NZ business at COP26: David Benattar, The Warehouse Group

28 Oct 2021
SBC Climate team

With delegations from around the world descending on Glasgow for the negotiations and events making up COP26, attendees from New Zealand include representatives from both the Sustainable Business Council and the Climate Leaders Coalition.

We talked to some of those who will be taking part on the ground in Glasgow to find out why they are going, and what they are hoping to achieve. This week we hear from David Benattar, Chief Sustainability Officer for The Warehouse Group.

What’s your role?

I am David Benattar, Chief Sustainability Officer for The Warehouse Group (TWG), and advisory board member of the Sustainable Business Council. I am heading to COP26 both as a representative of the NZ Climate Leaders Coalition and in my role of driving TWG’s sustainability agenda.

Why did you feel it was important to attend?

We are at a defining point in our fight for climate action – one which is incredibly complex. It relies on the coordination of emerging finance instruments, international and domestic regulation, and technological innovations, all wrapped around new customer behaviours. Climate action requires that we transform the way we re-imagine the future of our products and services across all industry sectors. Being at COP26 will allow us to gather critical insights on all dimensions shaping climate action globally, and bring back to New Zealand the best and latest knowledge to accelerate our collective journey towards creating a decarbonised economic future in New Zealand.

What are you expecting to be doing while you are in Glasgow?

I expect to gather as much information as possible and bring it back in the most digestible and actionable way. Essentially Cop26 is where heads of state, entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors come together to negotiate and co-create the transition to a post-carbon economy. Many of the forums are particularly relevant to the challenges of the Climate Leaders Coalition such as the Sustainable Innovation Forum, which will focus on Climate Finance, Energy and Industry transition, Land use and Farming, and the Future of Mobility. The Global Sustainability Forum presented by the World Business Council is also of specific interest. The intensity and density of the decarbonisation conversation promises to provide rich insights which will inform the critical decisions we need to make to accelerate our sustainability leadership and adapt to the new expectation of our customers.

What are you hoping to achieve while you are there?

It will be a unique opportunity to achieve a new level of fluency on sustainability leadership and climate action. We can learn from what’s happening around the world and make new connections, as well as promote the Climate Leaders Coalition’s and The Warehouse Group’s support of New Zealand’s climate action to the global community.  Importantly, the insights from COP26, and how these could be applied here in Aotearoa, will be shared with our team, CLC members and the wider business community.

Keep up to date with insights from David Benattar throughout COP26 on Linkedin.

Next week we’ll hear from Dave Rouse, Chief Executive of Carbon Click.