financial markets, we're burning planet at 3.8 degrees - currently investing in a way which doesn't take climate change into account. Insurers, banks, asset managers and advisers need to be aligned to net-zero. We've asked the Government to set that ambition for the financial system and to create a taskforce for greater policy dialogue and make it easier for companies to invest in green.
Andy Wood explained how beer brewing is relatively high emissions as they boil a lot of water as part of the process. Adnams have been thinking about this for a number of years and have built a sustainable distribution centre close to the brewery and now retain heat from process to recycle for next cycle, which means they use considerably less water than other brewers.
Andy also highlighted the importance of engaging with experts and universities - key partners for Adnams are Cranfield and Imperial College who they have good links with.