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Only a third of directors believe their boards view climate as a high priority

The CGI report suggests that a low level of sustainability knowledge is a barrier to climate action in the boardroom (Photo: Robert Churchill/Getty Images)
The CGI report suggests that a low level of sustainability knowledge is a barrier to climate action in the boardroom (Photo: Robert Churchill/Getty Images)

Boardrooms globally continue to lack sustainability knowledge

Just a third of company directors think their boards view climate as a high priority, according to a report by the Climate Governance Initiative non-profit, with a high proportion of boardrooms across Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific limited in their ability to tackle climate change because of a lack of sustainability knowledge.

In partnership with research company Kantar, the CGI conducted 29 one-to-one interviews with board directors and a survey with 440 chairs, non-executive and independent directors from nine countries, in an attempt to understand their views on how boardrooms are responding to climate change.

Ninety per cent of board directors say they believe it is the board’s responsibility to influence their organisation’s approach to climate action, but only a third of directors thought their boards considered climate as a high priority. Forty per cent of boards included in the survey are conducting climate-related reporting, although this proportion is expected to rise to 72 per cent in the next year, the report says.

Respondents to the report say European directors are the least engaged on climate, compared with their counterparts in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region. Half of European boards do not see climate as a priority, compared with 44 per cent of boards in the Americas, and 39 per cent in the Asia-Pacific, suggest the directors surveyed.

A low level of sustainability knowledge is another barrier to climate action in the boardroom, with 41 per cent of boards in the Americas, 40 per cent in Europe, and 37 per cent in Asia-Pacific lacking the necessary understanding.

You can find the full report here.

A service from the Financial Times