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Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement pledged 4.5 million pounds

Founded in 2018 and formally established in August 2019, the Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement (HHCCCE) has, after a successful pilot period, now been pledged 4.5 million pounds by a private trust to allow it to rapidly expand its work.

Led by Julie Baddeley, a Hughes Hall By-Fellow and one of the UK’s most experienced women directors, the Centre has already seen a huge amount of success with its flagship project, Chapter Zero.

Chapter Zero aims to engage non-executive directors in UK boardrooms with the climate challenge for their businesses, and has seen a huge take up since its inception. The project has already reached almost 1,000 members, including directors on the boards of 49 FTSE100 companies, and aims to have at least two members on the board of the top 350 companies listed on the LSE by COP26 in November 2021, which represents substantial reach and influence across the UK’s corporate landscape.

It helps inform non-executive board members by organising events, workshops and webinars, as well as providing tools and briefings to engage decision makers in the field of climate change.

This new donation will enable it to increase its influence as an intermediary between Cambridge academia, the corporate and financial communities and government, while continuing to build Chapter Zero in the UK and international Chapters around the globe. It will also allow it to broaden the scope of its work and to increase significantly its day-to-day activities. All this will be focussed on driving corporate action towards a carbon neutral future.

The gift will further allow the HHCCCE to continue to play an integral part of the climate change research ecosystem in Cambridge, working closely with Cambridge Zero, the University’s flagship climate change initiative led by Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE, the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and the Faculty of Law.

The Centre will act as a ‘bridge’ between the knowledge base within the University of Cambridge and Cambridge Zero, on the one hand, and companies, regulators, policy makers and other stakeholders on the other. 

A donor trustee has commented:

“We are delighted to be able to support Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement. Climate change is a global issue that concerns us all, especially those in succeeding generations. As trustees, we recognise the importance of engaging comprehensively across the corporate arena both with companies and amongst the financial sector, banks and investors, to explore and deliver prompt and effective solutions. We understand this to be an important aspect of the Centre’s work. We hope that our donation will allow greater links with other climate change activities across the University and, through the Centre and its subsidiary, Chapter Zero, onward dissemination to board members across the UK.”

Julie Baddeley

Julie Baddeley, Director of the Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement and Chair of Chapter Zero said:

“This generous gift will secure our work for the next five years.  Chapter Zero has achieved some significant milestones in its first year of operation, and is playing an important role in helping UK boards and companies understand how to tackle climate change and build resilience.  The Hughes Hall Centre is a key conduit bringing the expertise of Cambridge University to the business, policy and investor community.  This gift will enable us to extend substantially the reach and pace of our work.”