HSBC/ Carbon Intelligence Guide to Net Zero – An introduction for business

Achieving net zero is being recognised as a primary goal of climate change mitigation at the global level. In 2019, the UK became the first major economy to legislate and commit to achieving ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050. This ambitious target will inform the future direction of government policy over the coming decades and has major implication for businesses.

New regulations, laws and policies means that businesses are adapting to avoid early retirement of assets and regulatory fines and are reducing emissions, as well as identifying whether to purchase carbon credits to offset emissions. In addition, with a shift in supply and demand for sustainable products and services underway, responding to the trends early could give business a competitive advantage as consumers look to support businesses which are having a positive impact on climate change. Across industries, we are seeing a step change in sustainable innovation such as battery storage, carbon capture and advanced materials. Establishing a net zero strategy ensures that businesses are meeting stakeholder expectations, both internal and external, and mitigates against the risk of future carbon prices.

HSBC in collaboration with Carbon Intelligence has developed this guide to support businesses on their journey to Net Zero. The guide lays the foundations for an ambitious carbon reduction strategy to provide a credible sustainability position with customers, employees and investors. Setting out a net zero pathway now will provide a clear picture of the necessary investment required, and focusing on the emission reduction pathway as a priority also reduces the cost associated with offsetting. If businesses fail to act now, they could miss out on the significant opportunities to capitalise on the transition to a low-carbon economy, and risk getting left behind.

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