Shifting the Corporate Mindset Around Climate: An Interview with Laura Zizzo, Manifest Climate

According to Laura Zizzo, 2022 is “the year of immediate action” on climate change.

Laura Zizzo is a Kindred founding member and Co-Founder and CEO of Manifest Climate, an organization working with companies to help them understand, manage, and disclose climate-related risks and opportunities as they move toward climate transformation.

Laura recently sat down with Jessie Miller, Kindred’s Director of ESG and Impact, to discuss this business transformation toward a more sustainable future. Other topics they discussed included disclosure frameworks and communicating environmental impact. 

Corporations increasingly recognize the important role of business in mitigating the impact of climate change. Over 90 organizations have committed to reducing their carbon emissions 50% by 2030 as part of the Department of Energy’s “Better Climate Challenge.”

But backing up these pledges with immediate, tangible action will be crucial as the world moves toward its net-zero target.

“There’s going to be more scrutiny on each and every decision that corporate decision-makers make around how is this actually supporting your ambition? The time to act is now. We have to halve global emissions by the end of this decade. We’re not moving fast enough,” Laura says.

To her point, the IPCC recently published a new report on the impacts of climate change that paints a grim picture of where we stand. According to the report, climate hazards have worsened significantly since 2014, when the panel last conducted this survey. This has resulted in growing ecological threats, displacements, illnesses, and related mental trauma.

Without significant action and transformational changes, the dangers will only continue to increase. 

The additional scrutiny on business leaders by investors, customers, and other stakeholders will require companies to combine short-term actions with long-term ambition. And developing a strategy that incorporates climate considerations into core decision-making means that leaders must look at climate disclosures as a core part of business strategy. 

“This is just another risk. Just like in any other economic risk, you have to put the climate lens on it and know that we’re going through a very rapid transformation,” Laura says.

Moving the needle on climate change also requires companies to understand the stakes. “We don’t see climate as a subset of the E in ESG,” she adds. “Climate is a lens to think through everything because there’s justice issues, there’s social issues. If we get climate change wrong, it leads to human suffering.”

Listen to the full interview to hear more from Laura Zizzo on shifting the corporate mindset on climate, including her take on greenwashing, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, and purpose-driven leadership.

Kindred members can learn more from Laura or reach out to her directly via the member portal.

Urey Onuoha

Published on March 09, 2022