Business View Magazine | Volume 9, Issue 2

17 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2 NEW GUIDE HELPS CANADIAN DIRECTORS OF RETAIL COMPANIES T OVERSEE AND MANAGE CLIMATE RISKS AND OPPORTUNITIES T he Canada Climate Law Initiative (CCLI) is releasing a new guide for directors and officers of Canadian retail companies titled Retail’s Route to Net-zero Emissions: The Canadian Retail Sector and Effective Climate Governance . Authored by Dr. Janis Sarra, Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia and Principal Co-Investigator of the CCLI, the guide provides an accessible summary of the legal duties of retail directors and officers in the transition to a net-zero economy. It offers examples of best practices in climate governance as well as a checklist of issues the board should be considering in its governance and risk oversight and strategic planning. The retail sector is a significant contributor to Canada’s economy, with total annual revenues exceeding CA$636 billion. It is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, estimated at 10.5% of Canada’s total emissions if one includes warehousing and distribution. About 95% of retail emissions are Scope 2 and 3, the indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy, and all indirect emissions occurring in the retail value chain. As a result of these emissions, retailers face significant transition risks due to changes in policy, emerging technologies that impact competitiveness, market risks regarding access to capital, and shifting consumer and other key stakeholder preferences. They also face increasing regulatory requirements to lower carbon footprints, engage in effective waste management, eliminate single-use plastics, and develop ethical supply chains. “Both investor and consumer preferences are changing”, observes Dr. Sarra, “Millennials and Gen Z are speaking with their purchasing dollars, voicing serious concern about climate change, and investors are demanding greater transparency regarding the carbon footprint OPENING L INES