The Institute of Directors New Zealand (IoD) today announced that it has joined the global Climate Governance Initiative as the host of the national chapter, Chapter Zero New Zealand. The online launch event attracted over 750 registrations, highlighting the interest across New Zealand’s director community.
Chapter Zero New Zealand will work to mobilise, connect, educate and equip directors to effectively govern New Zealand organisations on the response to climate change and drive the global goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
IoD chief executive Kirsten Patterson (she/her) says the launch of Chapter Zero is a significant milestone in New Zealand’s climate emergency response.
“Being armed with the most up-to-date climate change information including the global agenda, New Zealand’s obligations, and understanding science-based targets to reduce emissions, is imperative for directors in ensuring the long-term resilience of the companies they serve,” says Patterson.
IoD research has consistently found climate issues are one of the top concerns for directors from listed companies right through to not-for-profit organisations.
The initiative will also support directors to navigate new legislation to report on the impacts of climate change as well as directors of non-mandated companies and organisations who can lead by incorporating best-practice reporting and decision making into their climate change response.
Chapter Zero New Zealand is overseen by a Steering Committee made up of prominent directors; and administered by a Working Group of representatives from the IoD, corporate partners, climate-change advisory groups and other key stakeholders.
Air New Zealand and ASB Bank Chair Dame Therese Walsh (she/her) will take on the role of Chair of the Steering Committee. She says Chapter Zero is an opportunity for New Zealand directors to work together and take action.
“Chapter Zero is a coming together of our director community to learn, grow, and equip ourselves to make smart governance decisions that will ensure long-term sustainable value for the companies we serve. If we don’t act now on climate change, we will not be able to manage the risk or maximise the opportunity it presents. Successful governors will be those most prepared to meet this challenge.”
Today’s event also featured a keynote address from the Minister of Climate Change Hon James Shaw (he/him). Minister Shaw says collaboration between the public, private and financial sectors is a vital part of enduring climate action – and directors have an important part to play.
“Since we became the first country in the world to introduce mandatory climate-related risk disclosures, the role of boards in addressing climate change in the governance process has become very clear.
“Climate should be a critical element of decision-making across all sectors, so I’m very pleased to see an initiative like this one, which aims to increase board-level understanding of climate change, together with its inherent risks and opportunities,” says Shaw.
Individual directors are able to join Chapter Zero New Zealand as supporters at no cost, allowing them to engage regularly with the director community and subject matter experts, as well as access tools and resources that will give them practical support in the boardroom. All directors are welcome and encouraged to engage, not just IoD members.
We invite all directors to get involved in Chapter Zero NZ by signing up as a Supporter. Becoming a Supporter is free and open to all directors, not just IoD Members.