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South Pole: COVID-19 is making organisations 'Net Zero Ready' - but few have set concrete milestones

12.02.2021 Share

They talk the talk. But do they walk the walk? Survey of sustainability leaders finds climate ambition is growing and the C-suite is trusted to lead the journey to Net Zero - but there is a major disconnect between ambition and action.

Most organisations' climate mitigation efforts have stayed the same - or even accelerated - under COVID-19, according to research commissioned by the global climate change experts, South Pole.

The poll of 120 sustainability leaders from key sectors, including industry & manufacturing, consumer goods and services, finance, property and construction, found that - despite the profound challenges of COVID-19 - the momentum to decarbonise is continuing apace in most organisations. The poll found that:
  • Most organisations' climate mitigation efforts (65%) have either remained the same through COVID-19 (38%), or even accelerated (27%).
  • The drive for decarbonisation accelerated in the financial services (19%) and technology and telecommunications (16%) sectors, which had the largest proportion of respondents stating that their efforts have increased.
  • Around a third of respondents (36%) said their climate mitigation efforts have slowed down (20%) or had temporarily paused until there is more economic certainty (16%).
South Pole CEO, Renat Heuberger, said:

''Our survey indicates that the Net Zero ambitions of most organisations are not only showing some immunity to the COVID-19 crisis, but many are actually using the major reset to accelerate their responses to the even greater threat of climate breakdown. Many organisations have realised that they are vulnerable to external shocks, and are thinking strategically about what could be the next one – the climate emergency. This new 'Net Zero-ready' mindset promises to help organisations break out of old cycles of incrementalism to achieve impact, by investing in innovation, enhancing supply chain resilience, and collaborating with industry players to find solutions."

Read more here

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