Corporate boards are experiencing the impact of climate change on multiple fronts. Mounting pressure from regulators, investors, shareholders, consumers, and their workforce is forcing companies to rethink their carbon emissions. Worsening droughts, fires, floods, and storms have prioritized the need to focus on the health of our communities and ecosystems. Beyond social responsibility, there’s also economic cost tied to each of these challenges.
The intersection of climate change and the emerging technologies used as part of a strategy to fight it will continue to push the boundaries of board governance and director acumen. To rise to the challenge posed by climate change, businesses need to engage their boards and directors need to recognize the important role they play. Upskilling directors on ESG and technology will help them fulfill their responsibility to provide oversight, asking the right questions and challenging management when appropriate.
Curious what this will mean in practice? Here are examples of real-world challenges and the emerging technologies that can help solve them.
Climate risk oversight will assume an increasingly prominent place on boards’ agendas in the coming years, particularly if the recently proposed SEC disclosure rules become final. Asking the right questions about the intersection of climate impact and technology will only become more important for directors as stakeholder focus intensifies.
When technology investments are on the table, questions directors can pose to management teams include:
Boards of directors have an important role to play as companies increasingly focus on mitigating their climate impact. Emerging technologies are important tools that can help companies with some of the most challenging aspects of that work – including in the supply chain. Corporate directors will need to understand both the climate risks facing their companies and the technologies that can help overcome them to provide effective oversight.
Technology Impact Leader, PwC US