Jan
14
2022

Opinion

Climate change and the credibility of a basic commitment

“If you really think the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money.” That is how American scientist Guy McPherson put it 11 years ago.

Back then, corporate awareness of the need for common action to combat climate change was viewed as quite eccentric.

In recent years, prominent figures from the world of business or finance such as Paul Polman and Larry Fink have promoted sustainable culture in companies by regarding a commitment to society and business purpose not only as a necessity, but also as a business opportunity. Fund managers are increasingly using sustainability criteria when selecting their portfolios, while regulators are fast-tracking a framework that will allow them to measure the environmental health of corporations and their business in the same way as they assess their financial statements.

This kind of heightened awareness has quickened since the Covid crisis has revealed the fragility of our way of life and the close interdependence of the attitudes of companies, governments and individuals.

Fortunately today, policies not only to reduce the carbon footprint, but also to foster equality, good governance and corporate quality (ESG) are considered essential for any project with a vision of the future in a world aware of its vulnerability.

But for this trend to become anything other than a declaration of principles, good intentions or a simple box-checking exercise, commitments must be made without complacency, based on the knowledge and values that we seek to defend at the root of business purpose.

Credibility and trust are fundamental. Accordingly, aspirations and achievements must be specific and transparent in order to measure the adaptability and sustainability of business models in which financial metrics are already regularly combined with those for social or environmental impact.

At Cellnex we are proud that, for the third year running, the non-profit organisation CDP has acknowledged our commitment by including us on its A list, admitting only 272 of the nearly 12,000 companies that were analysed for their environmental and sustainability actions.

MSCI has also showcased the company’s commitment by upgrading its rating on ESG risks with a score of 10 out of 10 for environmental management practices throughout our value chain.

While Sustainalytics places us among the top five telecommunications companies in the world in that respect.

Unsurprisingly, at Cellnex we have been committed for years to policies focused on our long-term vision by analysing, measuring and managing the impact that we, and even our suppliers, have on society and its environment.

Our growth model –based on shared infrastructure management– is already founded on this sustainability and in the ESG 2021-2025 Master Plan we identify 92 specific objectives in six areas in all the business lines and countries in which we operate, which we regularly evaluate and report on.

In line with our motto “Growing together” which defines our principles, the commitment to these objectives extends from the management team –which has a percentage of its remuneration linked to the achievement of ESG objectives– to all the employees who take part in certain voluntary tasks that demonstrate pride of belonging.

Toni Brunet

Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at Cellnex

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