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net zero ledge

CEO Circle

Words of deeds: five steps to turn your net zero pledge into action

Published 21 February 2023 in CEO Circle • 7 min read

Ambitious rhetoric and pledges to achieve net zero carbon emissions by mid-century have not been backed up by actionable strategies. It’s time for CEOs to take the lead on decarbonization.  

On the face of it, many businesses are already progressing on net zero. The UN reports that the number of organizations that have pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 has soared by 60% to more than 11,000 (as of September 2022). However, at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, UN secretary-general António Guterres warned that aspirations have not been matched by action. Guterres asserted that the benchmarks and criteria used to assess progress are “murky and dubious”, adding that well-publicized use of carbon credits and offsetting measures are no substitute for quantifiable emissions reductions in core business activities. 

There is no universal path to genuine improvement. CEOs need to experiment with different pathways and make decarbonization a strategic…

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