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BCSDA Launches Comprehensive Guidance for CEOs Driving Net-Zero Transition

SYDNEY, 4 DECEMBER 2023 – The Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (BCSDA) is in the final stages of development of a comprehensive transition planning guidance. Currently being tested by its members in beta version, the guidance is designed to assist Australian CEOs and their teams as they drive their businesses towards net-zero emissions. This initiative marks a significant milestone by BCSDA's members in their commitment to sustainable development and climate action. The plan is to launch them in the early part of Q1 of 2024.

Companies are committing to decarbonise their own organisations, improve the performance and resilience of their supply chains, and exert influence over others to do the same. The challenge ahead for businesses is to unlock the “how” – working to turn net-zero carbon ambitions into action at scale while also working to understand the impact that the transition will have on people as well as the planet. It will be impossible to address the climate emergency without putting people at the centre of this agenda. The transition to net-zero carbon economies will bring historic opportunities. It will also bring new risks – creating both winners and losers. Unless it is managed well, this transition has the potential to exacerbate existing societal inequalities – with negative impacts on workers, consumers, and entire communities, while also fundamentally undermining the social cohesion and stability upon which long-term business prosperity depends.

This is where these new resources aim to address. They are tailored to provide clear, actionable guidance for any size or sector of business. The primary audience for these tools are businesses at the initial stages of their formulating their Just Transition response, or they can be used as a reference for those further along the path.

Critical during their development, and to advance at the scale and the pace required, the BCSDA member companies have championed these core elements:

  • Develop a robust just transition strategy rooted in stakeholder engagement and respect for human rights

  • Think global but act local

  • Remain proactively transparent

  • Leverage and share insights and emerging good practices

  • Engage and collaborate with policymakers and other key partners

Currently in the final stages of testing and feedback from BCSDA members, key components of BCSDA's initiative include:

1. Comprehensive Framework: A structured approach to guide businesses through the essential steps of planning and implementing a net-zero strategy.

2. CEO Guidance: Simplified insights and strategies for business leaders, offering high-level direction on steering their organisations towards sustainable practices.

3. Practitioners Guide: Detailed, practical advice for on-the-ground implementation, ensuring that businesses have the tools and knowledge to execute their transition plans effectively.

“As companies adopt more rigorous approaches to respond to climate change and report on their actions, effective transition planning has become an important strategic capability,” said BCSDA CEO Andrew Petersen.

“We felt it was critical to demystify the journey towards net-zero and provide practical, actionable steps that can be adopted by businesses of all sizes and at various stages of their sustainability journey.”

With these resources, BCSDA reaffirms its commitment to supporting Australian businesses in their sustainable development goals. By providing clear guidance and practical tools, BCSDA aims to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future for all.

The introduction of the Guidance has also been welcomed by the broader Australian business community.

“I am pleased to see the Guidance released as it will be an important part of the conversation for initiating business transition,” said Ilona Millar, Partner, Gilbert + Tobin.

“Developing robust transitions plans that help companies to understand both the risks and opportunities of their decarbonisation journey. The guidance offered by the BCSDA is important as it assists with structuring business responses and reminds them that these actions cannot be about energy and climate alone,” said Dr. Mary Stewart, CEO, Energetics.

About BCSD Australia

The Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (BCSD Australia) established in Australia in 1991 is the national peak body representing forward-thinking companies and organisations that are working towards the transition to a sustainable Australia. BCSD Australia’s mission is to accelerate this transition by making sustainable business more successful.

In 2014 the organisation was appointed Australia’s Network Partner for World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

BCSD Australia’s members believe that by integrating social and environmental impacts with financial results, business lowers its risk profile, makes better decisions and creates the solutions needed to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

BCSD Australia’s members include leading Australian businesses, from all sectors, who share a commitment to economic, environmental and social development. It represents member companies, public sector enterprises and institutions, BINGOs and community organisations, which in turn represent 120,000 + Australian employees.

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