Just Transition Collaboration Overview
Companies have a critical role to play in advancing the just transition. As the world continues to take action to achieve the Paris Agreement goals to achieve a net-zero GHG economy by 2050, managing the impacts and risks to people, as well as the opportunities, generated by the transition to a low-carbon economy will be crucial. A truly just transition will ensure an economy which provides workers with decent and green jobs, while protecting communities. However, companies cannot address the just transition in isolation. Business and other stakeholders are poised to seize this opportunity, and to work collaboratively towards implementing a just, fair, and inclusive transition within the energy sector.
BSR and The B Team, together with energy and utilities companies, are developing a business-led collaboration that brings together businesses and other stakeholders to collectively develop practical guidance on how companies in high-emitting sectors can plan for, operationalize, and integrate just transition principles into their sustainability strategies and practices. The initiative is composed of energy and utilities companies deeply committed to achieving net zero emissions goals in a manner that mitigates the potential adverse impacts on workers and communities.
Participation in the initiative is targeted at just transition practitioners, i.e., sustainability, community relations, human resources and supply chain professionals within energy and utilities companies who work to implement a just transition in practice. These individuals often work at the intersection of sustainability, human rights, and climate issues.
BSR began incubating plans for this three-year collaboration in mid-2021; it is expected to officially launch in January 2022.
The collaboration will focus on the following areas of work:
Issue Deep Dives: In year one, we will seek to catalyze action on the different aspects of just transition planning. This will be done through topic-specific deep dives to support companies throughout their just transition journey, understand common challenges, and develop detailed practical guidance, creating the foundation for a comprehensive just transition approach and plan.
Knowledge Sharing: We will provide an opportunity for companies to share learnings and insights and learn from experts and stakeholders about the various topics critical to a just transition throughout all three years of operations.
Collective Advocacy: Finally, we will define an approach for and engage in collective advocacy and stakeholder engagement to promote external policies that ensure we bring everyone along and human rights are respected in the transition to a net zero GHG emissions economy. Workstream 3 will begin in our second year operations once the initiative has made progress against the other workstreams and refined its position on just transition policy.
Acknowledging that companies need to develop comprehensive strategies and programs to bring everyone along as part of the just transition, the collaboration will take a holistic approach to achieve positive outcomes and impacts across the energy value chain, by focusing on:
- Operations—by helping companies to produce and implement concrete, time-bound, enterprise plans that promote a just, fair, and inclusive workforce transition;
- Value chains—by proving guidance on how companies can foster collaboration with suppliers to enable a just transition throughout the supply chain and to ensure human rights are respected; and
- The broader community—by taking an approach that engages crucial stakeholders such as industry peers, government policy makers, labor union representatives, civil society organizations, and local communities to work towards mutually beneficial outcomes and a society that thrives as it navigates the energy transition.
The collaboration will function according to the following principles:
- Joint approach with BSR and The B Team facilitating the collaboration.
- Multiple workstreams including issue deep dives into just transition planning, knowledge sharing with external partners and experts such as the World Benchmarking Alliance, Council for Inclusive Capitalism, and others, and collective advocacy.
- Active participation model, encouraging and supporting continuous company participation to guide design and action.
- Industry-focused membership limited to energy and utilities companies strongly committed to achieving net-zero emissions goals to ensure relevance of outcomes and applicability of guidance.
Benefits of Participation
Companies participating in this initiative will have the opportunity to:
- Shape and advance the energy sector’s approach to the just transition based on a comprehensive understanding of emerging stakeholder expectations of business efforts.
- Engage with peer companies and partners to achieve just transition goals through collective action and unified advocacy to promote policy development.
- Catalyze internal efforts and understand how to operationalize the just transition within your company's own operations, supply chain and the community based on expert guidance.
- Enhance and demonstrate performance on corporate just transition efforts and disclosure across corporate just transition accountability frameworks and benchmarks (e.g., World Benchmarking Alliance’s Just Transition Assessment).
- Benefit from knowledge sharing, engagement with experts and stakeholders to build expertise on specific just transition planning topics.