6 Sep 2021

Net Zero: Growing the Movement

By Inge Hertzog
Building with cascading green plants on the sides

In my previous article, Net Zero Explainer, I visited the net zero journey, from the 2015 Paris Agreement up to the present day, tracking the evolving responses to the ‘Climate Emergency’, with a focus on business’ contribution.

In this follow-up article, I expand on the net zero theme, providing a snapshot of the current state of play of net zero in the business community and diving into the flourishing movements and campaigns.  I also explain why the B Corp framework and net zero are complementary.

Science-based Targets (SBTs)

Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly-defined path to reduce emissions and decarbonise their business in-line with the Paris Agreement goals. A robust goal, once officially validated by the independent Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi), signals that the company has set its target in relation to the latest climate science, sending a clear message that it is committed to taking action to reach net zero.

The number of companies adopting the highly respected SBTs has rocketed: there are now 1000+ companies on-board, with an average of 31 new companies joining each month.

Net zero targets approved by SBTi have now moved into the mainstream with well known household names publicly committing such as Microsoft, IKEA, PWC, Sky, Facebook with a target of 2030. Yet, this is just the beginning. There are still opportunities for trailblazing brands to lead the way within their own market by being an early adopter with a scientifically defensible target.

Certified B Corporation

Net Zero is complementary to B Corp

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, balancing profit and purpose.

The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is the framework used to measure this. There are four pillars: workers, community, environment, and customers. The net zero journey can become the action plan mapped out in line with the BIA environmental pillar, helping earn points towards (re)certification.

B Corp and the race to Net Zero

B Corp has formed the B Corp Climate Collective (BCCC), a global movement on a mission to take action on the climate emergency, recognising the unique and powerful role that they play as purpose-driven businesses to reverse climate change. With the usual B Corp hallmark of inclusivity, companies don’t have to be a Certified B Corp to join.

Launched on December 11, 2019, at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP25, in Madrid, over 500 B Corps took the stage and publicly committed to accelerate the reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions.  The group now has a thriving membership of 900+ companies.

Opportunity for businesses to get involved

2020 was an incredible year for net zero gaining momentum. 2021 looks set to build on this, especially with the recent IPCC report throwing climate change into the spotlight as a ‘code red’.

BCCC has joined the UN Climate Change Conference’s #RaceToZero global campaign, “rallying leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth” (source).

In the run-up to November’s COP26 Conference, BCCC are working hard to mobilise all their members around the #RaceToZero theme.

Now is the time for companies to step forward and drive forward the net zero agenda by supporting the #RaceToZero. One way to do this is to join BCCC HERE – let’s see if we can push their membership up to 1K+ with your help!

Check out Seismic’s Net Zero and B Corp services.