NACD joins the Climate Governance Initiative

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) announces that in a seminal move for the US governance community, it has joined the Climate Governance Initiative (CGI), a global project hosted by the Centre for Climate Engagement, Hughes Hall, at the University of Cambridge and in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, as the US host chapter. NACD joins the Initiative as the impacts of climate-related risks and opportunities increasingly affect American business and the global economy. The move also comes as companies’ stakeholders—from customers to shareholders—expect that organizations and board members operate as good stewards of the earth and are transitioning to a net zero carbon economy while also harnessing the new opportunities for value creation that these changes present.

The CGI has established a global network of national and regional chapters in more than 12 countries to date and continues to expand to promote the adoption of the Principles for Effective Climate Governance, published by the World Economic Forum.

The ultimate goal is for boards of directors to

  • gain climate awareness and skills,
  • embed climate considerations into board decision making, and
  • understand and act upon the risks and opportunities that the climate emergency poses to the long-term resilience and business success of their companies.

“Climate change now is a clear disruptor that demands responsible and responsive leadership from business,” said Peter R. Gleason, NACD CEO. “Since boards play a critical role in shaping this response, we want to empower them with the resources they will need to incorporate climate issues into company strategy. They must be prepared to act on the emerging opportunities that policy and operational changes will likely bring.”

As climate change reconfigures the corporate risk landscape, companies will be left vulnerable as policy and regulatory changes evolve; as consumers, investors, and other stakeholders exert increasing pressure for change—vocally and through purchasing preferences; and as the competition to respond and adapt to the changing landscape tightens. Climate change is a risk multiplier, amplifying much of what boards have traditionally grappled with in new and ongoing ways.

“With governmental actions across the globe likely to accelerate and the expectations of stakeholders to intensify, climate change is now a major business and board imperative,” Gleason continued. “We are now at an inflection point in the corporate response to climate change. NACD is joining this Climate Governance Initiative to educate our members so they can navigate the risks—and seize the opportunities for innovation and growth, no matter the industry.”

“Across the world, boards are recognizing the crucial role they have to navigate the private sector to a net-zero economy and are enhancing their capabilities to ensure long-term stewardship. We are delighted that NACD is joining the Climate Governance Initiative and look forward to collaborating in support of this global community of nonexecutive directors and its role in addressing the climate challenge,” said Antonia Gawel, member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum.

Learn more about the NACD U.S. Climate Initiative here.