By Lyndsey Teaz

COP26 was billed as the world’s best last chance for our political leaders to unite behind a deal that cuts carbon emissions and saves the planet from a catastrophic rise in temperatures. In the aftermath of the Glasgow-hosted summit, the focus is now about how the rhetoric from the event will be translated into real environmental change.

It’s a journey involving every one of us where nations will need to take a firm lead and businesses, along with other organisations, will need to work closely together to build on the progress we’ve seen in recent years to address climate change.

Represented on the COP26 Business Leaders Group by our UK President Tara McGeehan, CGI is proud to be championing ambitious climate action across the business community. We’ve committed to achieve net zero globally before 2030 and we’re encouraging our supply chain and other companies we work with to understand their own carbon emissions and make sure they have plans to reduce them.

Our partnership with environmental charity Project Seagrass aims to ensure that the efficient carbon storage benefits of seagrass meadows, found in shallow waters along our coastline and currently under threat from human interventions, are sustained well into the future. We are using CGI-developed technology to observe seagrass meadows and provide insights that will advance the conservation of these essential ecosystems.

This is a prime example of collaboration that drives not only further high-tech innovation but also a data-driven fully automated way of generating real-time environmental benefits. Collaboration with other specialist groups is essential in making progress towards net zero and in addressing other key challenges in society. Our partnership with the AccelerateHER Awards is helping deliver on both of these fronts.

The initiative is aimed at helping innovative, UK female-founded businesses, including those focused on finding new solutions to address climate change, to thrive. The awards include specific categories that encourage clean technology and disruptive innovation companies to come forward, offering them a platform to promote their business, generate investment and build global market share.

Applications for the 2022 AccelerateHER Awards are being accepted up until December 10. As a partner, we look forward to helping with the challenging process that follows to uncover the best of this year’s entrants to ensure they can showcase their business and maximise growth potential.

CGI understands the impact that both new and established businesses can have in addressing climate change. We were proud to be an early signatory of the pre-COP26 open letter to G20 leaders urging them to commit to the Paris Agreement and keep temperature increases below 1.5 degrees. This was signed by 778 businesses representing US$2.7 trillion in annual revenue and over 10 million employees around the world, demonstrating that action on climate is not just good for the planet but also good business.

Through programmes like AccelerateHER, we are also seeing the value of supporting female-led companies, including those which are developing a business idea which aims to change our world for the better.

Lyndsey Teaz is CGI’s business unit leader for Scotland. For more details on AccelerateHER Awards visit: