AICD Managing Director and CEO, Angus Armour. Source: Angus Armour/LinkedIn
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  • A new study from the AICD finds 77 per cent of company directors are concerned about the risk climate change poses to their organisation
  • The Climate Governance Study: Risk and opportunity insights from Australia directors report involved a survey of over 2000 respondents and interviews with non-executive directors
  • While almost half of the respondents said their organisation had embedded climate change into their risk management frameworks, more than a quarter said they did not believe their board had the knowledge to adequately address climate change issues
  • AICD Managing Director and CEO Angus Armour says this is the first time these topics had been explored from the perspective of the non-executive director
  • According to the AICD, 46 per cent of respondents said they could see the lack of a settled national climate change policy as a barrier to effective climate governance

A new study from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) found 77 per cent of company directors were concerned about the risk climate change posed to their organisation.

The report, titled The Climate Governance Study: Risk and opportunity insights from Australia directors, involved a survey of more than 2000 respondents and targeted interviews with senior non-executive directors.

The research revealed that over three-quarters of participants were “concerned” about the risk climate change posed to their organisation. Almost half, or 45 per cent of participants, said their organisation had embedded climate change into their risk management frameworks.

AICD Managing Director and CEO Angus Armour said this was the first time these topics had been explored from the perspective of the non-executive director.

“Clearly, climate change is an issue that most directors grapple with, and they are alive to risk, but the focus has shifted to one that considers the opportunities inherent in climate change as well,” Mr Armour said.

“However, the results also show, that despite their intent, the scale of their concern and enthusiasm seems to not yet have been translated into concerted action in all boardrooms.”

According to the AICD, 46 per cent of respondents said they could see the lack of a settled national climate change policy as a barrier to effective climate governance.

However, just over half of the participants — 51 per cent — said they saw the potential opportunities that could come from proactive responses to climate change.

A large portion of the directors who could see the opportunity in climate change action came from the same group that flagged their concerns around climate change and the future of their organisation.

Specifically, of the 77 per cent of respondents who were concerned about climate change, 73 per cent of these said they could also see the opportunity in climate change.

“This study confirms that there is considerable demand for more support, and directors are elevating their focus on this complex challenge,” Mr Armour said.

“The AICD is committed to helping directors on this path towards a carbon-neutral future for their organisations and the nation.”

More than a quarter of the survey respondents said they did not believe their board had the knowledge to adequately address climate change issues.

What’s more, only 18 per cent of the respondents said they had undertaken some form of climate training.

Today’s report follows the AICD’s climate risk governance guide, which the organisation released back in August.

The guide is designed to assist directors and board members address climate change governance concerns.

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