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A 5-step framework for organizations to achieve net-zero success


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From devastating droughts to raging wildfires, the effects of climate change are seen and felt every day. As these events intensify and become more frequent, climate change has become an increasingly urgent issue for legislators, individuals and businesses to address. To avoid the most harmful effects of climate change, global greenhouse gas emissions must be cut in half by 2030. By 2050, they must reach zero.

With just a few decades to go, achieving net zero has become imperative. Fortunately, organizations are catching up. In 2019, only 16% of the global economy created zero commitment. Just two years later, that number has grown to nearly 70%.

What does net-zero mean?

Terms “net-zero” describes a state in which greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere are reduced to (or offset by removal) to a “zero” balance being created, preventing global warming. demand more. For many organizations, net-zero means deep cuts in the emissions they are responsible for across their entire value chain, including emissions generated by their own processes, emissions purchased through electricity and heat as well as the emissions generated by their suppliers and end users – estimated to account for 65% to 95% a company’s carbon footprint.

Some organizations choose to go further by finding ways to reduce emissions off their own value chain. For example, they can educate their customer and supplier bases on how to reduce their own emissions or allow customers to purchase carbon offsets at checkout.

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While most organizations aspire to achieve net-zero, a few lack an effective plan of action to do so, according to one Recent surveys of senior executives from 900 global organizations have set a goal of zero. In fact, about half of organizations only use their emissions data for mandatory reporting purposes without affecting their business decision making. This is despite the fact that 85% of organizations realize the business value of emissions measurement, such as the ability to discover sustainable business models, avoid financial risks and reduce performance. work.

How can organizations leverage data to achieve net-zero success?

To successfully achieve zero targets — and achieve them faster — it is essential that organizations leverage emissions data in business planning and decision making, not just for reporting. Of those organizations that use emissions data in their decision-making, more than half (53%) have experienced an acceleration in their net zero journey and, on average, these organizations emissions have also been reduced by 4.6% per year.

The following five-step framework can help businesses achieve network zero faster:

Establish an organization-wide framework for zero network governance

When it comes to big initiatives like climate change, it often requires a major shift in mindset. Everyone in the company has to start thinking differently about their individual carbon footprint, as well as the carbon footprint of the projects they work on, the teams and vendors they work with.

management support is very important to success. If the C-suite views offline initiatives as an important priority, it will drive urgency and funding. With management’s leadership, organizations must develop a data strategy and roadmap to support their net zero goals and establish a governing body to monitor progress.

Establish a robust data management platform

Data quickly becomes unwieldy and impossible to process without the right tools to measure, collect, and aggregate data. Organizations will need to ensure that they have a robust data management platform in place to automate large-scale collection of emissions data from a variety of external and internal data sources. Collaborating with the broader ecosystem is also important for reliable, verifiable emissions data throughout the value chain.

Next, organizations must build storage, processing, and analytics capabilities for their emissions data. This allows them to consolidate this data into a single source of truth, automatically calculating their emissions and generating predictive insights. Ultimately, they must invest in data reporting and visualization tools so their stakeholders can act on those insights.

Promote the use of emissions data in business functions

To enable employees to act on insights into emissions data, organizations must establish an internal carbon pricing system and invest in skills-raising initiatives across the business. An internal carbon pricing system helps teams assess carbon costs in their business decisions and consider them in the decision-making process. Based on recent surveynearly 4 out of 10 organizations plan to set up such systems, but only 12% have done so.

While most organizations aspire to achieve net-zero, most employees still don’t know what that means. To address this knowledge gap, organizations should develop net-zero awareness programs to keep current leaders and employees up to date and train them in key skills, such as such as carbon accounting. In the future, these training programs should be incorporated into the onboarding process for new employees.

Establish mechanisms to ensure accountability for decarbonization across the organization

For an organization to achieve zero targets, each group must participate in reducing their share of emissions. To prioritize emission reductions, organizations must define clear goals and carbon KPIs for each group, and these must be included when evaluating the performance of internal functions.

For example, companies can go further by linking bonuses to carbon KPIs and award bonuses or tailor bonuses to business leaders depending on their team’s ability to achieve goals. reduce emissions.

Work with the broader ecosystem to expand access to reliable emissions data

Just as achieving network zero takes the efforts of the entire organization, achieving that goal on a global scale will take the world. Organizations can contribute to a global cause by working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond their own operations.

For example, they may participate in global campaigns and alliances to raise the level of ambition to zero. They can collaborate with their broader ecosystem — including competitors — to establish industry-wide emissions measurement methods. They can help their suppliers measure their emissions by providing them with carbon accounting tools, training and support. Finally, organizations can enter into data-sharing partnerships, where they partner with external entities such as their competitors, suppliers, and customers to share and take action. based on emissions data.

Building a future without internet

Zero-net goals are ambitious but achievable. With leadership backing, a well-defined strategy, and a solid foundation for data-driven collection and action, businesses can achieve zero goals at lightning speed and generate revenue. have a positive impact on the global ecosystem.

Prasad Shyam in the lead Capgemini’s insights and data practices for the manufacturing, automotive, life sciences, oil and gas, energy and utilities industries in North America.

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