WBCSD launches pioneering CEO Guide as a catalyst for systems transformation in corporate climate action and accountability

Published: 1 Dec 2023
Type: News

Dubai, 1 Dec 2023 – The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has launched a pioneering guide for business leaders during COP28 in Dubai, at the Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum on the first day of the World Climate Action Summit.

The "CEO Guide to the Climate-related Corporate Performance and Accountability System (CPAS)," is a comprehensive and visionary approach to align investor valuation and capital allocation with scaling corporate decarbonization, and meet the rising demand for corporate performance and accountability on climate action. 

The launch of the CEO Guide follows the WBCSD Council Meeting in Dubai (28-29 November), which convened 40+ CEOs and 300 senior representatives from  over 140  global businesses with +$5trillion combined revenues. In its latest statement on 30 November, WBCSD presented an ambitious agenda with five transformative priorities for COP28, including the need to transform the climate-related CPAS. 

The urgency for businesses to tackle climate change is evident in the APCO Climate Action Tracker survey, involving over 24,000 people across 39 countries. Emphasizing businesses' crucial role in delivering innovative decarbonization solutions, key findings underscore the public’s demand for a transparent framework that recognizes and rewards ambitious business performance on climate action. Despite widespread acknowledgment, misalignment with financial markets hampers transformative solutions. The climate-related CPAS bridges this gap, linking financial markets to corporate decarbonization performance.  

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD, emphasized the significance of the CEO Guide in this context, "The world is turning to businesses for sustainability solutions and it's time to transform. We need an urgent system reset. Our CEO Guide to the Climate-related Corporate Performance and Accountability System (CPAS) is the answer to the challenge we face – it provides the missing link between the financial system and business transformation on climate change” 

“The CEO Guide provides an unlock for business leaders globally. It lays out a practical pathway to align the performance and innovation power of business on decarbonization, with the right incentives from financial markets, to scale corporate climate action, while meeting the rising demand for accountability from stakeholders across society." 

The CEO Guide outlines the importance of integrating climate considerations into every aspect of strategic and performance management processes. This approach ensures that businesses provide well-managed, consistent, and comparable data to financial markets and stakeholders, aligning valuation and capital allocation models with scalable solutions, and over time lowering the cost of capital in comparison to peers, as a result of better climate performance. 

The CEO Guide conveys the critical need to expand the CPAS beyond climate-related business impacts to incorporate other sustainability impacts, including nature, equity and circularity. In 2024, WBCSD intends to explore this work, in parallel to convening key organizations behind the system’s standards, frameworks and tools to improve the usability of the climate-related CPAS, and to drive global adoption. WBCSD will orchestrate the voice of leading businesses to input into this transformation to ensure it is practical and pragmatic. 

As businesses grapple with the dual challenges of delivering solutions and demonstrating accountability at COP28, WBCSD’s “CEO Guide to the Climate-related Corporate Performance and Accountability System (CPAS)” emerges as a piece of crucial guidance for CEOs. It underscores the role of businesses as key drivers of innovative climate solutions and helps them step up action and succeed in decarbonizing their products and services towards a future world in which more than 9 billion people are able to live well, within planetary boundaries, by 2050. We invite CEOs and business leaders to read this guide and engage with us to progress on their transformative business agenda. 

For more information and to access the CEO Guide to the Climate-related Corporate Performance and Accountability System (CPAS), visit WBCSD's official website

For more information on the APCO’s inaugural global Climate Action Confidence Tracker, conducted in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), visit the APCO website. 

For media enquiries or interview requests contact Kiranne Guddoy, at guddoy@wbcsd.org

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