Insights drawn from the ERM Belgium 20th Anniversary Roundtable Discussion

Quotation mark Already more than 105 companies committed to one or more initiatives from We Mean Business, launching a campaign to get hundreds of companies and investors to take bold climate action and commit to low-carbon initiatives. Quotation mark

Maria Mendiluce

Director Climate and Energy, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

2015 is set to be an important year for the global community with a number of key events focused on addressing the impacts of climate change. This includes meetings of world leaders at the G7 Summit in Germany, the November G20 Summit in Turkey and at the Paris Climate Conference, also known as the COP21 in December.

As part of its involvement in business solutions for climate change, ERM convened a roundtable to explore corporate opportunities for engagement on this key issue. Maria Mendiluce, Director of Climate and Energy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and ambassador for the We Mean Business initiative was our special guest for the discussion. Business leaders from across Belgium joined regional and global colleagues from the food & beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, mining, energy and other industry sectors along with those from the non-profit sector and ERM experts to share perspectives on this important topic. This event marked an important milestone for ERM, who share a 20th Anniversary with the WBCSD, of which it was a founding member in 1995.

Why engagement in climate change engagement is important for business

The UN negotiations aim to deliver a universal agreement on climate change, keeping global warming below 2°C. The ambition is challenging, and the stakes are high as countries endure extreme climate and weather conditions disrupting people’s livelihoods, supply chains, food security and so on.

For the first time in over 20 years of UN-led negotiations, business has an “action” oriented role in the climate change discussions. We Mean Business is a coalition of business organisations that convene companies to take bold climate action and commit to low-carbon initiatives. The objective of We Mean Business is clear: to bring businesses to the table in the Road to Paris and support efforts to develop a green and low carbon economy. The WBCSD, a coalition member, has developed the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative (LCTPi), a collaborative platform for private and public stakeholders to develop concrete actions plans to reduce emissions in different sectors and with different technologies to a level aligned with the 2 degree scenarios. The group of companies that form each of the 8 LCTPis will present their action plans and commitments at COP21. In the area of adaptation, ERM has been a co-leader of a soon-to-be-published approach for assessing climate change risks in supply chains, a project developed at the WBCSD.