Pledge To Net Zero: a commitment to reducing greenhouse gases

In anticipation of World Environment Day tomorrow, the organisations responsible for Pledge To Net Zero have asked environmental services to remain committed to reducing greenhouse gases.

Pledge to Net Zero is the first industry commitment in the UK that requires science-based targets from its signatories to tackle greenhouse gas emissions within their organisations.

47 firms in the environmental sector have now committed to Pledge to Net Zero, since its launch six months ago, covering over 20,000 employees in the sector. The signatories of Pledge to Net Zero represent multiple sectors, including private sector consultancies, public sector organisations, professional bodies, and non-consultancy companies working in fields such as contracting.

What is required of signatories?

Since its launch, the Pledge to Net Zero seminars have been well received, with over 1,000 people attending ‘A guide to pledging’ and ‘A guide to setting a science-based target’. All signatories have committed to the below three pledges:

  1. Commit to deliver a greenhouse gas target in line with either a 1.5°C or well below 2°C climate change scenario – covering buildings and travel as a minimum.
  2. Publicly report greenhouse gas emissions and progress against this target each year.
  3. Publish one piece of research or thought-leadership piece each year on practical steps to delivering an economy in line with climate science and in support of net zero carbon.

Robert Spencer, Director of Sustainable Development at AECOM, said: “It’s encouraging to see colleagues and peers in our sector getting behind the Pledge to Net Zero over the last six months.  It is so important for our credibility as trusted advisors on decarbonisation that we go through the same challenges and successes as our clients and work out what net zero solutions work for us and how we can learn and share best practice.

“Setting and having our own science-based targets has been a real game changer for the AECOM community and provided a strong platform for us and our clients as we develop initiatives for pulling carbon out of infrastructure and building developments in the run up to COP26 and beyond.”

Want to join the pledge?

The next signatory window for the pledge opens on World Environment Day, Friday, 5 June. Signatories who make the pledge during the upcoming 2020 windows will set their first science-based target before 15 May 2021.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor for IEMA, said: “The UK’s 2050 net-zero target means that all sectors need to make significant contributions to transitioning the economy over the next decade and beyond. I’m delighted that the environmental services sector is demonstrating its leadership through the Pledge to Net Zero commitment and pleased that so many organisations are participating.”

Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive at the Society for the Environment said: “The 40-plus signatories to date are highlighting their commitment and leadership on the vital journey towards the 2050 net zero target set by the UK Government. Some will find it harder than others and many will need support, but that is perfectly OK – the end goal is still achievable. I encourage all current signatories to collaborate and challenge others to make the pledge – a hugely positive difference is inevitable with a collective, science-based effort.”

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