Commercial, GHG Emissions, Industrial - October 8, 2021
One-Third of European Companies Have Net Zero Targets, New Report Finds
Almost one-third of the largest listed European companies have set targets to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, however only 5% are on track to meet their targets, a new study found.
Accenture’s new study, “Reaching Net Zero by 2050,” found that setting concrete targets helped these companies in their pursuits of net-zero emissions. Companies with net zero goals reduced their emissions by an average of 10%, while companies without such goals generally had increases in emissions. In the U.K., 37% of listed companies set net-zero target dates, while 27% did in Germany and 18% in France.
The report also found that the average target year for reaching net zero for European companies is 2043. On average, oil and gas companies had further-off targets around 2050, while service industries generally targeted closer to 2035.
Despite these successes, only one in five of the European companies studied are on track to reach their net zero targets if the pace of emissions reduction between 2010 and 2019 continues. Only 9% are on track to meet a deadline of 2050.
Accenture estimates that companies could end up reaching their targets by 2050 if they doubled the pace of reductions by 2030 and tripled it by 2040. The most drastic of accelerations would need to happen in the sectors that account for 42% of emissions, including automotive, construction, manufacturing, oil and gas and transportation and storage to reach net-zero by 2050.
“The European business community is more engaged than ever in the race to zero, with the number of companies publicly setting goals having grown over the last two years,” Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture in Europe, said in a statement. “And as our study shows, the targets work. Net zero should be managed as any strategic business priority: set clear objectives to drive the entire organization to the same direction, and monitor progress to correct the trajectory as appropriate. Making targets public also helps create the required collective momentum, as companies can’t solve it alone.”