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“New Mindset” Needed for Net Zero Pursuit

Changes in the C-suite are key in helping companies achieve net zero goals, claims a report from the Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership (CISL). The report aims to aid firms that have set net zero goals, recommending that they take a “whole-system approach to transformation” to achieve these “in the face of systemic turbulence”. It said the scale of transformation required and increasing systemic challenges will require a “new mindset” and “associated suite of skills” from corporate executives in a “shift from ‘ego’ to ‘eco’”. The report also highlighted “substantial shortcomings” in the way companies approach sustainability data, with organisations having a poor understanding of both how the world impacts their organisation and how the organisation impacts the world. Recommendations to overhaul firms’ approach include setting a “transformative agenda” to establish a “vision and gives leaders the mandate to disrupt the status quo” and understand the complexities – including systemic impacts, dependencies, risks and opportunities – in a way that engages the organisation’s extended ecosystem of stakeholders. Additionally, the report said firms need to create enabling conditions by building the foundations of transformation, such as good governance, effective business integration, enabling culture, future-fit capacity and skills, systemic innovation, transformative finance and partnerships, and advocacy including for policy change.  

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