Net zero commitments from companies demonstrate that climate action is on their agenda and that action is underway at that organisation. But, perhaps more importantly, they also normalise the corporate sector contributing to Australia reaching net zero emissions. As corporate net zero commitments increase in scale, the norms of the sector do too – positively influencing other companies, boards, and consumers in their expectations of climate action from the sector.

The corporate sector represents the majority of Australia’s emissions. ClimateWorks, through the Net Zero Momentum Tracker project, has monitored, assessed and tracked the progress of 215 organisations – 158 from the corporate sector – toward net zero emissions since October 2019. These companies represent the property, transport, retail, banking, superannuation, resources and energy generation/ retail sectors. They are accountable for two thirds of Australia’s national emissions and represent two thirds of market capitalisation in the ASX200. This report was informed by an updated analysis of 30 of the 158 companies previously assessed.

Key findings:

  • In their net zero commitments, companies are consistently underestimating how significant the change needs to be within their organisation from 2025 onwards if they are to be in line with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees.
  • Net zero commitments are overwhelmingly focused on reducing emissions a company creates with everyday operations, but this is not always the main source of emissions – value chain, customer and financed emissions are often more significant.
  • Many net zero commitments are not backed by sufficient action for reducing emissions.
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