Paul Hohnen Sustainability Strategies

“Business, and markets in particular, need to understand that the Paris agreement is not just another aspirational, but essentially meaningless, global road map. The agreement, between nearly 200 countries (almost all of whom underlined in their speeches the very real dangers of continued warming to the future of their societies, landscapes and economies) amounts — in security terms — to a global 'code red'. It needs to be understood and acted on as such. No other threat on the radar stands to affect so many, so much, and for so long.”

Paul Hohnen letter, Financial Times, 16 December 2015

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About Paul Hohnen

Paul Hohnen has worked intensively since 1975 on a range of global economic, development and environmental issues as a diplomat, international civil servant, Director of Greenpeace International, and Strategic Director of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). An independent consultant since 2004, his clients have included government ministries, intergovernmental agencies, business and non-profit organisations.

A graduate in Arts and Law from the Australian National University Hohnen worked from 1975 to 1989 as an Australian diplomat to the OECD in Paris, to the EU institutions in Brussels, and in Fiji and Sri Lanka, where he was Deputy High Commissioner. In 1989 he left the Australian Foreign Service to lead Greenpeace International's policy and legal advocacy work on climate change and ozone protection. He was closely involved in the 1992, 2002 and 2012 Earth Summit processes, and has participated in the negotiation of a wide range environmental conventions, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) and the Kyoto Protocol (1997). He has also been involved in the development and promotion of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the ISO 26000 Social responsibility guidance.

An active promoter of Green Industry and Sustainable Finance, he has been a Senior Adviser to both UNIDO and UNEP. From 2006-2012 he was a member and sometime chair of the London-based Henderson Global Investors Advisory Committee on Sustainable and Responsible Investment. He has also provided related advice to governmental authorities in Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, as well as to a range of international corporate and non-profit clients.

Hohnen has conducted executive level workshops on embedding sustainability in business strategies and is an expert on materiality and sustainability reporting. Frequently invited to act as a conference facilitator, Hohnen has been a keynote speaker at a variety of high-level global business, government and NGO forums. His work has been featured in mainstream and speciality press and he was a regular contributor to Ethical Corporation magazine and Guardian Sustainable Business in the period 2005-2015. He has been a guest opinion contributor to the London-based Innovation Forum since 2014.

From 2015-2021 he narrowed the focus of his work exclusively to chemicals and climate issues, including work for the German Federal Environment Ministry as a Senior Associate with the adelphi consulting group. Hohnen was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) in London from 2005-2018. He was Chair of Foodwatch Netherlands over the period 2010-2021. He remains active in pro bono coaching and policy advisory work on sustainability issues.

Photo: Gamze Meltem Vural