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Towards net zero

Net zero carbon emissions in each sector

Transformation of all sectors

To limit global warming, the United Nations climate agreements targeted a fifty percent reduction in global carbon emissions by 2030 with net zero being achieved by 2050. Those goals will be within reach only if virtually all sectors of the global economy transform. Many organisations are committing themselves independently to net zero as a driver for innovation and sustainable growth. Social pressure is becoming palpable everywhere: shareholders, employees, customers and citizens are demanding effective ESG policy, as part of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To achieve the net zero ambition, companies, investors and public organisations are opting for a more sustainable strategy, resulting in a transformation of, for instance, the business model, the value chain and the purchase and sale of business units. Heading towards net zero also requires adjustments to systems and financial processes to measure non-financial KPIs, transparent reporting on sustainability targets and a cultural shift to enable the transformation.

What impact does the net zero ambition have on your organisation? And what are the key steps for your organisation when heading towards net zero? Read more about the nine building blocks for net zero transformation.

Building blocks for net zero transformation

To deliver on their net zero commitments, companies will need to undertake end-to-end business transformation. This includes understanding the implications of net zero for a company’s growth strategy and operating model, and embedding net zero across all business functions from governance, to supply chains, to finance and innovation.

To support companies on their net zero journeys, PwC has defined nine key building blocks for corporate net zero transformation. This ‘blueprint’ seeks to help organisations in various sectors throughout the entire process of strategy, transformation and reporting. 

Each building block:
  • Defines the checklist of critical actions companies need to undertake to transform to net zero;
  • Explains why these actions are important; and
  • Provides practical and actionable guidance for companies to follow.

Checklist of key actions:

Aligned to achieving global net zero by no later than 2050 & to limit warming to 1.5C.

Accountability driven from the top

Embedded and aligned net zero into company strategy

Key operating model changes in support of transformation

Transformed net zero supply chain

Developed innovation and technologies to deliver net zero

Financing the net zero transformation

Communicating action

Enhancing the pace and scale of net zero action

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Net zero goes beyond carbon neutrality

  • Carbon emissions are being reduced to zero in three scopes. Scope 1 involves the direct emissions from the organisation's activities, such as the production process. Scope 2 involves the indirect emission released during the production of procured energy. Scope 3 involves the indirect emission in the value chain, both at suppliers and customers, e.g. production and transport of raw materials, staff commuting and waste processing.
  • The emission reduction target is based on the latest insights from climate science, i.e. the Science Based Target (SBT): what reduction is needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C?
  • Any residual emissions are offset by measures that remove carbon from the atmosphere, such as reforestation, as defined by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • The emissions are reported in detail.
  • Clear internal and external policies are needed to achieve the net zero ambition.

PwC Net Zero by 2030

Like our clients, we need to build trust with our stakeholders and deliver sustained outcomes - and tackling our climate impact is crucial to both. We have therefore committed to Net Zero by 2030. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) validated PwC’s targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in absolute terms from 2019 levels by 2030 in line with a 1.5 degree scenario. 

With this approach, which aligns to SBTi’s highest ambition level, PwC commits to decarbonising the way it operates and decoupling its business growth from emissions.

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Viviana Voorwald

Viviana Voorwald

Partner, ESG Lead PwC NL & PwC Europe, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 536 23 07

Karin Meijer

Karin Meijer

Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 030 39 90

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