Ten questions every board director needs to ask about climate change

Climate change is real and dangerous. It has been caused by human activity and thus demands radical changes in human decisions, actions, and behaviours. To address the climate crisis and living systems emergency in front of us, we must engage with our individual, collective and systemic responsibilities.

Climate change is a governance issue. It affects everything from workforce planning to funding to the safety of people and physical properties. It has to be understood, planned for, responded to. It’s the board’s responsibility to ensure that the organisation – and its constituents – are ready.

These 10 questions will help board directors to consider their responsibilities in relation to climate change strategy at their organisation.

To know why you should be asking these questions, download the full document.

1. Operations. What direct and indirect risks does climate change pose to your organisation, your operations, your beneficiaries, your staff and your volunteers, and how will they be managed?

2. Culture, behaviour and policy. How does the organisation enable and reward behavioural change among directors, staff, beneficiaries and volunteers?

3. Beneficiaries. How might climate change affect the organisation’s beneficiaries in the future?

4. Advocacy. What is the organisation’s position and role in advocating for carbon emission reductions beyond its own operations?

5. Political fortunes. How would a change in federal, state or local government affect the organisation’s position in relation to climate change?

6. Income risks. Is the organisation’s ongoing funding contingent on its position and achievements on climate change?

7. Expenditure risks. How will climate change affect your bills?

8. Reputational risks. What reputational risks stem from the organisation’s approach to dealing with and communicating about climate change?

9. Reputational opportunities. What opportunities stem from the organisation’s approach to dealing with and communicating about climate change?

10. Technology. How could the organisation use technology to reduce its carbon footprint?

Become a member of ICDA – it's free!