Our thoughts are with our members and their organisations impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle. Boards have a key role to play in the wake of any crisis. See guidance for chairs and directors

Our thoughts are with our members and their organisations impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle. Boards have a key role to play in the wake of any crisis. See guidance for chairs and directors

Building a business in a turbulent and unknowable future

By Sonia Yee, Senior Advisor – Communications and Media, IoD
2 Jan 2023
read time
2 min to read
Across the board banner with IoD’s CEO Kirsten Patterson and Sonia Yee

This fifth episode of the Institute of Directors seven-part podcast series, Across the Board Presented by IoD’s CEO Kirsten Patterson and Sonia Yee looks at the importance of ESG matters - environmental social and governance - and the climate emergency.

Unpredictable tropical storms, cyclones, flooding and droughts continue to make news headlines around the world. These extreme weather events devastate crops and the livelihood of farmers, but they also have detrimental impacts on entire communities.

As part of the global economy, New Zealand businesses are not immune.

Climate change is not new news. But for directors and boards environmental social governance (ESG) has fast become a hot topic of conversation. Today, there is an imperative for directors to provide transparency across their reporting, including on climate-related issues.

For some, this is new and daunting territory and there are still knowledge gaps as to what reporting on climate should look like. But the weight rests on the shoulders of directors and businesses across every industry who are now under pressure to arm themselves with as much knowledge as possible to avert disaster. 

Dr Rod Carr

Dr Rod Carr

“Climate waits for no one,” says Dr Rod Carr, Chair of the Climate Change Commission.

The former Vice Chancellor of Canterbury University speaks with a sense of urgency.

Even through a screen over a zoom call it is hard not to feel his conviction. He has a way of bringing the issues into the here-and-now in a tone that makes you want to jump out of your seat and make a plan of action - if only you weren’t hanging off his every word.

With a background in finance, technology and education, climate is fairly new for Carr. But since taking on the role with the Climate Commission in 2019, there's been no looking back.

His ultimate motivation is his deep sense of responsibility for future generations.

“My kids at home said, “If it's the only job you do, it's the only job worth doing because it's the only thing that matters,” he says.

Over a 30-minute call, Carr tells the story of how the banks and the finance sector were the first to get ‘the real story on climate’ ahead of everyone else. He uses vivid descriptions of destruction and chaos that are enough to make your jaw drop, and keep it there.

It’s gripping…but that’s just how he feels about climate change and the mammoth risk for businesses if they choose to ignore it.

But Carr is also pragmatic. He says dealing with climate isn’t about trying to find answers in a crystal ball or looking for overnight solutions to a problem that has been accumulating over decades.

“It is really saying, “What are the skills and capability an organisation needs to survive in a turbulent future?” 

Listen to Episode Five of Across the Board to hear Emily Miller-Sharma (GM Ruby) speak about the chaos of the media and its impact on the fashion industry, Dr Thomas Elliott talks to energy consumption inside cities, Gráinne Troute (TIA) discusses the value backpackers bring to the local economy and Kanika Jhunjhnuwala (Sudima Hotel Group) talks about the opportunities in sharing knowledge in an environment of unpredictable change. 

iHeart Radio | Apple Podcast Player | Spotify

Across the Board was produced by the Institute of Directors in partnership with NZME and iHeart Radio and proudly sponsored by ASB Bank.

ASB logo