What’s happening in the world of corporate net zero
Do you know what’s coming next for Net Zero? Here are three hot topics to keep an eye on.
Reduce & Offset? Settling the debate
The landscape around carbon offsetting is changing rapidly with the boom in corporate net zero and decarbonisation commitments. The Science-based Targets Initiative, the leading campaign on corporate net zero target setting, has recently (March 2021) closed their public consultation process on their Net Zero Standard for corporates.
Source: Science-based Targets Initiative Corporate Net Zero Consultation
The proposed simplified net-zero target trajectory outlines the role of offsets, attempting to resolve the debate of when to offset and which types of offsets are best. One clear message resonates: offsets can play a key additional role starting today but does not in any way replace clear efforts to reduce first...and reduce again!
To support this role of offsets, the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Market is mobilising to ensure increased demand in offsets can be met with high-quality supply. There is still a lot more thought and work that must go into this, and proponents are aiming for COP26 to be the key forum to thrash out the details and ensure uptake and support across the globe.
Mind the gap! Steering clear of greenwash
Another key development is the launch of the Climate Action 100+ Net Zero Benchmark, which provides investors with a tool that is both transparent and robust to facilitate engagement with the world’s largest GHG emitters.
This is a key addition to the toolkit to tackle greenwashing. With all eyes on these companies, it will no longer be enough for corporate marketing teams to spin a well-illustrated story around net zero. It is now possible to assess whether actions match up to commitments.
Standardising the standards
The world of non-financial reporting is a busy one, with a host of different metrics and guidelines for organisations to pick from. It is an interesting reversal to the issue in the recent past whereby such metrics were entirely unavailable.
The World Economic Forum has taken a noteworthy stab at offering metrics for reporting sustainable value creation to support simplification, standardisation and comparability. As opposed to reinventing the wheel, it pulls from existing voluntary standards but is underpinned by four key pillars - Principles of Governance, Planet, People and Prosperity.
What makes this endeavour particularly interesting is that it emerged as a result of a call from the WEF’s International Business Council, bringing critical mass to support these metrics. Take a closer look at the how the WEF metrics are working to complement existing standards.
Ampersand Partners is a management consultancy, whose Energy Transition and Sustainability practice helps energy companies navigate their fast changing market environment and non-energy clients deliver their net zero ambitions.
Net Zero Enthusiasts (NZE) is a small-group of seasoned independent energy sector professionals who between them have over 100 years of experience in the industry, advisory firms and providers of finance. Based on long-standing connections, complementary backgrounds and a common commitment to decarbonisation, the NZE have come together to support the UK’s low carbon transition.