Podcast: Climate risk - CAE and corporate perspectives

In January 2020, Wates Group, one of the leading privately-owned, construction, development and property services companies in the UK, committed to eliminating waste and carbon from its operations by 2025.

We talked to Clare Masters, Head of Environment, to understand how the organisation went about setting three bold targets: zero waste from operations, zero carbon from a significant proportion of its operations and a positive impact on nature.

Here, Masters shares various insights, including:

  • The importance of board support in setting ambitious targets
  • The challenge of finding the start point
  • Tools to engage stakeholders
  • The power of effective communication

Achieving these targets will require behaviour and process change. Co-guest Simon Rose, Group Head of Internal Audit and Risk for Wates, picks up the challenge of providing assurance in this regard.

He talks about the journey he and his team are taking and the importance of getting started even when it seems quite daunting. Rose said: “There was clearly a need, from the audit team and the audit committee, in evaluating this [climate assurance] and getting it into the DNA of our assurance work.”

Top tips in this podcast include:

  • Start with something practical
  • Embed climate assurance into existing programmes
  • Utilise expertise (guest auditors/test design)
  • Adopt an agile learning mindset and learn as you go