UK Boards Ignore Climate Change, Reveals Harvey Nash

–  Almost half of UK boards spent zero hours discussing climate change this year

–  A third of UK boards feel little or no responsibility for climate change

LONDON, Dec. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Almost half of UK boards (46%) spent zero hours discussing climate change this year, and they are the least likely of all of the countries and regions studied in a new report to feel responsible for their impact on the climate – with almost a third (32%) feeling little or no responsibility.

At a global level, fewer boards are ignoring climate change in comparison to last year, with those board members spending zero hours discussing this issue in the boardroom falling to 40% from 55%. In the UK, the zero hours figure has reduced from almost two thirds of boards in 2018 (61%) to 46% in 2019, but the report says that progress is too slow.  

These findings are published today (2 December 2019) in the sixth edition of the International Board Research Report, published by Harvey Nash / Alumni and London Business School’s Leadership Institute. The report is based on a survey of 640 chairs and non-executives from across the globe, of which almost a quarter (21%) are members of the boards of major PLCs.

Other key findings:

  • UK is the only region where boards do not list their impact on society as one of their top three responsibilities – Instead, two thirds (66%) elect to put the customer first. The report says this may show that UK boards are putting the bottom line before sustainability.
  • Lack of commitment on how, and who, will tackle the company’s impact on the climate – In the UK, almost half (42%) of board members point the finger towards the CEO but almost a quarter (23%) have no clue who is responsible for climate-related risk and environmental impact within their business.
  • A major turnaround for global banks and insurers – Financial Services was the sector globally that was least likely to be discussing climate change last year, with over two thirds of boards spending zero hours on the topic. But this year, that figure has almost halved from 67% to 35%.

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Media Contacts:
David Pippett
ProServ PR 
+44 (0) 7899 798197

Michelle Thomas
Marketing and Digital, Harvey Nash  
+44 (0)20 7333 0033


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