Posted in: reports

16th May 2018

The B Team and Ceres Introduce New Primer For Building Climate Competent Boards

May 16, 2018, New York: For today’s boards and management teams, being well-versed on climate change, its opportunities and its risks is a must. But too many boards still find themselves short on the knowledge and resources to take action. To help facilitate board-level understanding on climate, The B Team and Ceres have released a new primer, Getting Climate Smart: A primer for corporate directors in a changing environment.

This primer is designed to help corporate directors understand why climate change belongs on their agenda and how they can oversee climate-related risks and opportunities. It puts climate in perspective for directors’ everyday decisions and considerations. It also provides the tools and resources for boards to successfully navigate the transition toward a net-zero future and address the challenges this shift brings head-on.

“For the long-term health of companies, boards must understand the significance of climate to their work. It’s past time for action,” said David Crane, Co-Chair of The B Team’s Climate Working Group, “With this resource, corporate directors have the tools to turn their business into an enabler of a prosperous and equitable low-carbon future.”

The expectation of and need for corporate directors to act on the material impacts of climate are only growing. To help boards and management teams realize this, the primer also focuses on the adaptability and relevance of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations. These guidelines emphasize the financial risks associated with climate as well as how this informs all business strategy.

“The impacts of climate change will be felt across the entire economy,” said Tanuja Dehne, Senior Advisor of The B Team’s Climate Working Group, “This not a sector-specific risk. Our primer is a tool for directors at all companies to map out their future in a shifting climate.” The release of this primer comes at a crucial moment in the global climate movement. The World Economic Forum noted that climate poses one of the biggest risks to the world in 2018. A growing number of businesses are stepping up to face this challenge with more than 400 companies across 28 industries and 23 countries now committing to science-based targets.

For companies committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, climate competency in the boardroom is especially critical. “They’re learning as they go, learning from each other and learning good practices. This is important, but it’s not always easy,” said Mary Robinson, co-chair of The B Team’s Climate Working Group, “Companies really have to work at it and give that leadership.”

For their long-term vitality, these companies must ensure climate oversight at the board-level is thorough and part of this leadership. “Too often companies approach sustainability oversight as a check-the-box exercise, and they are not getting strong results,” said Veena Ramani, director of Capital Market Systems program at Ceres, “Companies with the right board systems for sustainability, that is the right mandates, the right people, and the right incentives, can be top performers.”

Getting Climate Smart: A primer for corporate directors in a changing environment can help these companies, and those who have yet to take action, to approach climate from a perspective most beneficial to their people, our planet and their profits.

For more information on this primer or The B Team, please visit or reach out via the contact information below.


To arrange an interview or for more information, please contact Tyler Zang via (New York)