As of November 2022, 40% of the world’s largest publicly traded companies (Forbes 2000) have set net zero targets. That’s up from 31% in November 2021 (Net Zero Tracker).
However, only 21% of the world’s largest publicly traded companies have set interim targets.
This discrepancy is raising doubts about net zero pledges. Previous assessments also spoke about “major credibility gaps” in plans of the world’s largest companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions (Reuters).
Now imagine the following two firms:
- Company A sets a net zero target year of 2035, but with no clear interim goals and questionable methods for calculating carbon emissions.
- Company B sets a net zero target year of 2050, with clear interim goals and a robust track record of credible carbon emission calculations and disclosure.
Which organization do you think will be taken more seriously regarding its net zero targets?
Which organization would you rather be?
Net zero is also a journey
Given the backlash against greenwashing, it’s important to set realistic and credible net zero targets. It’s better to have a net zero target that is further in time but more realistic, than a target that is closer in time but less realistic.
See net zero as a journey, not just as a destination. Have a process in place to track your progress because change is the only constant.
For example, what happens if you set a net zero target of 2040, but your company experiences a much larger growth than expected while your carbon intensity goes unchanged? How will you know if the 2040 target is still feasible?
Be sure to have the ability to forecast emissions so that if there are any changes, you’re still on track to meet your net zero goals. And remember the supply chain and Scope 3 emissions. Don’t let your supply chain become the Achilles heel of your carbon reduction efforts.
Moreover, have controls in place to ensure data accuracy. You don’t want to miss your net zero targets because you have inaccurate carbon emission calculations. Asset-level, granular emissions data can help ensure data accuracy and identify opportunities for focused carbon emission reductions.
All of this may seem daunting and even a little discouraging. But technology and software solutions are available today allowing you to:
- Evaluate the feasibility of net zero targets
- Track interim carbon emission reduction goals
- Monitor your progress towards net zero
- Ensure data quality and credibility
Join the conversation
If you want to continue the conversation about net zero, join us, Verdantix, and ERM for a webinar on March 29 about solutions for your net zero carbon journey and learn more about:
- Factors encouraging firms to commit to net zero pledges and implement net zero strategies
- Benefits of partnerships between technology vendors and implementation specialists
- How a large firm implemented a solution to track and manage their carbon emissions
- Challenges in reporting ESG and climate change-related disclosure
The following speakers will share their knowledge and expertise:
- Connor Taylor, Senior Analyst at Verdantix
- Marco Geerinckx, Partner Digital Services at ERM
- Julie Wilcox, Solutions Engineer at Wolters Kluwer Enablon
Click here to register for the webinar.