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Community Impact Challenge Continuing the Race To Zero


Hoffmann Institute

Community Impact Challenge Continuing the Race To Zero

Community Impact Challenge Continuing the Race To Zero

The Community Impact Challenge is continuing its Race To Zero campaign, commissioning a Climate Leaders team to bring you the 4th CIC challenge. The theme of the challenge; Learn, Act, Connect.

In 2021, 50 companies, supported and empowered by volunteers of the Community Impact Challenge (CIC), signed a pledge to join the UN backed Race To Zero campaign. The Race to Zero campaign is a global initiative striving to achieve a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that creates decent jobs and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. Race to Zero is also one of the most ambitious efforts in assessing and tracking decarbonization efforts of thousands of companies around the world. In October 2021, CIC became one of the first organisations acknowledged as an official Accelerator to the Race to Zero campaign.

It is clear, business as usual is no longer an option. Business has an unprecedented and critical role in tackling climate change. In his much-anticipated annual letter to CEOs, BlackRock’s Larry Fink emphasized that CEOs need to “focus on creating purposeful businesses designed to create long-term value for stakeholders”. He reiterates the importance of “stakeholder capitalism” throughout the letter, and makes numerous references to how the need for purposeful, long-term value creation is consistent with, and even required by, “the capitalist model” (Analysis Larry Fink's Annual Letter CEO, 2022. Employees are also calling on business leaders to take real climate action and lead by example. Many employees are no longer driven by high salaries and big titles, but by working for a company that shares the same values and offers the opportunity to propel their careers by being a force for good.

In the run up to COP26, in November 2021, there was a noticeable rise in awareness of Race to Zero and an increase in the number of companies that decided to join the campaign. It was also at COP26 where Business Schools 4 Climate Leadership (BS4CL) partnership was announced. BS4CL is an alliance between 8 leading European business schools, of which is INSEAD is a founding member, to help shape climate leadership. The launch of BS4CL and heightened interest in Race to Zero, thanks to COP26, confirmed CIC’s belief that enabling business leaders to learn about the Race to Zero and supporting them in starting the journey will help to future-proof their companies while living out “the business as a force for good”.

Acting on this newfound awareness, the CIC’s Core Team, led by Paolo Senes MBA 01D, commissioned a new team within the CIC, the Climate Leaders, to steer the future of CIC’s Race to Zero programme. The Climate Leaders team within CIC is led by Georg Woschnagg (INSEAD IEP 2010) and Raghavendra (Raghi) Pai (Goa Institute of Management, Post Grad in Management, 2003). The team is developing the next Race to Zero challenge, which is to be rolled out in 2022. As in the past, the team applied a co-creation approach, to develop the next challenge with over 35 different stakeholders. The team used the Google design sprint method to develop different ideas from end customers and test these in prototypes with different business leaders worldwide as target customers. The aim of this 4th challenge of CIC is to continue accelerating the Race to Zero campaign, but this time with a slightly different approach.


CIC aims to empower individual employees and business leaders with a bottom-up approach. Participants are encouraged to take steps to change their workspace in order to reduce greenhouse gasses and eventually inspire the company to take actions to Race to Zero. CIC is developing a platform for these individuals where they can learn, translate their learnings into action to reduce CO2 and connect with like-minded INSEAD alumni who are on the same journey worldwide. The new platform also makes it easier to showcase the positive impact of the actions taken and how they can be scaled-up by motivating other employees and communities to join. Individual actions and collective power are needed to fight the climate crises. Companies have a bigger leverage, but CIC also believes in the power of individual actions. Educated employees are also the next informed sustainable consumers demanding planet-friendly products and solutions from companies. As such, the theme for this 4th challenge is… Learn, Act, Connect.

In anticipation of the new challenge, CIC will soon launch a series of webinars in collaboration with INSEAD’s IAAs and other renowned organisations. Watch this space for more information and follow CIC on LinkedIn to stay up to date on news and events.

Keen to be part of the next CIC’s Challenge? Join the Race To Zero Accelerator! Find out more here.

Curious about our other stories on CIC, BS4CL and INSEAD’s walk-the-talk on sustainable habits? Explore them here:

  1. Revitalising Our Earth One Community Challenge at a Time
  2. Companies Must Put Equality at the Heart of the Race to Zero
  3. Leading European Business Schools to unite and accelerate business response to climate change
  4. Cooking Up Sustainable Food Habits at INSEAD
  5. Earth Day 50th Anniversary at INSEAD

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