60 executives from New Zealand businesses have joined the Climate Leaders Coalition
Chief Executive Officers from 60 companies in New Zealand have formed the Climate Leaders Coalition that aims to shape the nation as a low-emissions economy.
Firms such as Air New Zealand, Westpac, Ports of Auckland, and Fonterra has all joined the initiative, along with KiwiRail, Spark, and Freightways.
The CEO of Z Energy, Mike Bennetts, is the convener of the coalition. He noted that separately each firm had been working towards emission reductions, but collectively the organisations would have more power.
“Those in the coalition will start to share ideas and each has committed to go back to their [company's] supply chains and work with suppliers on actions that reduce carbon intensity on our activities,” the CEO stated.
The firms have all committed to following the targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement, as well setting their own environmental goals to report back on.
“Those are all really important commitments I think all of New Zealand needs to make. We as business leaders are prepared to make those on behalf of our employees and shareholders.”
Collectively the CEOs have written and signed a Climate Change Statement, pledging to monitor greenhouse gas emissions and work with suppliers to meet goals.
“When it comes to emissions, customers want to know what the businesses they are shopping at are doing,” Bennetts continued.
“It will come down to individual customers and their connection with these individual companies.”
“We are aligned around the statement and aligned around being held accountable for the words we put on there but each company will take its own specific interests in this space and still be consistent with the commitments we have made.”
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.