Two-thirds of European companies have no net-zero targets

Accenture research finds just 5% of those that have are on track to reach their goals


ESG Clarity

Two-thirds of European companies have not yet set net-zero targets, and for those that have, just 5% are on track to reach their goals, a new study has found.

Accenture analysed data from more than 1,000 listed companies across European stock indexes and found 30% had pledged to reach net zero by 2050.

Its report, Reaching Net Zero by 2050, found companies listed in the UK were the most likely to have set a net-zero target date, covering scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, with 37% having done so, compared with 27% in Germany and 18% in France.

But it found just one in 20 were on track to meet those targets in their own operations if they continued at the same pace. If they double that pace by 2030 and triple it by 2040, however, the report said, they can get back on track.

“Though the number of newly set targets is reassuring, organisations are not moving fast enough,” said Peter Lacy, Accenture’s chief responsibility officer and Sustainability Services global lead.

“With COP26 just a few weeks away, businesses and governments across all parts of the world need to focus their efforts on concrete action that follows robust targets to meet the challenge our world faces to reach net zero by mid-century and hold global warming to 1.5°c.”

Select industries

The report suggested specific solutions and stepping stones to net zero for select industries, including automotive, chemicals, construction, finance, retail and transportation.

See also: – Roadmap to net zero

For example, the auto industry will need more investment in electric vehicles, more innovation to bring down battery costs, value-chain partnerships, new business models and improvements to hydrogen technology.

Chemicals need to see rapid growth in renewable electricity production, cost reduction for electrolyser technology, advanced asset management, continued investment in CCS technology and more partnerships.

See also: – $3.2trn investor group to target chemicals sector

Construction will need to look at alternative building materials, better use of pre-fabrication, improved manufacturing approaches and better lifecycle monitoring.

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