Council for Inclusive Capitalism Releases Framework to Guide Companies in Delivering a Just Energy Transition
Businesses, investors, academics, civil, and social representatives collaborate to develop resources to advance social equity while meeting environmental goals
The Council for Inclusive Capitalism (Council) today shared the results of a monthslong initiative to help businesses ensure that the benefits of the energy transition are shared by workers, communities, and customers. The Just Energy Transition: A Framework for Company Action is part of a collaborative effort led by the Council, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and bp in consultation with the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development to develop actionable guidance for companies to deliver an energy transition that advances social equity.
“The private sector has a key role to play in financing and contributing to this urgent global shift in a way that is just for everyone involved,” said Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and Prime Minister Johnson’s Finance Adviser for COP26. “This initiative is only the start of the journey. It will take the commitment and collective action of all – government, industry, and civic leaders – to achieve a swift and just transition to clean energy and a net zero economy.”
This collaborative initiative is building a resource hub of best practices, case studies, research, and actions that companies can use to lead a swift energy transition that benefits all involved. The Just Energy Transition: A Framework for Company Action and an accompanying whitepaper are among the initial resources developed by the group.
Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Founder of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism and Managing Partner of Inclusive Capital Partners, said, “We all learn from experience, and it is the first movers who have the most to teach. The Framework and its building blocks for action for an inclusive transition to clean energy is applicable to all sectors, and the Council invites all companies to explore how they can do their part to be a uniquely powerful force in creating a more inclusive net-zero economy with the Framework.”
The Just Energy Transition: A Framework for Company Action has four core pillars that each have five areas for action to guide companies as they consider the social and economic impacts of their transition:
- supporting universal access to energy and a net-zero emissions world,
- evolving the energy workforce to support a low and zero carbon energy future,
- building community resilience, and
- fostering collaboration and transparency throughout the process.
The framework builds upon existing literature and was created in collaboration with partners Climate Action 100+ and the World Benchmarking Alliance developing just transition assessment methodologies used by investors so that markets can recognize and reward those companies transitioning justly.
“There will be no energy transition unless it is just,” said Bernard Looney, CEO of bp. “We must ensure that workers and communities do not lose out as we strive to help our planet. We must take everyone with us. That is why developing this framework made sense to us at bp. We want a transition that ensures no one is left behind.”
“Collaboration, transparency and leadership from the private sector will be critical to making a just transition to net-zero emissions,” said Rich Lesser, Global Chair of BCG. “The framework and resource hub will help organizations on their journey, learn from each other and ensure the transformation is respectful and beneficial to a broader set of stakeholders.”
With the release of Just Energy Transition: A Framework for Company Action, the Council invites all companies to make commitments to contribute to a just energy transition to be publicly documented on the Council’s platform of company actions. For the global energy transition to succeed, governments, investors, businesses, and civil society must act intentionally and collaboratively, and the release of this framework is a starting point intended to catalyze longer-term action. Companies participating in the initiative have already shared their commitments to deliver on social as well as environmental goals on their way to achieving net zero emissions. Among those actions are:
- ACEN commits to protect communities, including indigenous and vulnerable populations, which could be affected by new project developments and operations. They are developing a framework for measuring progress by 2023.
- Anglo American is committed to creating shared, sustainable prosperity in their communities by creating or supporting three jobs off-site for every job on-site by 2025 and five jobs by 2030.
- As they achieve net zero by 2035, Reliance Industries will develop new energy infrastructure and materials by investing INR 15,000 Crore (about USD 2B) in independent manufacturers, partnerships, and technology to create new jobs by 2024.
- bp is working to enable a just transition for their workforce by driving education and employment initiatives and programs with industry partners, publicly sharing metrics by 2023.
As companies take actions, understand their impact, and share what they have learned, the Council will continue to add and update the examples of how to implement the framework. Visit the resource hub here.
This initiative convened seven international energy and energy intensive companies—ACEN, Anglo American, bp, Eni, Reliance Industries, Repsol, and SSE—together with academic, investor, civil, and social representatives—BCG, CalPERS, the Grantham Research Institute, Inclusive Capital Partners, the International Trade Union Confederation, State Street, and the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.
Meredith Sumpter, CEO of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism, noted, “In light of the latest IPCC report, the time to transition to a net-zero economy is now—but how we transition is as important as the environmental targets we set. These initial actions for an energy transition that advances and not impedes social equity are a starting point for the work that needs to be done. We invite companies, investors and governments to make use of the framework to deliver a transition that is just.”
ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS FROM THE JUST ENERGY TRANSITION INITIATIVE
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation
“We have a convergence of crises with rising inequality and a climate emergency. Jobs – climate friendly jobs with just transition are central to establishing a new social contract and building hope for people and communities on a sustainable planet.
There are decent jobs in every industry if governments, investors, and corporations accept they need to involve workers in social dialogue and have transparent plans for investment in a clean energy future. All companies need to make climate and employment plans to deliver a just transition.
With Just Transition we can have climate friendly, quality jobs with social protection which reduce inequality and enable us to reach net zero.”
Marcie Frost, Chief Executive Officer, CalPERS
“This framework gives global investors an important tool to assess how companies are ensuring their strategies include the impact on workers, communities and supply chains. The partnership with Climate Action 100+ allows us to integrate this into our engagement strategy with systemically important emitters to ensure a just transition to manage risks and opportunities across our global investment portfolio.”
Ron O’Hanley, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, State Street Corporation
“There is meaningful value in shareholders engaging with companies on their transition plans; the framework can support this dialogue by providing actionable ideas for companies to advance a just transition. We are pleased to support the Council for Inclusive Capitalism’s framework for a just energy transition.”