It is apparent that many environmental professionals working in industry share frustrations which are primarily based on not having the status or voice needed in their organisation to shape environmental behaviours and to promote best practice at Board level.

There is a big difference between the regular compliance roles of environmental professionals and the responsibility for responding to the demands made by the task force for climate change disclosures.

The pressure that will come on to the shoulders of the CEO of the FTSE 100 (and soon to be 250 members) will be extreme, and as Michael Bloomberg has stated “not enough companies are disclosing information about their climate change related risks and opportunities….”

The EBN sees an existential threat to environmental professionals in industry because of the shifting landscape.  This is backed up by Julian Critchlow, the Director General, Energy Transformation and Clean Growth in the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

This is that they should be the obvious source of intelligence, insight and direction that the Board should refer to when dealing with the demands of the TFCD, but the danger is that the CEO and FD bypass this group for experts and seek external support from consultancies unless they become more relevant quickly.

At the same time every company needs to be mindful of its core, compliance driven environmental responsibilities (ultimately a lot of these do link to carbon reduction in some way) but, whilst the Board is consumed by its emissions reporting, there is a danger that the important stuff gets ignored.

In a small, but hopefully influential way, the EBN needs to become the support system for environmental professionals, a voice for promoting what they do and a guide to achieving greater influence at Board level – there are very few Environmental Directors on the main boards of the FTSE 100 and surely that needs to change.

Lots of people talking between different sectors – a great mix of people talking and that’s exactly what the network needs to be about.

Jamie Edmonds

Kier Utilities and Rail