The time has come for B Corps to stop pledging and start doing
21 July 2021 at 4:30 pm
We caught up with Andrew Davies, B Lab Australia and New Zealand CEO, to talk about what he learned from this year’s B Corp Global Climate Summit.
While regeneration is a long way off, reaching net zero has to be the first step, says B Lab Australia and New Zealand CEO Andrew Davies, who argues there needs to be more action plans in place.
Speaking to Pro Bono News following this year’s B Corp Global Climate Summit, which brought together 5,000 people across 100 countries to focus on the community’s journey to net zero, Davies said it was time for the sector to act.
“There’s a bit of an evolution happening where businesses, governments and individuals are all making big, bold pledges around tackling climate change, “ he said.
“However, without definitive action plans these pledges are worthless. Attention is turning to what are the actual steps businesses are taking to reduce emissions. This is also something Australian and New Zealand B Corps should be focusing on.”
Davies said the three-day summit was incredibly re-energising, as even B Corps – which are already focused on climate – need to find ways to rebuild the energy it takes to continue doing the work.
His two biggest takeaways from the summit focused on the need for B Corps to share any learnings along the way, and for B Corps to remember the importance of centering climate action in justice.
He said that the reality of getting to net zero is now a series of practical steps, which, if successful, should be shared with both competitors and peers.
“If people manage to find a creative way to change a value chain, for example, then sharing that with the rest of their industry is the best thing they could do,” Davies said.
“It’s all about rapidly accelerating the work that’s being done, and that can only happen when we share information.”
He said it was also important for businesses to always be thinking about their place in the developed world.
“The reality is that the people suffering the most [from climate inaction] are those in the developing world and the lack of action we take has an impact on others,” he said.
“The summit was a great reminder that the work we do as B Corps is not just about the environment, it’s about justice. We can’t reduce emissions without first thinking about our western way of living – how we outsource, what we consume and how we live.”
When asked if there was anything that particularly inspired him from the event, Davies said that hearing entrepreneur and UN climate champion Gonzalo Muñoz speak was a real standout.
“Gonzalo Muñoz is a real leader and a hero to us at B Lab and hearing what he had to say about net zero really stuck with me,” Davies said.
“He talked about reaching net zero as being the interim target and the importance of what happens after that point, which is the regeneration of the planet.”
You can watch the summit here