Environmental services firms urged to make 'Pledge to Net Zero'

3rd June 2020

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Michael T Mentis

The founders of the 'Pledge to Net Zero' initiative have urged environmental services firms to sign up to the scheme on World Environment Day this Friday, which is the next opportunity to join.

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

A total of 47 firms in the environmental services sector have signed up since its launch six months ago, covering over 20,000 employees.

IEMA, one of the initiative's founders, said that the importance of climate change in government policy and cutting organisations' own greenhouse gas emissions must not be lost amid COVID-19 turmoil.

“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,“ said IEMA chief policy advisor Martin Baxter.

“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.“

The initiative is also led by the Society for the Environment (SocEnv), Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), and Environmental Industries Commission (EIC), together with leading environmental consultancies, WSP and AECOM.

It seeks to make the environmental sector a leader for taking action on climate change, by not only asking businesses to embed net zero in their work, but by also implementing net zero plans as organisations.

All signatories have committed to the below three pledges:

1) Set and 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.

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

“It's encouraging to see colleagues and peers in our sector getting behind the Pledge to Net Zero over the last six months,“ said Robert Spencer, director of sustainable development at AECOM.

“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.“

Organisations can make the Pledge to Net Zero here.

Image credit: Shutterstock


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