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Net zero business or business for net zero? A report on corporate climate leadership practices on scope and offsetting

Feb 28, 2022

A new report (PDF) outlines how companies considered sustainability leaders, at the forefront of net zero ambition, are defining and managing their Scope 3 emissions, and using credits, sinks offsets, and insets to compensate emissions or complement their climate strategies through additional contributions. Our analysis is based on a database of the net-zero targets of the Forbes 2,000 largest companies, annual reports, and other public documents, and a set of 10 interviews with managers involved in different aspects of net-zero targets and strategy implementation in the food and tech/media sectors.

Key recommendations from this report suggest three main areas for additional guidance:

  1. Pushing the frontiers of scope without delaying action by coordinating conversations about changes to business models.
  2. Shaping a new generation of offsetting by investing in capacity to scale credible, quality projects and supporting companies to consider deeply and publish why and how they are offsetting in line with emerging standards.
  3. Enabling holistic net-zero leadership by connecting to collective targets and moving towards an outcomes-based, ‘business for net-zero’ framework.

This report was authored by Kaya Axelsson, Aoife Brophy and Elena Pierard Manzano and jointly published by Oxford Net Zero, the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.

Read the full report: Net zero business or business for net-zero? A report on corporate climate leadership practices on scope and offsetting. (PDF)

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