What is the role of Low Carbon Leaders in the race to net zero?

Net zero is not enough.

There are few targets that unite an entire business community, country - or indeed the human race... but we have one right now: 1.5 degrees.

Low carbon businesses have an opportunity to achieve something incredibly special: carbon negativity. This means drawing down more carbon from the atmosphere than your business emits.

Rather than asking "how do we achieve net zero emissions?" the role of low carbon businesses is to aim for sub zero emissions. The question then becomes "what is the most we can do to reduce carbon in the atmosphere?"

Unless enough companies take this position, we are unlikely to reach global carbon reductions in the timeframe needed to limit global warming to 1.5 or even 2 degrees. The impact of missing this target would be catastrophic.

Science-based targets and the pathway to net zero

Following the IPCC report that informed the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, over 100 countries have committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions targets by 2050. 

Businesses across the globe are aligning to science-based targets of carbon reductions that aim to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Failure to achieve this target will have a catastrophic impact on our lives.

The emissions graph shown here presents the radical transformation needed in less than 30 years to follow the path to global net zero in 2050.

(data source: ourworldindata.org)

Business carbon reduction is harder for some than others

Many businesses have huge carbon footprints that will take years of investment and innovation to achieve net zero. Companies in the oil & gas sector, heavy industry, construction, aviation and agriculture have the largest carbon emissions, and reaching net zero will not be easy or cheap. The time required will likely be measured in decades rather than years.

Companies in the service sector and therefore do not manufacture or distribute a physical product, have a relatively low carbon footprint. In fact, the average office-based SME emits less than 1,000 tons of carbon each year, contributing a very small percentage of total green house gas emissions.

Net zero for many of these businesses is not a challenging or costly target.

Low Carbon Leaders

Low Carbon Leaders are businesses that are going way beyond net zero and investing in natural climate solutions to drawdown carbon equivalent to hundreds  of times their company's carbon footprint. This is a pivotal role to play in order to mitigate the risk of high carbon sectors missing net zero in the timeframe laid out by climate scientists.

Join the movement and be part of elite climate action that will leave a legacy we can be proud to share with future generations.


Read more about the role of low carbon businesses in the global net zero challenge and how to get started

What is the role of Low Carbon Leaders in the race to net zero?

Our collective action is key to achieving global emissions reduction targets... Be part of the change

Read our 3-step guide to taking climate action

If you are just starting out on business climate action then read our 5min guide which includes useful links to resources to help get you up and running

Join the Million-Air Business Club

Could your business plant a million trees? A growing number of businesses are achieving this milestone. Join the Million Tree Pledge


Here are some of the businesses working together in our network...

"Low Carbon Leaders is an inspiring business community of climate elites!

It's great to be able to share ideas, inspire each other and build a legacy together that will make our kids proud.

When my daughter asks "what did you do when the climate was broken?" I can honestly say I was part of a group of companies that did everything we could. 

While we rebuild the climate we're building the businesses of the future"

Sam Zindel

MD Propellernet, Brighton, UK

Sam Zindel, Propellernet


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