The Transition Plan Taskforce event 2023
In February, I was a part of the GS2 team that attended the Transition Plan Taskforce event at the London Guildhall. The Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) was launched by HM Treasury in April 2022 to develop the gold standard for private sector climate transition plans. This event featured open discussion with leaders from government, regulators and business on the importance of having a transition plan and how these plans can drive value creation for businesses across the economy.
Broadly the message from the event was clear, although momentum is building around responsible business and transition plans, this will only be sustained by firm action, and a need to think beyond individual businesses. By moving from plans to pledges, the TPT hopes to see tangible transition plans at every level by the end of 2023, with companies, countries and international institutions setting out their routes towards a net zero future.
As Baroness Penn highlighted in her speech, Transition planning is a crucial part of our path to net zero as it gives the roadmap for where companies are now, where they want to be, and how they can get there.
The message across the event was clear that a significant increase in the quality and quantity of private sector transition plans is required to help enable the UK transition to net zero. As Rachel McEwen said in her speech, although there is not a shortage of climate targets amongst big businesses, such as Science Based Targets; there is a shortage of first-class action plans with tangible targets. For example, In a recent CDP report, of those organisations who have disclosed a transition plan, only 0.4% had created a credible plan. Here is where the Transition Plan Taskforce is aiming to be the gold-standard framework; seeking to provide businesses with the guidance they need to make their targets a reality.
Another important message from the event was the need for businesses to take a long-term view and prioritise sustainability. Many speakers emphasised that short-term thinking and a focus on profits can lead to unsustainable practices and negative impacts on society and the environment. Instead, businesses should consider the long-term impacts of their decisions and strive to create value for all stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities, and the planet.
Overall, the biggest takeaway for me was the message to not be afraid to mess up and create your first transition plan, with individuals across leading businesses stating how important it is to take this first step. Although the first attempt may not be the perfect article, it will move you closer to creating a successful transition plan. At this stage, do not be afraid to reach out to others to seek guidance on this as there is a reassuring level of transparency from other businesses on how to do this successfully. One of my favourite sayings is ‘’do not let perfect become the enemy of good’’, and I think this accurately relates to the message shared from the panels in overcoming the hesitancy to create an initial plan.