Only one in 10 organisations adopting science-based targets to reach net zero
Published December 10, 2020
Only 11% of organisations have set science-based targets as part of their formal decarbonisation strategies, according to a report compiled by sustainability consultancy, South Pole.
Based on a survey of more than 120 sustainability leaders from sectors including industry, construction and finance, less than half (48%) of those who had set net zero targets had set concrete milestones to get there.
The survey found a general trend of increased sustainability action among private sector companies: 50% of executives polled work for organisations that have set a net zero target. A further 33% are considering setting one.
South Pole suggested the fact that few companies have aligned their decarbonisation strategy with climate science is “a sign that companies are not ready to commit fully to a decarbonation strategy.”
South Pole also said there is “a risk that CEOs and boards have adopted net zero targets as a means to drive goodwill and manage reputational risk but are not taking the difficult steps to restructure their business models and decarbonize their supply chains to reach these targets on time.”
Jeremy Nicholson, Corporate Affairs Officer at Alfa Energy, saw the survey results in a more positive light: “This survey is probably not representative of business as a whole. Indeed, you could argue that 11% is actually quite a large number. You could say 1 in 10 surveyed have ALREADY adopted SBTI.”
Alfa Energy sustainability analyst Nick Fedson agreed: “So far only about 1,000 companies around the world have committed to science-based targets that will be validated by the SBTI. Many businesses are doing everything they can while others haven’t made a business decision to seek formal validation yet. Getting a carbon reduction target validated by the SBTI is a two-year process, it’s not an overnight thing and there are plenty of businesses in the pipeline.”