Meet the Guy Trying to Make the World's Top Businesses Go Green

We chat with Earth on Board CEO Philippe Joubert about how businesses could drive the future of a clean economy.

|
Oct 4 2017, 6:30pm

Images via Wikimedia Commons

Climate Week 2017 marked the third anniversary of RE100 - an initiative launched by The Climate Group (a non-profit organization that works internationally with business and government to promote clean technologies and policies), to commit leading international businesses to 100 percent renewable energy.

Participating companies have set different targets and deadlines with varying levels of ambition. For example, the multinational insurance company Swiss Re has vowed to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, while Ebay aims to supply its offices and data centers with 100 percent clean energy by 2025. The initiative now unites companies from all sectors, and tries to reaffirm the role that every industry has to play in curbing climate change.

VICE Impact met with political and industry leaders to discuss the role that initiatives like RE100 in the fight against climate change.

Today, in the second of three installments, we chat with Philippe Joubert, the founder and CEO of Earth on Board.

VICE Impact: What is Earth on Board ?

Philippe Joubert: Earth on Board is an ecosystem of sustainability factors dedicated to informing and helping Boards to put sustainability at the center of the company's strategy, and achieving an 'Earth Competent' Board.

The Board and its directors must be at the forefront of an organization's response to social and environmental risks and opportunities.

Why come to climate week ?

Climate Week NYC is a time where businesses and governments convene to drive the future of a clean economy forward. We know that business is sometimes seen as part of the problem, but is the only solution in terms of scaling up and speeding up action. Climate Week is a good opportunity to meet business leaders.

How do you assess the importance of RE100 ?

Reaching 100 percent renewable energy is incredibly important to wean off our addiction to fossil fuels. As I often say, anyone who thinks we can continue to take nature for granted, and see it as infinite, are either ignorant, cynical or downright crazy.

Organizations' commitments to RE100 signal that governments and investors have shifted their views on business and vice-versa.

READ MORE: Businesses, Not the Government, Are Leading the Way to a Renewable Future

Why is the role of broad coalitions between civil society, businesses and governments so important, like the one promoted at Climate Week?

There is no solution without government and there is no solution without business, so coalitions are key to our success. It is a fallacy to think the market alone will solve this, because the challenge is external to markets. Government should set a long term stable direction and allow price signals: business will then price externalities and will definitively change their models.

Learn more about how to support the work of the Climate Group. If you want to support renewable energy in your hometown, support the Sierra Cub's Ready for 100 campaign.