Insights from Climate Week’s Frontlines
October 10, 2023
As the curtains close on Climate Week 2023, it’s evident that sustainability is a universal language spoken across every facet of business. From accounting to design, finance to software development and beyond, a foundational understanding of sustainability has become imperative. Why? Because every job must touch sustainability as companies strive to meet their ambitious climate targets and go beyond what upcoming stringent regulatory compliance will require into a position of true climate leadership.
Sustainability is more than just a buzzword. It’s a fundamental driver to ensuring a healthy planet for future generations. The question now is whether we can muster the political, ideological, and financial will necessary to make a meaningful impact.
FINN Partners was on hand at Climate Week, and while the sessions were filled with more insights than can be compiled in one article, we wanted to highlight a few that stood out:
There is no progress without partnership
As we near 2030, partnership will eclipse mere leadership. Tackling the climate crisis requires collaboration that isn’t as intuitive than one might think. FINN client VF Corporation – a leading portfolio of lifestyle brands including Vans®, The North Face® and Timberland® – exemplifies how collaboration across sectors can drive impact. Over the course of climate week, development of the world’s first regenerative rubber supply chain – which has already received interest across industries such including tire companies – was a hot topic of discussion. Strategic partnerships are critical to mega-scale impact. Time is running out to combat the climate crisis and we need to look at solutions that scale beyond individual companies, even if the fits between partners may be nontraditional.
Data, data, data. Did we mention data?
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
We heard that refrain throughout the week – a stark reminder that we will likely fail to achieve what we may not have a complete understanding of. The call to action is clear: companies must measure their impact comprehensively. An all-encompassing strategy is vital beyond carbon, touching social and labor factors and more. However, the challenge lies in diving deep into the supply chain, mapping not just suppliers, but their suppliers’ suppliers. FINN Partners client Worldly – the planet’s most comprehensive impact intelligence platform – highlighted the importance of combining the humanistic rhetoric with science-based targets and data across supply chains to enable sustainable investment. Rhetoric must make way for facts, and organizations need tools that provide actionable metrics on energy consumption. Regulation is tightening; Europe alone will have 10,000 companies mandated to report on climate disclosures. Speaking of regulation…
Regulation will drive action
Transparent communication is a major component of effectively tackling climate challenges – and critical for avoiding legal action. Regulation is quickly becoming the primary catalyst for climate action. Governments and organizations worldwide have committed to thr Paris Agreement, but how are changes being implemented at the national and supranational level? With policies coming into play such as the U.S. SEC Climate Disclosure Act, New York Fashion, and the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive climate action is no longer optional. Companies must know their supply chain, understand risks, mitigate them, and report progress. The environmental and social impact isn’t always in plain view. It’s not about lightbulbs or solar panels; it’s buried in the supply chain.
As we navigate the path ahead, the urgent need for global collaboration, resilience and adaptation is more apparent than ever. The collective voice of civil society and the business community resoundingly demands immediate and tangible action. In this ever-evolving climate narrative, we at FINN Partners are committed to embedding ourselves into the heartbeat of global sustainability to drive meaningful change and contribute to a sustainable future for all.