Home / Publications / The role of business in delivering the UK’s Net Zero ambition

The role of business in delivering the UK’s Net Zero ambition

1. Outline

Corporate action is already driving significant change across the UK and internationally, and accelerating this action will enable the policy, technological, behavioural, and business model changes needed for a zero-carbon society. Yet many businesses within the UK are increasingly looking for information and a better understanding of the future context in which they will operate.

Alongside our advice on the Sixth Carbon Budget we have developed a briefing note, published alongside this report, on how businesses in the UK can act to support the UK’s transition to Net Zero.

2. Key recommendations

This suggests the following principles to guide business ambition in the UK:

  • Do the basics well – measure, disclose, target, act, adjust. Companies should account for, and take action on, all emissions they are responsible for and be transparent about their objectives to reduce emissions, and how they plan to do it.
  • Adopt the highest possible ambition, acknowledging that some, particularly large, businesses may be able to achieve Net Zero earlier than the UK’s national objective.
  • Address all emissions, and go beyond. In particular companies should look at the emissions that occur in their supply chains (‘Scope 3’ emissions), and go beyond this. In particular we identify two areas to advance progress:
    • Companies can lead the transition to electric vehicles in the UK, and should switch their vehicle fleets to EVs over the 2020s
    • Companies should ensure corporate renewables procurement pays for new low-carbon electricity to be installed, rather than just purchasing existing renewables.
  • Ensure Climate Change is addressed at the highest levels of corporate leadership, including ensuring climate action is given board level and CEO responsibility.
  • Minimise offsets, phase them out, and ensure only permanent emissions removals remain, in line with our recommendations around how the UK should meet its national carbon budgets.