The number of companies that have net zero goals have gone up in the last year, but less than 5% have basic net zero plans, a new report has found.
According to Net Zero Stocktake, the number of publicly listed corporations aiming for net zero shot up from 417 to 929 since 2020.
However, less than 5% passed a test applying basic net zero criteria. The criteria were based on a United Nations campaign called Race to Zero. They include setting interim targets and covering all emissions a company is responsible for, including those caused when using its products.
Nations, regions, and corporates that have set long-term targets, but are doing nothing concrete to meet them, the report concluded.
“Evidence of misleading or outright greenwashing climate claims provided by independent research will only increase in the future,” a senior climate policy researcher said. “I expect to see a lot more litigation cases in the coming years.”
“If they are to commit to more robust and transparent targets, that would be better than outright greenwashing in the name of net zero,” he added.
The report was compiled by experts at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit of the University of North Carolina’s Data-Driven EnviroLab, the NewClimate Institute and Oxford Net Zero.
The report also found that national government net zero targets underpinned by legislation or policy documents increased in the two and a half years, from 7% to 75%.
Authentic, genuine Net Zero plans
As countries create tougher legislation surrounding net zero, businesses will be tempted to create net zero pledges.
However, pledges without plans will only attract accusations of greenwashing, which can impact brand reputation.
How can businesses create authentic net zero plans?
At ClearVUE.Business, we work hand in hand with companies to create actionable plans that do not deter business operations.
Our industry-leading platform ClearVUE.Zero also generates reports of your net zero results, so that you can provide evidence of lower carbon and energy consumption in a corporate format.