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The “net” in net zero

Published 18 July 2022

Net zero is fast becoming the dominant statement for companies to ensure their long-term resilience in a world determined to tackle climate change. But as businesses increasingly set net zero targets, what they actually mean can vary significantly. And with an urgent need for action, what are the options and approaches to make those commitments a reality?

In our recent white paper, The “net” in net zero, we analyze the net zero commitments of the world’s largest companies through our third annual study into the Fortune Global 500. We consider 56% as ‘responsible’ net zero targets with a target date in line with government targets or the Paris Agreement, and 24% as ‘leadership’ net zero targets, accelerating ahead of these milestones.

We outline three different pathways a company can adopt in the transition to net zero: ”net zero only”; “carbon neutral on the way to net zero”; and “net zero plus”.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report acknowledged carbon removal technologies as “necessary to achieve net zero CO2and GHG emissions both globally and nationally, counterbalancing ‘hard-to-abate’ residual emissions.”[1] But what are the available and scalable removals options available? The paper considers that landscape, mapping the maturity of carbon removal methodologies against their availability and cost, including nature-based and engineered solutions, to help guide companies through the wide array of choices.

It's a complex area, with many opinions on the best approaches. Hopefully, fewer businesses are questioning the need to do something. But this is the time to step in and step up. We need to use all the solutions available to make an impact. Net zero is not a passing trend – now is the time to demonstrate action, results and impact and finance the highest quality solutions to make your goals a reality.

We held a webinar where we heard from some of our forward-thinking clients about how they are planning to achieve their ‘leadership’ net zero targets.

Contact us to access the webinar recording