Testimonials: BACA members at COP26
To best capture the current climate momentum, we surveyed three participating BACA members about how they experienced COP26. Here are their testimonials:
Sabine Pauquay (Public Affairs Manager at Velux)
For Velux, COP26 was the first climate summit in which we actively took part with a large delegation of representatives. Having set Science Based Targets as the cornerstone of our sustainability strategy launched in 2020, we wanted to connect and exchange with likeminded companies from the building sector. And that we did, specifically during the Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day. We were encouraged by the level of openness and readiness to act, from everyone we interacted with. It confirmed our belief that collaboration through partnerships is crucial to meet the climate ultimatum, in the building sector and beyond.”.
Christine Vanoppen (Governance Manager at Lineas)
"The momentum to generate impact was palpable. There was an atmosphere of readiness, but at the same time we also noticed a hesitation about what specifically needs to be done. A concrete example is the modal shift of freight from road to rail, an issue that lies at the heart of the Green Deal. After all, in order to achieve the climate targets, rail transport is an indispensable link". In his presentation at COP26, CEO Geert Pauwels also called on governments to create a level playing field for the various modes of transport, taking into account external costs. "The extension of the Emission Trading System to the transport sector is then indispensable. In addition, government support for freight rail innovation is also an absolute must. Think of systems for Digital Capacity Management and Automated Train operations, among others.".
"Convinced that we must act now, together with all stakeholders in the sector, we have created the Railroad Map 2030. The document is the result of intensive consultations between all actors and the input of expert panels from the Belgian logistics and transport sector, and describes what is expected from all actors involved in the coming years: What transformation do they have to go through and what action do they have to take? Together they can achieve the projected doubling of rail freight volumes. Together, all actors can meet the challenge of climate change.".
Magali Frankl (Responsible Business Lead at Accenture)
With Accenture, we have been holding more than 30 in-person and live broadcasts from Glasgow over 12 days focused on measurable actions businesses can take now to transform and become more sustainable. We also shared our latest UNGC CEO Study findings and other thought leadership about reaching net zero, sustainable organizations and biodiversity. In the UNGC CEO Study, the largest sustainability study conducted to date by the United Nations Global Compact and Accenture, 71% of CEOs say they are actively working to develop a net-zero emissions target for their company and 57% believe they are operating in line with the 1.5°C goal. Yet as an indicator, only 2% of these companies have a formal target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative.
We have seen a high level of awareness and involvement amongst business leaders on what needs to be done to achieve the Net-Zero agenda. CEOs say that the private sector can lead the response, mobilize the capital, and deploy the technology needed, as they see climate change is impacting their businesses much earlier than expected. In the UNGC CEO Study, forty-nine percent of CEOs point to supply chain interruptions due to extreme weather as a top risk, but only 7% said they are ‘advanced’ in setting up early warning systems to prepare for climate-risk events. Key takeaways is that businesses must leverage digital technologies, overhaul supply chains, and manage GHG emissions reduction plans the same way as financial budgets to address climate and biodiversity risk.
Businesses must stand up now to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement commitments as there is no time left.