Net Zero Business
Achieving Net Zero requires dramatic changes to our lifestyles, our societies, and our economies. Just as we need cities and nations to implement net zero policies, we will not achieve our climate goals without a significant shift in the emissions producing practices of the private sector. With their material, financial, social, and political capital, businesses have the chance to lead in reducing global emissions and creating solutions for adaptation and mitigation.
Each business sector and each company has its own unique challenges and opportunities in achieving Net Zero. Easier to abate sectors should have little to offset by mid-century--or a prescribed date for achieving Net Zero to meet 1.5°C warming scenarios. Harder-to-abate sectors will likely still require some degree of offsetting, or more specifically removal, to reach net zero targets by mid-century.
We’ve created this page to serve as a resource for corporate leaders, employees and innovators in the private sector who want to drive and hold organizations accountable to credible net zero plans. Companies can help in mitigating climate change by committing to net zero and developing net zero plans based on science and research.
Here are a few key components of a robust net zero plan:
There must be comprehensive accounting for all emissions of greenhouse gases
Continued effort on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases
Permanent removals of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to offset any remaining emissions
A clear plan to achieve Net Zero by mid-century, with actions starting now
While the above criteria are essential, they are by no means all-inclusive of the steps companies need to take. There is no single path to net zero. Achieving net zero in the transport sector will likely look very different from achieving net zero in agriculture. Therefore, we have organized this page by sector, in the hopes of directing individuals towards research that directly outlines what their industry must do to reduce emissions and implement low-carbon practices.
Many net zero alliances have formed across sectors, each defining net zero in slightly different ways that reflect the balance of emissions and warming trajectories tied to each sector. Several cross-sector global business alliances exist with the mission of building ambition towards net zero targets in various degrees of ambition. These span the spectrum of ambition for achieving net zero with varying definitions of the term. We are listing some initiatives aiming to net zero, providing visibility to their ambition and leadership. We are also holding these initiatives accountable, offering suggestions for a common understanding of net zero business pledges.
The UNFCCC hosts a Climate Ambition Alliance whose mission is to bring together countries, businesses, investors, cities and regions who are working towards achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. The EU is part of this initiative. The goal of this group is to push for net-zero CO2 emissions in line with the latest scientific information.
The UNFCCC also hosts Climate Neutral Now, described as a group of leading organizations and individuals to incentivize behavioural changes which in turn will drive the change within their industries and networks, helping align them with the Sustainable Development Goals. The organization hosts an online platform where offsets can be bought to encourage responsibility for unavoidable emissions.