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Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

Over the two weeks of the COP26 conference, CLG Europe and CLG UK hosted a series of discussions on business and policy leadership to leverage best practice and mobilise concrete action to deliver net zero, partnering with the flagship ‘Business Pavilion’ hosted by the We Mean Business Coalition, members of the UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero and various European and international partners. The discussions covered a range of topics including UK business and sector leadership in the race to zero, engaging SMEs in decarbonisation, building the case for green economic and political collaboration, accelerating industrial decarbonisation, the interaction of business and policy in supporting resilient places and increased international coordination ahead of COP27.


Event summaries and recordings 

UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero (BGA) event - UK business and sector leadership in the race to zero 

This session held in the Business Pavilion in the COP26 Blue Zone focused on UK
business and sector leadership in the race
to zero and providing examples of business sector and business specific action.
Speakers included Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water, Gabrielle Ginér, Head of Environmental Sustainability, BT, Kim
Wilson, Head of Sustainability, EDF and representatives from SMEs Hey Girls and Unmanned Survey solutions.

UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero (BGA) event - Shifting the whole economy to meet the UK’s net zero targets  

Also taking place in the Business Pavilion,
this session explored the challenges and opportunities of shifting the whole of the economy to meet the UK’s net zero by
2050 target and featured high-level input from UK Net Zero Business Champion
Andrew Griffith and a facilitated
conversation with leaders of some of the largest UK business groups: CBI, British Chambers of Commerce, Make UK,
Institute of Directors.  

SME Climate Hub: supporting SMEs to decarbonise, 3rd November 

This session explored some of the challenges and opportunities for engaging SMEs, highlighting action by government, finance and businesses. It featured an input by Andrew Griffith MP, the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion, SMEs who are decarbonizing their businesses and larger businesses who are taking action to support SMEs in their supply chains, including CLGs members Anglian Water, Iberdrola and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners. BSR and CISL introduced the SME Climate Hub, highlighting the education and financial incentive resources including a new free online training course in decarbonisation designed for SMEs launched at COP26. 


Building a case for international green economic and political cooperation in a
net zero world, 6th November 

This CLG Europe event, hosted in the EU Pavilion, brought together policymakers
from the European Commission and
business representatives from Japan, Germany, South Africa and Spain to
discuss new opportunities for political and business collaboration stemming from
recent EU policy, including the Green Deal
and new international partnership initiatives. 

Participation in Moving for Climate NOW 2021, 5-7th November 

CLG UK participated in Moving for Climate NOW, an initiative organised by CLGs
member Iberdrola/ScottishPower and designed to raise awareness of the importance of taking action in the fight against climate change. 

Next Frontier: Positive impact beyond Net Zero, 8th November 

A panel of CEOs of CLG Europe members ACCIONA, Unilever, DSM and IKEA took part in a session exploring positive impact beyond net zero and the ‘Next Frontier’ hosted by ACCIONA. The discussion explored how the world can achieve the goals set for 2050 of creating positive impacts to compensate the negative effects of human development while leaving none behind. Adopting a regenerative approach and creating positive impact in business activity was discussed by the companies working on this forward-thinking approach. 


Accelerating industrial decarbonisation: Driving demand for climate neutral materials and products, 9th November 

At this CLG Europe event, European policymakers and businesses discussed the key policies they see working across sectors and value chains, as well as the challenges and opportunities linked to industrial decarbonisation. The event showcased international action being driven by global alliances and the international implications of policy developments in the EU, which is being keenly watched by major competitors and importers as one of the first movers in this space.  


UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero (BGA) events

In the lead up to COP26, CLG UK, who coordinate the BGA, has worked with other members of the BGA to promote and increase sign up to Race to Zero, primarily through directing businesses to sign up to the SBTi Business Ambition for 1.5 campaign and SME Climate Commitment. 

Showcasing UK business action towards meeting the UK’s net zero by 2050 target  

On 2 November, Salesforce hosted a breakfast event which provided an opportunity to both highlight examples of where businesses and business groups in the UK are taking action that supports the UK in meeting its net zero by 2050 target, and enable informal sharing of best practice and lessons learnt. Speakers included Amanda Mackenzie, CEO, BITC, Stephen Woodford, CEO, Advertising Association and Emelia Holdaway, Policy Director, IIGCC. 

The New Economics of Energy Innovation and Systems Transition: Embracing Complexity to Make Better Decisions, 9th November.  

This roundtable co-organised by the EEIST project team and CLG UK brought together business leaders and experts on sustainability, complexity economics and energy policy to discuss how complexity-based economic modelling can help businesses and policy makers to take better decisions.  Building on a new Risk-Opportunity Analysis framework currently being developed by the programme EEIST, the session explored risk and opportunities from the new energy geography emerging from the low-carbon transition. Further details about the report The New Economics of Innovation and Transition can be found here and for further insights into this research, the launch event of the report which took place in the UK Pavilion on 4 November at COP26 can be watched here. 

CLG UK business and policy leadership for climate resilience roundtable, 9th November.  

This event brought UK government and business together to discuss the CLG UK policy briefing Preparing for the storm: The role of UK business and government in improving UK resilience to climate change in the UK ahead of its launch at COP26 on 11 November (Built Environment day). This briefing highlights how leading UK businesses are already increasing resilience and adaptation to climate change and explores the role and interaction of business and policy and the importance of taking a place-based approach in building climate resilience in the context of delivering the UK’s 2050 net zero target. Specifically, the closed-door roundtable explored the recommendations from the report and potential opportunities for collaboration between business leaders from CLG UK, UK government and key stakeholder organisations present at COP26 including Minister Churchill, Defra; Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency; Jonathan Scurlock, Chief Adviser, Renewable Energy and Climate Change, National Farmers' Union; Mike Thompson, Chief Economist, Committee on Climate Change; and Sarah Munby, Permanent Secretary, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy among others. 

CLGs Corporate Leaders Network dinner: Catalysing business advocacy globally on a national level.  

As international coordination has become more important than ever for the fast delivery of climate action around the world, the CLGs dinner this year sought to informally explore the opportunities for catalysing new corporate leaders' groups in other countries globally through networking and the sharing of best practice. 80 guests attended the dinner, including senior representatives from businesses and business groups from Europe, Latin America and Japan as well as UK and EU policy makers and academia. The event featured input from CLG Europe Chair Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs, Signify and from corporate leadership groups CLG Chile and the Japan Climate Leaders' Partnership. María Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business Coalition and Gonzalo Muñoz, High Level Climate Action Champion delivered keynote reflections on the role of businesses as climate advocates.