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Client Story

Chapter Zero

Equipping boards to take strategic action on net zero transition

Supporting board members to respond to the net zero challenge

Not-for-profit organisation Chapter Zero is focused on educating and supporting boards on the critical importance of climate change and the net zero transition, both for their businesses and the environment. If non-executive directors (NEDs) feel equipped to lead crucial boardroom discussions on net zero transition, they can help ensure their companies are fit for the future and that net zero ambitions transform into real action. Chapter Zero identified a specific need among NEDs for a practical resource that would support the development of actionable plans.

Berkeley was pleased to provide pro bono support to develop this resource, recognising both the urgent climate change imperative and business leaders’ need for more guidance. This work led to the launch of Chapter Zero’s first Board Toolkit in 2019. This equipped NEDs with the evidence and guidance needed to drive the right boardroom conversations on climate change and the net zero transition – and help their boards take timely, positive and decisive action.

Since 2019, understanding of the scale and urgency of climate change grew significantly, along with demands from investors, customers and workforce for businesses to respond. Climate-related regulation and technology innovation also advanced significantly, adding to the need to respond quickly and decisively. Boards recognised these developments, but many remained unclear on how to address the challenge in the right way.

Chapter Zero wanted to renew the Board Toolkit to reflect the significant developments since 2019 – and to ensure NEDs remained equipped with the latest information and thinking to take the right, practical actions. Berkeley was more than happy to renew the partnership, working to refresh the toolkit on a pro bono basis once again.

Our non-executive director members are currently grappling with a wide range of climate and business issues and are in a strong position to drive the change we need in the net zero transition.
We wanted to design a Board Toolkit that would provide tangible steps to help our members with this challenge. Berkeley was able to very quickly cut through the significant amount of data on climate change and the net zero transition to help us create a clear, simple and practical guide."

Julie Baddeley, Chapter Zero’s Chair of the Board

Applying transformation expertise to the net zero transition

As transformation specialists, Berkeley is well-versed in helping clients to plan and manage large-scale change, often under the most complex, challenging and high-stakes circumstances. There is perhaps no scenario that better fits this description than net zero transition.

We drew together the latest climate-related research and evidence base alongside proven strategy and change management techniques, distilling the information down to what really matters for businesses and what they needed to do in response.

From our cross-sector commercial knowledge and experience, we could present the case for change not only in environmental, human and regulatory terms, but also with regards to business success. The toolkit could support organisations to both make a real and positive difference in tackling climate change and position themselves for better resilience and future growth.

Applying the transformation lifecycle to net zero transition, we focused on the practical steps – from strategy-setting to delivery to monitoring and continuous improvement.

“Boards need to help their companies respond effectively, not only to the more obvious risks and regulatory requirements, but to the enormous competitive opportunities and threats which the net zero transition brings. But with so much data and information out there, it can be really hard for non-executive directors to cut through to the key things they should do. By applying our transformation expertise to the climate change and net zero challenge, we have helped to develop a practical toolkit that equips non-executive directors to help their boards understand what needs to change, set the right direction and priorities and deliver the lasting outcomes required across their value chains.”

Mark Bryant, Consultant

Providing a practical toolkit for boards to lead net zero action

Launched in July 2022, the refreshed toolkit offers NEDs checklists, key questions, detailed areas of action, and further resources under the following five steps:

  • Ensure the right board oversight
  • Establish the need for change
  • Set direction and plan the change
  • Embed and sustain the change
  • Monitor and optimise.

In the six months after the relaunch, it had more than 900 downloads and became Chapter Zero’s most popular tool and the third most viewed page on their website.

The Board Toolkit is a first-class piece of work, with excellent links and clear explanations. In my view, it strikes just the right balance in terms of detail versus summary. A very useful tool.”

Aidan Lisser, Chapter Zero Board Member