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There have been scary headlines and warnings this week that climate change is almost at a point where it is irreversible, and more action needs to be taken to save the planet.
The fear is that over the next two decades, temperatures will rise by more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrialised levels, triggering more extreme weather and more global devastation.
Those warnings have come at a time when fires are raging in Greece, Turkey and the US and earlier this summer deadly floods swept across parts of Germany.
Even before the latest International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report landed and provoked a debate that is likely to reach a climax this November in Glasgow in the Cop26 UN climate talks, the channel had been ramping up its own efforts on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) front.
Vendors and some channel players have made commitments to become carbon-neutral and the green pitch has only risen in importance during the pandemic.
The latest signal that the channel is ramping up its efforts in this area is cloud specialist and managed services provider Maintel, which has appointed Joanne Ballard as ESG strategy and compliance director for Maintel Group.
Ballard steps into a role that few managed service players have yet to advertise and comes with a brief to cover environmental, health and safety, CSR, information security, internal governance and business continuity.
Her move to the ESG position comes in the wake of Maintel being accepted as committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative, which demonstrates the firm’s ambitions around climate change and puts it on a journey towards a zero-carbon future.
“ESG is a key strategic initiative at Maintel and has now become central to what we do,” said Ioan MacRae, CEO at Maintel. “We are committed to working with our people, partners, customers and wider stakeholder community to build a positive and more sustainable future.
“We want to be seen as paving the way both within our own industry but also for our customers. There is a growing demand from the people we work with to be more sustainable and socially responsible, and we are showing them first-hand the best practices and processes.”
Ballard, who has been with Maintel since 2008, said this was an important position to hold and a good moment for the firm to show its commitment to ESG.
“I look forward to driving a range of ESG strategies, including Maintel committing to the Science Based Targets Initiative, linking our ESG activities to track positive impact with the UN global sustainable development goals, creating employee and community support initiatives, and being measured on the progress that will drive positive change for all our stakeholders,” she said.
Earlier this summer, business spend management company Coupa talked about its decision to introduce more support for ESG initiatives in its products, and provide a good explanation of the current trends in the market.
“Companies these days are not just being measured by the amount of profit and revenue they make” said David Wolstencroft, senior vice-president of alliances for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Coupa. “A lot of companies now have published policies on environmental sustainability, which they are measured by, so it’s on people’s agendas.”