Gross change for Net Zero (1)

Greg Davies

Greg Davies
Director of Market Development, Assurity Consulting
12th November 2021

  • A Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) recommendation to introduce a mandate for all large businesses and public enterprises to develop net-zero transition plans by the end of 2024. This being supported “by all major economies” with net-zero target legislation.
  • A recent Treasury announcement indicated that, in line with recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), large businesses will be required to report climate-risk-related information from April 2022.
  • Richi Sunak announcing “the UK has a responsibility to lead the way” on going green and climate disclosure, referencing the recently published the Roadmap to Sustainable Investing, which confirms that transition plans will be mandated for large firms in high-emitting sectors. From 2023, large businesses in high-emitting sectors will need to meet this requirement.
  • Richi Sunak also confirmed that the UK Government’s developed a science-based “gold-standard” verification scheme for the plans, to “safeguard against greenwashing”.

Equally organisations have also embraced the challenge, with numbers stating intentions to meet ambitious net zero targets, even before COP 26 further fuelled the very urgent need for action.

The question for me in all this though is one of scope. Historically, capturing, targeting and presenting information on carbon has for most centred on direct emissions (Scope 1) and energy use (Scope 2). But even while these are relatively well defined, organisational appetite and different tools delivering different outcomes, have served to promote 'consistency in inconsistency' in actual and comparable measurement.

Scope 3 emissions add a whole new dimension. They have not been included in many organisational calculations because they are difficult to capture, even though they contribute the greatest levels of carbon emissions for most. Understanding and managing them is though fundamental to a successful, ongoing and ultimately meaningful net zero campaign.