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  • Writer's pictureSophie M

Climate Action for Associations

The role of membership organisations in the drive to a Zero Carbon Economy.

Last week we launched ‘Climate Action for Associations’ - our roundtable and resource series specifically to support membership organisations take proactive climate leadership.

Our aim is to drive business action, ambition and advocacy from trade and professional associations to accelerate the zero-carbon transition. We firmly believe that membership organisations can have greater climate impact as a collective force of professionals and businesses.

Our first roundtable was extra special because it fell part of Climate Week 2020 NYC the biggest climate week on earth, which is run by our fantastic client, The Climate Group.

Our first roundtable had a focus on the financial services, accounting and UK business sector, as expert guests delved into views on the level of climate action their members are seeking and expect from their umbrella governing organisations.

Chaired by Mike Peirce, Corporate Partnerships Director at The Climate Group our speakers were;

· Dr Adam Marshall, Director General, The British Chamber of Commerce

· Jonathan Labrey, Chief Strategy Officer, International Integrated Reporting Council

· Sharon Machado, Portfolio Head of Business Reporting, ACCA

· John Wood, Chief Executive Officer, The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors

· Alison Heppenstall, Managing Director, b2b partnerships Ltd

We talked about collective climate responsibility, the challenges and the opportunity for membership organisations to act both internally and externally to guide and support their network, including:

1. What are we hearing from members and sectors about the importance of action on climate and sustainability?

2. To what extent do membership organisations have a firm grasp of their sectors impact and opportunity on climate?

3. How are membership organisations approaching the topic of climate change?

4. What’s next on the Climate and Sustainability agenda for associations. Where are the biggest opportunities (or risks)?

Key take-aways:

With just over a year from the UN Climate Conference in the UK, we talked about the priority for professionals and industry over the next 12-15 months.

We identified a greater need to collaborate, to form partnerships that enable associations to develop understanding, build confidence, increase capability, develop stronger understanding and to take collective action.

We talked about the need to implement programmes and initiatives to support the sector/members, specially roadmap for change to take action and the urgent need to build skills and learning into qualifications and training to boost capability.

Critically we talked about how sustainability and climate action and reporting must be integrated into business as usual and not treated as a ‘bolt-on’.

Next steps:

We are seeing common questions on action, practical change and implementation which we are working with experts to help address.

We are already working with a number of membership organisations on their climate and sustainability programmes (both internally and externally), including;

· understanding their profession and sectors needs better via research and surveys

· development of information, guidance and learning to support professions and sectors

· curation of the training and skills

· running member and stakeholder engagement initiatives and campaigns

· building effective, sustainable partnerships and collaborations with climate change experts

We have made it part of b2b’s mission to support associations and membership bodies accelerate sustainable, climate leadership and achieve change and positive impact within their industry/sector.

Stay tuned for more b2b Climate Action for Associations conversation.

To view a recording of the full roundtable discussion, visit:

To download our Climate Action Jargon Busters, visit:

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