Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2012
The scene is the launch of the 2007 report produced by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), in Amsterdam, December 2007. It is a measure of how much attention is now on climate change that this event is going on, and fills a lecture hall with 200 people, at the same time as the UN climate negotiations in Bali. The launch is in the plush headquarters of Dutch bank ABN–AMRO, known outside the Netherlands principally as long-time sponsors of Ajax Amsterdam football club, but one of Europe's largest banks. The audience is mostly fund managers from a range of Dutch financial institutions, as well as a handful of journalists, academics and NGO lobbyists.
The highlight of the event is the talk by Peter Bakker, chief executive officer (CEO) of parcel delivery company TNT. His company is on the Financial Times list of the largest 500 companies, the target of the CDP's annual reports. He is engaging and jovial. Someone tells us he's a friend of Bono, clearly the sort of CEO that hangs around at the World Economic Forum in Davos with the in-crowd.
Bakker tells his story of responding to the first CDP questionnaire, and starting to realise that his core business is, from a climate point of view, a very significant part of the problem. He recounts a learning process, finding out about different impacts of different modes of transport, storage systems, and so on.