We Mean Business: Chat live to leaders of pioneering climate collaboration Sandrine Dixson-Decleve, Aron Cramer and Mark Kenber

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11 September 2014

LONDON: The Climate Group will host its next Twitter Q&A on September 17 with three senior executives of a pioneering new coalition called We Mean Business, which will be launched at Climate Week NYC this month.

Join Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Director, Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), Aron Cramer, President and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), and Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, for a live Twitter Q&A at 4-5pm London time/11am-12pm New York time on Wednesday September 17, using hashtag #WeMeanIt, to find out more about the initiative.

We Mean Business is a powerful coalition of world-leading business and climate organizations, who have joined forces  for the first time  to create a unified business voice in support of decisive action to tackle climate change, and transition to a low carbon economy.

Founding partners are BSR, the B Team, CDP, Ceres, The Climate Group, the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) and WBCSD: the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which together represent thousands of top companies and investors.

Leader collaboration

We Mean Business will be launched during Climate Week NYC, which this year is convened by The Climate Group, and is the collaborative space for all related events in support of the UN Climate Summit.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, says We Mean Business is a clear sign attitudes in corporate boardrooms have shifted: "We Mean Business shows unprecedented collaboration between organizations. It spotlights those business leaders who are aware of the risky costs associated with climate change and are already leading the prosperous low carbon economy. For that reason they are ready to push for governments to act too, because we also need supportive national and international policy in place to achieve sustainable progress.

"The leaders we work with through We Mean Business understand the clean revolution is an economic opportunity to seize not tomorrow, or next year, but right now. These businesses are on the right side of history."

Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Director, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group believes there is a groundswell of climate action from the world's biggest companies: “The members of CLG are already responding to the risks and opportunities posed by climate change and the development of a low carbon resource efficient economy, because they are convinced of the business case for action. But they need support from governments to go even further. A clear policy framework with ambitious emissions reduction targets would enable the transformative action and investment that is needed. We Mean Business is being launched at a critical moment when we have a real opportunity to leverage our collective influence to drive change.”

Reiterating the power of a unified voice, Aron Cramer, BSR President and CEO said: "Through this partnership, BSR is taking the advice we always give to our member companies and stakeholders: collaboration is essential for systemic progress on complex issues. We are optimistic that by joining forces with our sister organizations, we will make more progress than we could on our own—and this also helps us serve our member companies more fully.  

"This collaboration is built on the idea that leading companies can take more risks and make more progress with policy frameworks working in their favor. We have seen that when businesses speak with one voice, we can promote more effective policy at the local, national, and international levels.”

All three climate leaders are looking forward to answering your questions about We Mean Business, at 4-5pm London time/11am-12pm New York time on Wednesday September 17, using hashtag #WeMeanIt.

Business case for action

With the International Energy Agency warning the world must invest at least US$1 trillion dollars per year into clean energy by 2030 to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, it's clear the time to act is now.

But what We Mean Business partners are keen to share, is that acting to reduce GHGs doesn't impact the bottom line. CDP research has shown emission reduction activities actually generate positive returns on investment averaging 27%. 

Speaking at a critical We Mean Business press briefing, Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, even called clean energy the new "business as usual", sharing clear evidence of the benefits of bold climate action by listing impressive progress from the world's leading companies: “85% of the Fortune 100 companies who had [climate] targets ending in 2012 achieved their goals. They are also saving enormous amounts of money by investing in clean energy and energy efficiency. For example: UPS: US$200 million in annual savings; Cisco Systems: US$151 million in annual savings; PepsiCo: US$120 million in annual savings...".

Outlining more explicitly the actions partners of We Mean Business will take, during the conference, Nigel Topping, Executive Director of CDP said the coalition is "asking the business community to step forward, lead through action and drive political will toward achieving an ambitious agreement in 2015. Specifically, we’re asking for commitment to a set of six practical initiatives, which include putting a price on carbon and committing to science-based emissions reduction targets".

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC, who also attended the press conference, summarized the appeal of We Mean Business succinctly with: ”The future will happen by default or design. It’s in everyone’s interest for that future to be based on policy on the part of government and on design on the part of the business sector. That is the ultimate collaboration that we are looking for.” 

While the business case for collaborative and bold climate action is clear, you can find out more about We Mean Business ahead of the launch at Climate Week NYC by joining our live Q&A at 4-5pm London time/11am-12pm New York time on Wednesday September 17, using hashtag #WeMeanIt.

For a full list of Climate Week NYC events, please visit ClimateWeekNYC.org and follow the conversation on Twitter using #CWNYC.

You can also see our Climate Week NYC media resources for press releases, contacts and more info.

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