skip to content

Corporate Leaders Groups

Business leadership for a climate neutral economy

Sept 2020 - Dec 2020: In a critical year for climate action, five years on from the landmark Paris Agreement and with the clock ticking for countries to ratchet up ambition before the end of the 2020, CEOs from over 170 businesses, investors  and business and investor networks, including Deutsche Bank, Google, IKEA and Unilever, are calling on EU policymakers to support an EU 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of at least 55 per cent, necessary to raise the pace and focus of transition efforts for the EU to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Business and investor CEO lRead the letter in full

Read the Annex

Read the press release

In an open letter coordinated by CLG Europe, CEOs from leading European businesses, investors and business and investor networks are urging EU heads of state and the European Commission to support an emissions reduction target of at least 55 per cent by 2030, and calling for an ambitious implementation of the EU recovery package focused on achieving a green and digital transition. By raising the EU 2030 target and delivering a more climate-resilient and regenerative recovery in response to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU can demonstrate international climate leadership in the run up to COP26 in November 2021. The letter indicates the diversity of European business support for increased climate ambition, with companies from sectors including, manufacturing, heavy industry, finance, consumer goods, textiles, power generation and technology supporting the 55 per cent target. 

The letter states:

“What we urgently need to see next is an ambitious implementation of the recovery package focused on achieving a green and digital transition, with the European Green Deal at its core and an elevated short-term emissions reduction target in its sights.”

“The right decisions now can help create and protect healthy, thriving and fair communities and secure a roadmap for a prosperous economy. Delivering Europe’s long-term ambition to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 requires an extensive set of urgent measures to scale up action. From a business and investor perspective, clarity on the net zero transition pathway and timetables for each sector, as well as policy that enables substantial investments in carbon neutral solutions is essential.

“We are writing to call on you, as European leaders, to avoid the worst effects of climate change and secure a sustainable, competitive economic recovery by:

  • endorsing the ambition set out in the European Green Deal
  • submitting resilient recovery plans which enable the green investments needed to deliver climate neutrality
  • agreeing a clearly defined target to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and associated objectives

“We understand the risks posed by climate change and biodiversity loss to our businesses and are already working to unlock change in key economic sectors. Investors, banks and insurers are working to transition portfolios to net zero emissions. More than 900 companies are taking science-based climate action and more than 400 have approved science-based targets. We are investing heavily in clean energy, energy efficiency and electrification, lowering emissions across value chains and the lifecycle of our products, and developing better practices in the bioeconomy.”

As a strong signal of business and investor leadership for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery, the letter is being profiled by the UN Climate Champions Race To Zero campaign at the Opening Day of Climate Week NYC. The letter is being presented to Executive Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans.

The signatories, members of the Corporate Leaders Groups, the We Mean Business coalition, as well as IIGCC and Business Ambition for 1.5C, and many business networks from across Europe, acknowledge the urgency of the climate crisis, calling on the EU to lead the way towards decarbonisation of the global economy by 2050 at the latest.

CLG Director Eliot Whittington said:

“European businesses and investors know that the only viable economic future that can deliver prosperity and wellbeing is one that stabilises the climate. They are standing up and standing together to call on the EU to ensure its near-term emissions targets get the continent on track to reduce the worst impacts of climate change and deliver net zero by 2050. We must learn from the pandemic that putting in place resilient and socially just economic systems is vital and that building back better must be at the core of the EU's recovery package."

We Mean Business coalition: A global nonprofit coalition working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The coalition brings together seven international nonprofit organizations: BSR, CDP, Ceres, CLG Europe, The B Team, the Climate Group, WBCSD.

Business Ambition for 1.5C: An urgent call to action, led by a global coalition of UN agencies, business and industry leaders, calling on companies to commit to ambitious emissions reduction targets in line with a 1.5°C future through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC): The European membership body for investor collaboration on climate change and the voice of investors taking action for a prosperous, low-carbon future.

Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) Portugal: A non-profit company-based association that aggregates and represents more than 90 leading businesses in Portugal, which are actively committed to the transition to a sustainable world.

Centre of Energy Efficiency Solutions (CER) (Slovenia): CER’s mission is to accelerate innovative climate-neutral circular economy and green technologies that meet the environmental energy challenges.

European Alliance for Green Recovery: Alliance of ministers, chief executive officers and researchers urging the European Union to build its recovery package after the coronavirus crisis around the Green Deal strategy of sustainable growth – an initiative led by MEP Pascal Canfin.

European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE): EU-ASE’s vision is of a future where energy efficiency is central to the entire EU energy system and is a fundamental driver for citizens’ empowerment, decarbonisation, job creation, sustainable growth, competitiveness, productivity, innovation and energy security.

European Heat Pump Association (EHPA): Representing the majority of the European heat pump industry EPHA’s key goal is to promote awareness and proper deployment of heat pump technology in the European market for residential, commercial and industrial applications.

European Industrial Insulation Foundation (EIIF): A neutral and non-profit institution, promoting insulation as a top-of-mind method of enhancing sustainability and profitability.

EURIMA: The European Insulation Manufacturers Association and represents the interests of all major mineral wool producers throughout Europe.

Aldersgate Group (UK): An alliance of leaders from business, politics and civil society that drives action for a sustainable economy.

The Haga Initiative (Sweden): A network of companies that works to reduce carbon emissions from the business sector and highlight the climate issue by showing that ambitious climate strategies create business advantages and improve profitability.

Skift Business Climate Leaders (Norway): To accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and support the Norwegian government in delivering on its national climate commitments by 2030.

Solar Impulse Foundation: To address environmental challenges while enabling economic growth, Bertrand Piccard has launched, through the Solar Impulse Foundation, the challenge to select 1000 solutions, that can protect the environment in a profitable way and present them to decision-makers to fast-track their implementation.

The Spanish Green Growth Group (Spain): A group of companies collaborating to create a roadmap (Barcelona Declaration) towards a low-carbon economy, with the aim of leading initiatives in the medium or long term and demonstrating the commitment to incorporate climate policies into business strategies.

WindEurope: WindEurope is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting wind power in Europe and worldwide. We have over 400 members, active in over 35 countries.

Signatory businesses and investors: 

  1. Renato Mazzoncini, CEO and General Manager, A2A SPA
  2. Marta Cañada, CTO, Abora Solar S.L.
  3. Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO – Europe, Accenture
  4. José Manuel Entrecanales Domecq, Chairman and CEO, ACCIONA
  5. Giuseppe Gola, CEO, ACEA Group
  6. Philippe Zimmerman, CEO, ADEO
  7. Christoph Schwaiger, CEO Global Sourcing and CR International, ALDI SOUTH Group
  8. Oliver Bäte, CEO, Allianz SE
  9. Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Chairman and CEO, ALSTOM
  10. Yves Perrier, CEO, Amundi
  11. Pierre Giai-Levra, CEO, Anaxis Asset Management
  12. Peter Simpson, CEO, Anglian Water (& Co-chair of the Corporate Leaders Group UK)
  13. Alan Brookes, Group Executive - Europe, Middle East, UK, Arcadis
  14. Patrick Mathieu, President & CEO, Armacell
  15. Hüseyin Gökalp Çağlar, CEO, Artnivo E&C
  16. Agostino Re Rebaudengo, Chairman and CEO, Asja Ambiente Italia
  17. Philippe Donnet, CEO, Assicurazioni Generali
  18. Pascal Soriot, CEO, AstraZeneca PLC
  19. Ben Murray, CEO, Avieco
  20. Patrick Dixneuf, CEO, Aviva Europe, Aviva
  21. David Jacobs, Vice President & Managing Director EMEIA, Baltimore Aircoil International NV
  22. Alberto Castelli, CEO, BancoPosta Fondi Sgr
  23. Frédéric Janbon, CEO, BNP Paribas Asset Management
  24. Georges Kern, CEO, Breitling SA
  25. Laura Chappell, CEO, Brunel Pension Partnership Ltd
  26. Neal Wolin, CEO, Brunswick Group
  27. Aiman Ezzat, CEO of Capgemini Group, Capgemini
  28. Roland Felder, CEO, Carl Rinke GmbH & Co. KG
  29. Cees 't Hart, CEO, Carlsberg Group
  30. Massimo di Tria, CIO, Cattolica Assicurazioni
  31. Sergio Menendez, President CEMEX EMEAA, CEMEX
  32. Gareth Mostyn, CEO, Church Commissioners for England
  33. Damian Gammell, CEO, Coca-Cola European Partners
  34. Andreas Siegemund, CEO, Consolar Solare Energiesysteme GmbH
  35. Isaac Navarro Cabeza, CEO, Contazara, S.A
  36. Giacomo Mareschi Danieli, CEO, Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche SpA
  37. Emmanuel Faber, Chairman & CEO, Danone
  38. Christian Sewing, CEO, Deutsche Bank AG
  39. Dr. Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL Group
  40. Timotheus Höttges, CEO, Deutsche Telekom AG
  41. Michael Zahn, CEO, Deutsche Wohnen SE
  42. Bart Van Muylder, CEO, Diepensteyn NV
  43. Simon Levine, Managing Partner and Global Co-CEO, DLA Piper International
  44. Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax Group
  45. Roger van Bolxtel, CEO, Dutch Railways
  46. Dr. Asoka Woehrmann, CEO, DWS Group GmbH
  47. Emmanuelle Spriet, CEO, E-voyages Ltd
  48. Johannes Teyssen, CEO, E.ON SE
  49. Gordon Power, Co-Founder and CIO, Earth Capital
  50. Jean-Bernard Levy, Chairman and CEO, EDF
  51. Miguel Stilwell de Andrade, Interim CEO, EDP - Energias de Portugal
  52. Diego Percopo, CEO, EF Solare Italia
  53. Ângelo Ramalho, CEO, Efacec Power Solutions
  54. Jonas Samuelson, President & CEO, AB Electrolux
  55. Kees-Jan Rameau, Chief Strategic Growth Officer, Eneco
  56. Francesco Starace, CEO & General Manager, Enel
  57. Claire Waysand, CEO, ENGIE
  58. James Brueton, CEO, EnviroBuild
  59. John Keppler, Chairman and CEO, Enviva
  60. Luca Bettonte, CEO, ERG SpA
  61. Christoph Klein, Managing Partner, ESG Portfolio Management GmbH
  62. Luis García Codrón, Director, Europa Mundo Vacaciones, S.L.U
  63. Donald Hopper, Co-Founder & CEO, EVA Global
  64. Kristof Vereenooghe, CEO, EVBox Group
  65. Severin Schwan, CEO, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd
  66. Toni Volpe, CEO, Falck Renewables SpA
  67. Valentín Alfaya, Chief Sustainability Officer, Ferrovial
  68. Gianfranco Battisti, CEO and General Manager, Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane
  69. Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich
  70. Ylva Wessén, CEO, Folksam Group
  71. Jamie Reigle, CEO, Formula E Holdings
  72. Markus Rauramo, President and CEO, Fortum Corporation
  73. Sander Geelen, CEO, Geelen Counterflow
  74. Edvardas Liachovičius, CEO, Girteka Logistics
  75. Gilles Andrier, CEO, Givaudan
  76. Joost Bergsma, CEO and Managing Partner, Glennmont Partners
  77. Matt Brittin, President, EMEA Business & Operations, Google
  78. Mads Nipper, CEO, Grundfos
  79. Helena Helmersson, CEO, H&M Group
  80. Antonio Neri, President and CEO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  81. Christopher J. Nassetta, President & CEO, Hilton
  82. Peter Honsik, Managing Director, Honsik GesmbH
  83. Henric Andersson, President and CEO, Husqvarna Group
  84. Ignacio S. Galán, Chairman and CEO, Iberdrola
  85. Ilkay Özkisaoglu, Owner, IMBEO
  86. Ian Simm, Founder and CEO, Impax Asset Management plc
  87. Pablo Isla, Executive Chairman, INDITEX
  88. Jesper Brodin, CEO, Ingka Group | IKEA
  89. Jon Abrahamsson Ring, CEO, Inter IKEA Group
  90. Ivan Kurtović, CEO, InterCapital Asset Management
  91. Nigel Stansfield, President Interface, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, Interface
  92. James Thornton, CEO, Intrepid Travel
  93. Remco Boerefijn, CEO, IPCOM
  94. Massimiliano Bianco, CEO, Iren S.p.A
  95. Luis Goncalves, CEO, Iskraemeco
  96. Cristian Bortolotti, COO, ISOLFIN
  97. Yves Desmet, CEO, Isoltechnics
  98. Guy Grainger, EMEA CEO, JLL
  99. Ceila McKeon, Chief Executive, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
  100. Mantas Bartuška, CEO, JSC Lithuanian Railways
  101. Carlo Spinelli, CEO and Owner, K-FLEX Group
  102. Roland Gärber and Steen E.Hansen, Co-CEOs, KAEFER Isoliertechnik GmbH & Co. KG
  103. Burkhard Schmolck, CEO, Kaimann GmbH
  104. Marie-Angee Debon, CEO, Keolis
  105. Pekka Asikainen, CEO, Kespet Oy
  106. Christoph Ritzkat, Chairman of the Board, Kieback & Peter GmbH & Co. KG
  107. Jean-Claude Carlin, Member of the Knauf Group Management Committee Insulation Europe / Middle East / Asia, Knauf Insulation
  108. Detlef Trefzger, CEO, Kuehne+Nagel International AG
  109. Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO, L'Oréal Group
  110. Tex Gunning, CEO, LeasePlan
  111. Benoit Coquart, CEO, LEGRAND
  112. Chip Bergh, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.
  113. Lars Appelqvist, CEO, Löfbergs
  114. Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive, Low Carbon
  115. Marko Lukić, Owner and CEO, Lumar IG d.o.o
  116. Markus Biland, Member of the Executive Board, MABI AG
  117. Thierry Deau, President and CEO, Meridiam
  118. Florent Menegaux, CEO, Michelin
  119. George Muzinich, Chairman & CEO, Muzinich & Co. Limited
  120. Peter Vanacker, President and CEO, Neste Oyj
  121. Marco Settembri, CEO, Nestlé Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Nestlé S.A.
  122. Simone Balbi, COO, New Componit Srl
  123. Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, President & CEO, Novo Nordisk
  124. Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO, ORANGE
  125. Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Ørsted
  126. Alexander Birken, CEO, Otto Group
  127. Brian Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Owens Corning
  128. Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO, PensionDanmark
  129. Silviu Popovici, CEO, PepsiCo Europe, PepsiCo
  130. Andre Calantzopoulos, CEO, Philip Morris International
  131. Jon Johnsen, CEO, PKA
  132. Robert, Agnič, CEO, Plastika Skaza d.o.o.
  133. Thomas Ingenlath, CEO, Polestar AB
  134. Antonio Colombi, CIO, Poste Vita S.p.A.
  135. Costas Travasaros, Chairman of the Board, Prime Laser Technology
  136. John Voppen, CEO, ProRail
  137. Isaías Táboas Suárez, President, Renfe
  138. Arturo Revenga, CEO, REVENGA Smart Solutions
  139. Alberto Forbiti, Chairman, Riva & Mariani Group S.p.A.
  140. Jens Birgersson, CEO & President, ROCKWOOL International A/S
  141. Dimitri de Vreeze, co-CEO, Royal DSM
  142. Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, CEO, RWE Renewables GmbH (RWE Group)
  143. Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and CEO, Saint-Gobain
  144. Gavin Patterson, President & CRO, Salesforce
  145. Christian Klein, CEO, SAP SE
  146. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO, Schneider Electric
  147. Valentino Vascellari, CEO, SICET S.R.L
  148. Cristiano Dionisi, Managing Director, SICOI
  149. Andreas Nauen, CEO, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy
  150. Eric Rondolat, CEO, Signify
  151. Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky
  152. Maarten van Dijk, Managing Director, SkyNRG
  153. Kerry Adler, President and CEO, SkyPower Global
  154. Denis Machuel, CEO, Sodexo
  155. Stephan Jantscher, CEO, SOLID Solar Energy Systems GmbH
  156. Pierre-Etienne Bindschedler, CEO, Soprema Group
  157. Gianfilippo Mancini, CEO, Sorgenia
  158. Renat Heuberger, CEO, South Pole
  159. Martin Lindqvist, President & CEO, SSAB
  160. Alistair Phillips-Davies, CEO, SSE
  161. Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO, Statkraft AS
  162. Annica Bresky, President and CEO, Stora Enso
  163. Odd Arild Grefstad, Group CEO, Storebrand
  164. Bertrand Camus, CEO, SUEZ
  165. Enrique Tombas, Founding Partner, Suma Capital
  166. John Fitzgerald, CEO, SuperNode
  167. Daniela Carosio, Senior Partner, Sustainable Value Investors- Studio Carosio Daniela
  168. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO, Symrise AG
  169. Miguel Varela, CEO, Teimas Desenvolvemento
  170. José María Álvarez-Pallete López, Chairman & CEO, Telefónica S.A.
  171. Jaume Miquel, Chairman & CEO, Tendam
  172. Ugo Bortolami , Owner, Termit srl
  173. Emmanuel Maragoudakis, CEO, TERNA ENERGY SA
  174. Adolfo Orive, CEO & President, Tetra Pak
  175. Mette Lykke, CEO, Too Good To Go
  176. Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman of the Board & CEO, TOTAL S.E.
  177. Jose La Loggia, President Commercial HVAC EMEA, Trane Technologies
  178. Bevis Watts, CEO, Triodos Bank UK
  179. Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever
  180. Anna Borg, CEO, Vattenfall
  181. David Briggs, CEO, VELUX Group
  182. Antoine Frérot, CEO, VEOLIA
  183. Wolfgang Anzengruber, CEO, VERBUND AG
  184. Morten Dyrholm, Group Senior Vice-President, Global Marketing, Communication and Public Affairs, Vestas Wind Systems A/S
  185. Steve Rendle, Chairman, President and CEO, VF Corporation
  186. Nick Read, CEO, Vodafone Group
  187. Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO, Volvo Group
  188. Olivier Pons Y Moll, CEO, WELYA
  189. Sandeep Mathrani, CEO, WeWork
  190. George Latham, Managing Partner, WHEB Asset Management LLP
  191. Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Apple
  192. Peter Fisher, Director, Bennetts Associates
  193. Adam C.T. Matthews, Director, Ethics & Engagement – Investment Team, Church of England Pensions Board
  194. Rachel Peterson, Vice President of Infrastructure, Facebook
  195. Fleming Voetmann, Vice President Communications, Marketing & Sustainability, FLSmidth A/S
  196. Casper Klynge, Vice President European Government Affairs, Microsoft
  197. Pierre Morales, Development director, OUVAROFF
  198. Tom Holemans, Sales Director Industry EMEA, Pittsburg Corning Europe
  199. Torsten Lütten, Business Development Germany, Savosolar GmbH
  200. Thomas Pitsch, Board Member, Schwartmanns Maschinenbau GmbH

Signatory supporter organisations: 

  1. Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group 
  2. João Meneses, Secretary General, BCSD Portugal 
  3. Aron Cramer, President and CEO, BSR 
  4. Steven Tebbe, Managing Director, CDP Europe 
  5. Ana Struna Bregar, CEO, CER - Sustainable Business Network Slovenia 
  6. Eliot Whittington, Director, CLG Europe 
  7. Agostino Re Rebaudengo, President, Elettricità Futura 
  8. Jan te Bos, Director General, Eurima 
  9. Monica Frassoni, President, European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) 
  10. Thomas Nowak, Secretary General, European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) 
  11. Andreas Gürtler, Foundation Director, European Industrial Insulation Foundation 
  12. Nina Ekelund, Executive Director, Haga Initiative 
  13.  Paul Polman, Co-founder and Chair, IMAGINE 
  14. Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) 
  15. Sergio Andreis, Director, Kyoto Club 
  16. Bjørn Kjærand Haugland, CEO, Skift Business Climate Leaders 
  17. Bertrand Piccard, Chairman, Solar Impulse Foundation 
  18. Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO and Chief Change Catalyst, The B Team 
  19. Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group 
  20. Virve Groning, Managing Director, U-landshjälp från Folk till Folk i Finland sr 
  21. María Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business coalition 
  22. Giles Dickson, CEO, Wind Europe 

For the full press release, including quotes, please click here.

Find out more about CLG Europe's engagement with policymakers or visit the green recovery knowledge hub.