The European Union reported that if global mean temperatures continue its projected increase of 3.7 to 4.8°C, it will lead to irreversible damage to the earth, its ecosystems and humanity. To combat this, in 2015, 197 countries endorsed the Paris Agreement. Here, governments committed to maintaining the global temperature within a 2°C limit, with the aim of keeping temperature rise to 1.5°C. This propelled the journey of Net Zero for many corporates across the world.
Decades of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, increase in livestock farming and emissions of toxic and harmful gases from industry, have added to the naturally occurring amounts of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) already present in the atmosphere. This results in the increase of the greenhouse gas effect and eventually, the overall increase of the earth’s global mean temperature- also known as global warming (EU: Causes of Climate Change).
How do corporations get involved?
The Paris Agreement has become a global call for businesses to work closely with their respective governments by committing to the Paris-aligned emission reduction targets and creating climate change resilience across the world.
What does Net Zero mean?
The term Net Zero has been trending across the built environment, but what does it mean? Simply put, Net Zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere (National Grid). In support of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change and Its Impacts, cities and corporations around the world have prioritized setting targets and implementing strategies to effectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in order to control climate change.
Net Zero Targets or Science Based Targets?
In this first instalment we analyse the debate surrounding which approach is best suited for corporates to effectively reduce emissions in line with global targets: Net Zero or Science Based Targets?
So which is the better option?
Whilst they differ in complexity, both approaches are not mutually exclusive and can be used in a complementary manner to ensure that an organization is taking the most effective approach in reducing emissions.
The Global ESG Benchmark for Real Assets (GRESB) explained the combined approach as: when a net zero carbon target is aligned with keeping global warming to below 2°C, it can be considered “science based.” Companies should endeavor to set net zero carbon targets that are compatible with science-based target requirements.
Through our decades of experience in working with real estate and investment companies in improving their ESG standings, Don’t Waste has made it a priority to consistently adapt its waste management systems and its PropTech software to assist companies with waste administration, reporting and allows clients a high level of data management, report generating functionality, as well as compliance and environmental performance- the essential tools required when starting the journey of Net Zero.
Follow us for PART 2: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COMPANIES IN SETTING AND IMPLEMENTING ROBUST NET-ZERO TARGETS.
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