Creating an integrated approach for measuring social and environmental impact

Join us for this live written panel discussion on Creating an integrated approach for measuring social and environmental impact. This event is part of the Business Fights Poverty Global Summit.

Live Panel
Thursday 24 June 2021, 9.30-10.30AM EDT / 2.30-3.30PM BST

Background

“THERE IS NO GOING BACK. NO MATTER WHAT WE DO NOW,

IT IS TOO LATE TO AVOID CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE POOREST, THE MOST VULNERABLE, THOSE WITH THE LEAST SECURITY, ARE NOW CERTAIN TO SUFFER.”

David Attenborough, Naturalist

Climate justice is a framing of the climate crisis through an equity and social justice lens - is not a new concept. Advocates have been calling for a rights-based, people-centered approach for at least 20 years. The UN Human Rights Council has been vocal on the threat climate change poses to human rights. Existing inequities - due to factors including gender, race, and income - increase the severity of the risks people face and limit their access to the opportunities of a transition to a green economy. Climate justice recognises these inequities and injustices and seeks to address them by putting people at the heart of climate strategies.

Understanding how to do this and when we have achieved success are two vital components required to deliver carbon decarbonisation which leaves no-one behind. As Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “[only] what gets measured, gets managed.”

Join this online written discussion to explore the leading edge thinking on how to measure and account for social, environmental and commercial value collectively. Where are the balances and trade-offs and why do we need to do this in the first place?

Panellists

Anna Barker, Head of Commercial Partnerships, Fairtrade

Laura Kelly, Director, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Justin Perrettson, Head of Sustainability Partnerships, Scouting & Ventures, Novozymes

Hina West, Director, Nature Pays, WWF

Melina Katende, Pre-sales & Blockchain Implementation, BanQu Inc

Todd Cort, Faculty, Yale School of Management and Yale School of the Environment

Matt Gwyn, Strategic Engagement, World Benchmarking Alliance

María José Prado Valdés, Head of Social Impact Europe, CEMEX

Antony Karanja, Researcher, Youth Cafe, Kenya

Maria Pia Bianchetti, Private Sector Policy & Influencing Manager, UNICEF

Andrew Means, Senior Director Global Impact Data Strategy, Salesforce.org

Edel Heuven, Climate and Resilience Specialist, CARE

Sandra Sanchez, Founder and Director**,** VToujours

Questions

  1. Where are the examples of businesses needing to take action and put people at the heart of climate action? And what does good look like?
  2. How can we measure these intersections? Understand where we are now and what good looks like without creating huge time and financial burdens on business, NGOs and communities involved?
  3. How can we work better together to fast track the positive impacts business can generate by putting people at the heart of their climate action?

Format

This is a text-based discussion. Panelists will be sharing their insights live below in writing. There is LIVE video meeting taking place in parallel for you to meet and interact with other participants. After the live session, this discussion will remain open, so please do continue to share your insights.

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Hello everyone, I am your moderator for this written discussion and very much looking forward to it. Please introduce yourself by hitting reply.

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Hello everyone,

I am Sandra Sanchez (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandra-sanchez-a469465a/) economist, international business manager, sustainability entrepreneur, founder and director of VToujours (LIFE FOREVER) a Canadian consultancy company that provides services in sustainable development. We work at the local, national and international level.
Our work is based on holistic valuation, innovation, protection and conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity, in order to increase well-being and reduce poverty. Nature is at the core of our work.
I appreciate the opportunity to be part on this panel discussing together about meaningful business and their impact for society and the environment.

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Hi everyone! Matt here from the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA). I’m looking forward to joining the panel tomorrow. I work in strategic engagement at the WBA, focussing my time on the Climate and Energy Benchmarks and just transition assessments from strategy and development to the delivery of insights and key findings.

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Hi everyone! I am Maria Pia Bianchetti (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/maria-pia-bianchetti-34488a18) from the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) where I lead our work on child rights and business, with particular attention to the interlinkages between business, climate change and child rights.
I am looking forward to the discussion this afternoon, it will be a great opportunity to hear views and share insights on how businesses can measure social and environmental impacts.

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Hi Everyone, Laura from IIED. I lead work on sustainable markets (Shaping Sustainable Markets research group | International Institute for Environment and Development) including food and nutrition, energy, responsible minerals and green and inclusive post-covid recovery. Looking forward to the panel and exchanging views on these important issues. Laura

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HI all! María José Prado, Head of Social Impact Europe at CEMEX (https://www.linkedin.com/in/maría-josé-prado-valdés-27723735/) . I´m looking forward to learn from your experiences and share how CEMEX seeks to “Build a better future” by contribute through our operations and actions to build a sustainable and fair future for all our stakeholders.

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Hello all - Hina West (https://www.linkedin.com/in/hina-west-0023595a/) from WWF here. Currently leading a global initiative called Nature Pays (https://wwf.panda.org/projects/nature_pays), focused on catalysing community enterprises to support conservation and resilient livelihoods. Looking forward to a lively discussion!

Hello all- Antony Karanja (https://www.linkedin.com/in/antony-karanja-b1b982134/) from the Youth Café. Currently a Research, Project design and Development Associate. Looking forward to a great discussion and particularly what role young entrepreneurs can play in the pursuit of this collective resolve of climate action.

Hi everyone, I’m Mihaela Balan, MEL lead for the Business Partnerships for Global Goals (BP4GG) Vulnerable Supply Facility. The Facility partners with 20 UK international retailers and brands and a nine not-for-profit organisations supporting over 130 suppliers across Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana Kenya, Myanmar, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe . I appreciate the opportunity to be part on this discussion about meaningful business and their impact on the people and the planet.

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Hi all, I am Anna Barker, Head of Commercial Partnerships for the Fairtrade Foundation. We work with partners and businesses sourcing Fairtrade products and promoting best practice in supply chains. Excited to join!

Hi Everyone - Andrew Means from Salesforce.org. I lead Global Impact Data Strategy which means I get to help our customers (nonprofit, education, and for-profit) figure out how to use data and technology to further their missions and manage their ESG portfolios. Coming to you from Park City, Utah!

Hi Everyone - I’m Justin Perrettson, Head of Sustainability Partnerships within Scouting & Ventures for Novozymes, an Industrial Biotechnology Leader.

Hello everyone. I am Georgina Duffin, a Private Sector adviser on the Business Partnerships for Global Goals (BP4GG) programme. BP4GG is a UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office programme which partners with businesses to test and scale projects that support the SDGs. In response to the covid pandemic, we have been partnering with UK and international business and NGO’s to implement projects across Africa and South Asia to mitigate some of the impacts of the pandemic on the agriculture and garments value chains.

Our first question today:

Data shows that the climate crisis affects us all, but not equally: the highest-earning 10 per cent of the planet’s population are responsible for 50 per cent of all carbon emissions, but it is those in low-income countries that are hit hardest by climate change. Those nations most responsible for the climate emergency need to back an ambitious and urgent global green investment programme to support communities living with a crisis they did very little to cause. And as decisions are taken on how this investment is used, the expertise of farmers and workers already feeling the worst effects of climate change must be heard and respected.

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On the Business Partnerships for Global Goals programme (BP4GG), we have been focusing on solutions to climate issues that mitigate some of the short-term shocks of covid-19 but also provide longer-term resilience for workers in key value chains. With this in mind, we have been looking at profound shifts in some ‘business as usual’ practices. For example, the use of air freight to transport flowers from Kenya to Europe. Whilst this has come at a large environmental cost, with a significant carbon footprint or each stem, it has also led to vulnerabilities for farmers and workers, who are reliant on air freighting for transporting their produce to markets in Europe.

Covid shone a light on the instability of this, with much airfreight being rapidly shut down, and suddenly growers in Kenya having no option for exporting their produce. In piloting the sea frighting of flowers, we have shown the potential to reduce emissions by 95%, whilst also securing a valuable alternative transport route for thousands of workers, otherwise at the mercy of future pandemics or climatic events that impact upon air freight. The pilot has proved successful beyond our initial ambitions, with other growers, freighters, and even countries looking to adopt sea-freight for flower export.

Millions of people across the globe who provide us with our everyday essentials are on the front line of the climate emergency. And a deeply unfair global trading system means far too many are not earning enough to deal with the consequences of that climate crisis, which is posing an immediate threat to their livelihoods. Fairtrade farmers and workers are fighting back, demanding trade that will create a sustainable future for people and planet, and using sustainable farming techniques in line with our Fairtrade Standards.

Living with the reality of the climate crisis every day, Fairtrade producers recognise the urgent need for change in supply chains if their livelihoods are to survive. But due to generations of unfair trade and the legacy of colonialism, millions of the people most affected by the climate crisis cannot earn a living income from their hard work. If they cannot earn enough for their daily essentials, they cannot invest in adapting to the impacts of the climate crisis. As the climate crisis intensifies, we have to change the way we farm our land and produce our food. However, it is unjust to expect the farmers and workers who produce our food to bear the burden of responsibility for addressing the climate crisis. We must support producers in low-income countries to meet the costs associated with farming in ways that are resilient in the face of more extreme weather, and in ways that produce fewer emissions. |

A1. At CEMEX, our purpose is to build a better future and the way in which we ensure our Company’s sustainability is through creating and living a Social Impact Culture. The Social Impact Strategy focuses on the people in order to minimize impacts and create value by building trustworthy relationships and co-creating processes.

Last year, our Company launched a new, more ambitious global climate strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from our 1990 baseline by 35% by 2030, along with an ambition to deliver net zero concrete worldwide by 2050. Last year, our European operations reached the milestone of 35% CO2 reduction a full decade ahead of our global targets. All these activities are being carried out under our new initiative of ‘Future in Action” where a multidisciplinary working group has been established to facilitate the fulfillment of these ambitious goals, Social Impact is part of this network to guarantee a just transition for our communities and stakeholders.

And what does good look like?

We all have to change. Consumers will have to make new choices changing certain habits, governments will have to change regulation and industry will have to change / evolve the way products are made or even going as far out as to reconceive some business models.

The cement sector, due to the great impact it has on the infrastructure and building sector, is strategically positioned to respond to climate action challenges. At CEMEX we recognize future construction needs to be balanced against its environmental effects, for this reason, we lauched Vertua CEMEX’s new line of low-carbon products, these reduce carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions during production, preserving the performance and quality that characterizes us.

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