Net zero targets ignored by 70% of European businesses

A new report shows that only 30% of European corporates have pledged to reach net zero by 2050

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More than two-thirds of corporate companies have not made net zero commitments.

That’s according to a new study from Accenture, revealing that although corporate commitments have accelerated across Europe in the last two years, only 30% of these businesses have pledged to achieve net zero by 2050.

The study analysed the data of more than 1,000 companies on Europe’s major stock indexes and found that setting targets helps accelerate companies’ transitions to net zero.

It revealed that in the last decade, companies that set a net zero goal or target reduced their emissions by 10% on average, while those who did not set targets witnessed an increase in emissions.

Companies within the UK were the most likely to have set a date to reach net zero in Europe, with 37% of the businesses having done so. This was followed by 27% in Germany and only 18% in France.

Of the 30% of companies that have set net zero targets, only 5% were actually on track to achieve these aims. The report states that for these companies to realise their targets they will need to double their pace of emissions reduction by 2030 and triple it by 2040.

Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture, said: “Our study shows, the targets work. Net zero should be managed as any strategic business priority: set clear objectives to drive the entire organisation to the same direction and monitor progress to correct the trajectory as appropriate.

“Making targets public also helps create the required collective momentum, as companies can’t solve it alone.”