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Race To Zero 

What is the Race To Zero?

Race To Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

This year’s COP26 in November is giving this global initiative a new momentum over which the UN wants to unite economy actors towards the goals of a healthy, resilient and zero carbon recovery. By rallying the necessary support, the campaign wants to prevent future threats, create jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.


The world is currently emitting about 50 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases in carbon-dioxide-equivalents each year, which means that with current emission levels the emissions budget would be used up within 15 to 25 years. 
Source: IPCC

Message from 
António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, Secretary-General,
United Nations 

Why should the business community join the Race To Zero?


Sustainability is no longer an optional topic for businesses. Increasingly businesses are required to operate at the latest standards. A growing number of businesses are switching to dealing with environmental, social, and governance issues with a more proactive and strategic approach. 


Organisations are making investments to build a resilient and sustainable business model. Some also see growing evidence of immediate or short-term value creation in sustainability.


There is growing evidence that a business' visible commitment to sustainability helps to drive employee engagement, performance and productivity. The programme and its progress also give employees purpose, a stronger sense of pride and motivation.


The regulatory environment is changing rapidly, demanding businesses to adopt new practices and meet the new standards just as swiftly. Joining the journey early could help to avoid some sudden and substantial costs in the case when a business finds itself unprepared for the impending changes.


Shareholders and investors are getting serious about the sustainability risk in their portfolio. These stakeholders increasingly expect businesses to have a clear strategy in meeting the new requirements and to have a sustainable business model.

Climate Leaders Interview Series 

"In the case of climate change, you can make it a lot less frightening than being on the outside and looking in...participating, working on it, you will see that a lot is possible...."

Jeroen de Kempenaer 
Philips Engineering Solutions 

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An innovation expert, Jeroen de Kempenaer talked to us candidly on a variety of topics: some fascinating examples of using innovations to make net zero possible, how to manage resistance and mobilise an organisation, some examples of putting the Planet-People-Profit model in practice.  Simply an uplifting and hopeful conversation.

You can click the image above to watch Part 1.
Part 2 of the interview can be found here. 


It is an initiative to mobilise the experience, the influence, the expertise and the connections within and beyond the INSEAD network.

We are contributing to the Race to Zero by driving our members to join the campaign. We are excited to help accelerate the Race and encourage you to visit the Race to Zero website to find out more.

Our team from around the world mobilize and persuade companies and organisations to sign up to the Race To Zero. We are putting a special focus on getting at least 50 organizations led or influenced by INSEAD alumni to join the UN's Race To Zero.

Watch this short interview with Martina Weinberger by Ebru Carter. Martina would tell us more about the third challenge of CIC in helping companies to join the Race To Zero.

Watch this short interview with Kalyani Pantangi by Maria Latorre. Kalyani is one of our volunteers; she shared with us the experience of talking to companies about the Race To Zero.

Net Zero Expert Interview Series 

"The world will be changing so fast and dramatically now, that if you’re not keeping up with the necessary innovation, are not truly joining the race, you’ll be losing out, and you might ultimately lose your license to operate.

On top, with the financial and regulatory environment changing the business conditions for real now, the earlier you adapt the base of your business, the better you will be prepared for when it really matters."

Marieke van Winkelen,
MD, Greenfish Netherlands

Watch this short interview with Marieke van Winkelen by Candy Bowles. Marieke shared some examples how companies had to find a response to the climate crisis because of the rising stakeholders' pressures. She also had a very personal message to the INSEAD alumni and business leaders.

"I am very proud to work for Fastweb. With a reduction of 95% of core emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2), Fastweb has reached Europe's Climate Leaders 2021's top ranking and is the most effective telecommunication company in reducing emissions."
Marco Tavecchio,
Head of Information Security, FastWeb,

Why CIC chose to help accelerate the Race To Zero?

In previous challenges, CIC targeted individuals and households, and companies, to make habit changes that decrease their carbon footprint. We were encouraged by the changes people made within a short space of time.


Yet individuals changing habits will only take us so far.

We need businesses to offer only or at least mainly sustainable options - making the ‘right’ consumer choices easy - and accessible to all.

We also noticed while most people understand the need for a change, we are not making the changes fast enough and at the right scale. We want to make an even bigger positive impact by mobilising the power, the influence and the resources inside our alumni network, for business leaders to get their organisations to make a difference.

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