In his opening remarks at LGIM’s Sustainability Summit, Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive, Legal & General, set the tone for the day by emphasising the need for action.
“We all know we must work towards net zero by 2050 to prevent the most devastating effects of climate change,” he said, highlighting the importance of a green economy. “Our road to net zero focuses on funding the transition to support a low-carbon future and on delivering secure financial and societal returns.
“COP26 will be a seminal moment, but once the politicians and diplomats go home, it’s critical that we deliver. The time for pledging will be over, it’s the time for doing.”
Michelle Scrimgeour, Chief Executive Officer, LGIM, is at the forefront of private sector action on climate change as co-chair of the COP26 Business Leaders Group.
Opening a session on courageous leadership, Scrimgeour said: “I am inspired by the momentum I’m seeing as we debate and engage around how collectively we can play our part in addressing the challenges and actions needed to move us closer to meeting the net zero target.”
Continuing that momentum, Scrimgeour brought together the CEO of consumer goods giant Unilever, Alan Jope, and the CEO of multinational resources company BHP, Mike Henry. Both are leaders in their sectors, with Unilever products used by 2.5 billion people around the world every day and BHP operating mines that rival Greater London in length.
Unilever and BHP have both committed to net zero (BHP in its operational emissions), which Scrimgeour described as perhaps the only acceptable climate target for companies to set.