International Day for Climate Action & United Nations Day
Earlier this month adm Group had the opportunity to participate in two pivotal regional conferences - The UN Global Compact Network UK Annual summit and the Corporate Sustainability and Environmental Rights in Asia conference in Bangkok organized by UNDP and United Nations Environment Programme . These events not only connected us with like-minded passionate sustainability experts but also reinvigorated our dedication to forging a more equitable and climate-conscious future.
As we mark the United Nations Day and International Day for Climate Action, we are proud to find our vision and strategy aligned with the regional best practices in the realm of sustainability.
From the wide-ranging topics discussed we highlight the following key takeaways that build upon our company commitments.
A Just Climate Transition
Driving a just and green transition is a collective endeavor that requires partnership between businesses, investors, civil society actors, and government. The mission is clear: to pave the way for a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive net-zero economy. While delivering the net-zero transition is essential, the path we choose must be fair and inclusive to all stakeholders involved, ensuring that no one is left behind.
It is undoubtedly a positive that over 90% of the global economy is covered by net zero and 13,000 organizations have pledged to participate in the Race To Net Zero, but purposeful next steps are not being taken quickly enough. We must move beyond words and towards action, bridging the gap between rhetoric and implementation.
Furthermore, as we navigate this transition, it is essential to emphasize that environmental concerns should not overshadow human rights and social impacts, particularly within supply chains. Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) must take the lead, recognizing that sustainability extends beyond just carbon emissions,. and encompassing the broader domains of environmental and societal considerations.
For instance, with the Green Energy transition, participatory decision- making needs to be safeguarded to ensure competing priorities on land for both energy and food are carefully analysed. Achieving a balance between addressing environmental and social challenges requires engagement with communities and investments in order to foster inclusivity., Innovation in the realm of social sustainability is just as pivotal as advances in environmental sustainability - ultimately bringing equally significant benefits.
Compliance as a force for good
To accomplish a just climate transition, it's imperative to adopt a compliance approach that goes beyond aspirations. Ambitions alone will not suffice to generate meaningful action. What is required are comprehensive regulatory changes that empower companies to accurately measure and report progress.
It's no longer feasible to constantly shift the target or wait for voluntary actions to create impact. What's needed is a clear initiative and policy framework that governments worldwide must provide. To achieve these goals, robust regulations are essential, including procurement policies, transition plan policies, and a positive convergence in the framework. This change should not just be left to be implemented by national governments; it requires international policies to ensure that it becomes a global reality, ensuring synergies between developing and developed nations in the context of global supply chains.
Role of Sustainable Finance
Private sector finance is the cornerstone of achieving a just transition to a net-zero business landscape. It's not just a supplementary component; it's the driving force at the heart of this transformation.
Unfortunately, only 29% of financial institutions have set sustainability targets, highlighting the need for more comprehensive commitment. Sustainable finance isn't solely a moral endeavor; it also offers a significant return on investment, making it a strategic business move. The transition should aim at influencing the establishment of global standards for sustainability such as the Task Force for Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Collaboration between private businesses and government is essential, and finance plays a pivotal role in this partnership.
Advancing Culture Change for Transformational Governance
It's crucial to ask whether the 'G' in ESG holds the key to ensuring progress is made towards both environmental and social targets. A holistic approach to governance is required, which not only incorporates the development and implementation of structures, plans and policies but also the soft approach of managing people. Embedding a slow cultural shift and thinking long-term is vital, to anticipate big shifts such as those related to climatic tipping points. However, many challenges exist that are slowing down progress. such as developing a common sustainability language and ensuring continuous collaboration in the industry . Hence leaders must prioritize the holistic approach of hard and soft governance and consider it as a driving force for filling the innovation gap rather than merely risk management. This is what will lead to, cultural change within an organisation, leading to meaningful active transformation.
As we reflect on the learnings from the conferences, we reaffirm the need of the hour to shift our pledges into concrete plans, and those plans into decisive actions.At adm, we are determined to continue developing our path to net-zero. We recognise that an agile, holistic and anticipatory approach is key to the complex but achievable task of a just and equitable transition, as we continue to expand our horizons for purposeful climate action.