28 Mar 2019

Rob Campbell - Why Measurement Matters

Posted in: Inspiring Action

Rob Campbell - Why Measurement Matters

For Rob Campbell, Chair of SKYCITY Entertainment Group and Summerset Group, there are at least two reasons why Boards and Directors should endorse and support carbon measurement in their affiliated companies. 

Rob Campbell

The first is moral and scientific: with what is known about climate change and the impacts of emissions on the environment, there is now a moral imperative for leaders to champion efforts to lower carbon emissions.

The second is centered around risk management for companies, Boards and for Directors individually. Rob suggests that there is the looming potential for Directors to be held liable for climate change impacts, similar to health and safety legislation, and that is one reason Boards are drawn to measurement as the first step towards managing the issue.

“I think, in some areas, there is a reluctant acquiescence – Boards know they will be forced to get on board with sustainability issues or potentially face legal liability for not reducing emissions,” said Rob. 

As Chair of five Boards, Rob suggests that almost all Board members are aware of climate impacts, and most Boards will have at least one member with either a personal interest or formal role description that relates to sustainability. He says that in his experience, most New Zealand leaders are personally invested in this cause. 

“I think we have a good cohort of CEOs and Chairs in New Zealand who have a personal interest in this topic,” he said. 

Many large companies have a sustainability manager, and responsibility for implementing programmes such as Enviro-Mark certification lies within the executive and management teams. He is aware of the various initiatives underway at companies where he is Chair or a Director.

“At SKYCITY, we measure our carbon footprint within the Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme® (CEMARS) programme from Enviro-Mark Solutions,” continued Rob. “We have set aims for what we are trying to achieve and we are moving to fully offset emissions next year. Our only debate is around where to source the necessary carbon credits.

“At Summerset Group Holdings, we have also sought CEMARS certification to ensure we are actively managing our carbon footprint. As there are more than 5,000 residents in our villages, we will also be involving them in our sustainability programme and helping them to leave a positive legacy for their families.”

Managing risk is the main driver, for now, of carbon measurement. However, talent attraction is becoming increasingly important.

“There is a part of it that is about attracting young people—talented and educated people—to the workforce,” said Rob. “Young people across our businesses are asking about our sustainability credentials quite frequently.”

With employees and Board members becoming increasingly aware of climate risks and motivated to protect the environment, Rob suggests that measurement of carbon emissions will soon be a standard practice for New Zealand businesses.