Net Zero: The Next Frontier for Corporate Sustainability
"When it comes to climate change, the science is unequivocal: global temperatures will continue to rise for decades, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities. This will have catastrophic effects on human health, infrastructure, energy, agriculture, fisheries, sea levels, natural ecosystems, and more. For many, the consequences have felt distant and theoretical — until now. Unprecedented wildfires, the world’s first climate-induced war in Syria, PG&E’s climate-fueled bankruptcy, devastating hurricanes, and deadly heatwaves — among a litany of other environmental, social, and economic disasters — have changed this. Following the US’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on November 4, it is up to corporations to take direct responsibility for their impact on climate change. While many corporations, investors, regulators, and consumers agree that corporate sustainability is imperative, identifying best practices and which companies are ‘walking the walk’ can be challenging. Corporate metrics, certifications, and coalitions abound, including the Sustainable Accounting Standards Bureau (SASB), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the Renewable Energy 100 (RE100), the Business Roundtable, B Corps, and benefit corporations. Greenwashing — a form of marketing that creates a false perception of a company’s environmental sustainability — exacerbates this confusion."
Other Net Zero Trackers
MSCI Net Zero Tracker "The MSCI Net-Zero Tracker indicates the collective progress of publicly listed companies in the MSCI ACWI Investable Market Index (IMI)1 (which covers 9,300 listed companies, representing 99% of the global equity universe) in keeping global warming well below 2°C. It also highlights the largest listed companies with improved climate disclosures, as well as those that lag. The MSCI Net-Zero Tracker offers investors, companies, financial intermediaries and policymakers an objective gauge of the contribution by the world’s public companies to total carbon emissions and their progress toward a net-zero economy."
Eco-Act: The Sustainability Reporting Performance "Find out how some of the largest companies in the world are acting and reporting on climate-related sustainability. We highlight those companies leading the way in sustainability reporting across the FTSE 100, the CAC 40, the IBEX 35 and the DOW 30, scoring them against criteria within four broad subject areas: Measurement and Reporting,Strategy and Governance,Targets and Reduction,Engagement and Innovation. 2019 has been a pivotal year for sustainability and climate change, both in terms of heightened public awareness and the physical impacts being experienced from a changing climate. Understanding how businesses are responding and how much progress is being made towards our critical goal of limiting global warming, has never been more important."
ENERGY & CLIMATE INTELLIGENCE UNIT Net Zero Tracker "In our latest report Taking Stock: A global assessment of net zero targets we present what is, we believe, the first quantitative analysis of net zero commitments across countries, sub-national governments and major companies. Teaming up with Oxford Net Zero, we surveyed more than 4,000 significant entities: all nations; all states and regions in the 25 highest-emitting countries; all cities with a population above 500,000; and all companies in the Forbes Global 2000 list."
The Climate Action 100+ Net-Zero Company Benchmark "The Climate Action 100+ Net-Zero Company Benchmark (referred to as the Benchmark) assesses the performance of focus companies against the initiative’s three high-level goals: emissions reduction, governance, and disclosure. The benchmark helps investor signatories evaluate company ambition and action in tackling climate change. The Benchmark draws on distinct analytical methodologies and data-sets, to provide investors and other stakeholders with a robust tool to facilitate focus company engagement and action. 159 focus list companies are included in the first set of assessments (published in March 2021). Eight companies (Grupo Argos SA, Grupo México, Incitec Pivot, Oil Search, Orica, Petróleos Mexicanos – PEMEX, Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco), and UltraTech Cement Ltd) have not been assessed in the first iteration of the benchmark given they were added to the Climate Action 100+ focus list in November 2020. These companies will be included in the next assessment cycle."