Businesses from every industry and corner of the world are trying to recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19. As we look to the future, we must build back better and emerge stronger than before.
We can build a zero-carbon economy that is just and inclusive, creates good jobs, ensures clean air, and increases resilience to future systemic shocks like climate change. But to accomplish those goals and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to collectively halve emissions by 2030 and get to net-zero emissions as soon as possible.
Reimagining the future requires unprecedented levels of innovation, collaboration and technology – and the companies that take part in the transition to a zero carbon world can reap the benefits of a healthier bottom line, increase resilience to climate risk, and future-proof their business.
We’re inviting companies of all sizes to join us in the #RacetoZero today.
Join the Race to Zero + become a climate champion
The Race to Zero is a global campaign mobilizing leadership from businesses, cities, regions and investors ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021, when national governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. The campaign builds support for reaching net-zero emissions as soon as possible.
For business, climate leadership means having a plan to reduce emissions to net-zero in line with the latest science and setting and achieving strong interim targets along the way.
Here’s how you can get started and join the Race to Zero:
- Sign the Business Ambition for 1.5°C commitment: This includes setting a target with the Science Based Targets initiative, and committing to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. This is the global benchmark for how companies can help limit the worst impacts of climate change and get on track for reaching net-zero emissions.
- Commit to reaching net-zero emissions faster by joining The Climate Pledge: Signatories pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2040 at the latest, commit to interim targets, and connect with business leaders who will seek out and invest in technological and innovative solutions together.
- Sign the SME Climate Commitment: The SME Climate Hub is a one-stop-shop climate action platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with less than 500 employees to curb carbon emissions, build business resilience and gain competitive advantage. Sign the commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and access best-in-class resources.
On 10.10.2020 at our virtual global gathering, and at the Countdown Summit in October 2021, the global Countdown community will celebrate the companies leading the Race to Zero. These celebrations will be a moment of pride and confidence for employees, customers and investors — an opportunity to applaud the climate champions in business that are building a better future.
Here are some tools to help companies.
How does your company stack up?
If it’s already committed, great – jump to Step Two.
Don’t see your company’s name? Read on.
Getting your company started
Your leadership on climate action starts here. Get started by signing the Business Ambition for 1.5°C commitment , committing to reach net-zero emissions faster by joining the Climate Pledge, or if your company has less than 500 employees,signing the SME Climate Commitment.
Find colleagues who also care about this issue and make your voices heard to help your company make faster, better progress. Employee leadership can improve company policies on climate change.
Review and share case studies to learn how companies around the world are transforming their businesses to align with a net-zero emissions future.
Speak with your company leadership to learn about what your company’s current climate plans are, how to increase ambition, and how you can engage in this process.
- How is our company playing its part and reducing emissions in line with what scientists say is necessary? Have you considered setting a science-based target aligned with 1.5°C? Other companies in our sector like X have done so. Can we match them to show we’re competitive?
- Corporate climate action unlocks many business benefits and can engage our employees, suppliers and customers. What are your thoughts on how our actions could positively impact our company? What is holding us back from seizing these opportunities?
- What are we doing to mitigate climate risks — for example, supply chain disruption due to extreme weather — to ensure our business continues to remain competitive? Are you communicating climate risks that threaten the company’s future to board members, investors, shareholders and customers?
- How is our company improving the way it impacts the natural environment to ensure that it is both maximizing carbon sequestration and restoring balance to nature? Are we adhering to the Four Principles for Nature-Based Solutions, supported by scientists and experts?
- Is our leadership team being held accountable and incentivized to meet corporate climate goals? If not, could you ask our human resources department to explore this idea? Companies are increasingly implementing these types of incentives for corporate leaders.
- How is our company’s electricity sourced? What are we doing to reduce energy consumption and switch to clean energy sources? See RE100.
- Transportation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Can we electrify our company’s fleet and improve incentives for employees to switch to EVs, use public transit, or work from home? See EV100.
- Can our company join others that are calling on national governments to build back better and ensure that COVID-19 recovery efforts are aligned with the latest climate science? See these policy recommendations.
Use your voice
If your company has already committed to bold climate action, that’s great. Now it’s time to start delivering on that action (see resources), using your voice, and advocating for wider, systemic change in the world. Here are some ways you can do this:
Share your company’s climate story
Utilize your corporate channels, the media, annual reports, public appearances and networking events to share your company’s story and inspire others to step up. And share your company’s story of climate action through Countdown.
Advocate for stronger climate policy
Advocate for 1.5°C-aligned government policies and targets such as these, or see these policy recommendations for advocating to build back better in response to the devastation caused by COVID-19. When policymakers see businesses stepping up in support of strong climate policy, governments feel confident going further and faster toward a net-zero emissions future, creating an ambition loop.
Clean up your lobbying
Audit your company’s trade association memberships and carefully assess each group’s position on climate policy. If their positioning is at odds with your corporate climate commitments, work within the group to change its positioning. Then, if there is no sign of change, consider leaving the association. Find guidance and best practices here.
Bring your corporate peers along
You can be a powerful voice in influencing corporate peers, suppliers and industry groups. Once your company has committed to Business Ambition for 1.5°C, ask your peers and suppliers to do the same. If you have suppliers with less than 500 employees, invite them to sign theSME Climate Commitment.
Engage your customers and employees
Your customer and employee bases can serve as effective climate ambassadors and agents of change in your company. Keep them informed of your journey and offer them ways to engage through corporate communications channels, in-store activations, social media, and more.
Tackle challenges together
Each company’s decarbonization roadmap may be unique, but they often share common challenges in the areas such as energy usage, transportation and logistics, packaging and waste, and support for R&D. Cooperation has never been more important. No company has all the answers right now, yet many have important lessons to share on the pathways to net-zero that can benefit and influence other companies.
Activate through countdown
In addition to sharing your company’s story of climate action with us, there are multiple ways for companies to get involved in Countdown:
Host a TEDx Countdown event in your company
Partner with us to host TEDx Countdown events for employees and stakeholders on or after 10.10.2020 — to showcase your company’s climate leadership. A custom Countdown event will allow you to share your company’s own story of innovation and climate action along with TED Talks and highlights from the Countdown virtual global gathering. We will equip your team with a how-to guide and virtual training to tell the stories that are important to your company. Business TEDx Countdown events are internal only. Learn more and apply to host an event.
Join or support a TEDx Countdown event in your local community
Hundreds of local Countdown events will take place around the world on or after 10.10.2020. These are incredible opportunities to support the important work happening in your community and to share your story of climate action. Interested to find out if an event is being planned near you? Sign up and you’ll be the first to know so you can get in touch with the organizers.
Attend the 2021 Countdown Summit
The Summit in Edinburgh will feature TED Talks from the world’s leaders and innovators on the boldest, most scalable solutions to climate change; a wide range of workshops; platforms to build partnerships and share stories; and announcements of new commitments and achievements. The Summit is by invitation only. Should your company leadership be present? Learn more.
Environmental impact: You can’t manage what you aren’t measuring
Don’t know your company’s current greenhouse gas emissions? These resources can help you:
Learn how to measure, calculate and communicate your carbon footprint with the Carbon footprinting guide from The Carbon Trust.
Learn more about disclosing your emissions through CDP — and hear from business leaders on the benefits of disclosure.
Science-based targets: What are they and why do they matter?
Science-based targets show companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their emissions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Companies’ targets are independently assessed and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
The benefits of setting a science-based target: Science-based targets provide companies with a clear pathway to future-proof growth by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
A step-by-step guide on setting science-based targets: Follow this four-step process to join some of the world’s biggest companies by aligning your company’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions with climate science.
Small and medium companies with fewer than 500 people can set a science-based target using this new, streamlined pathway
Go further and faster: What can I do to further accelerate change in my company?
Following are resources, networks and corporate commitments that can accelerate your company’s journey to net-zero emissions. Step up, commit and get involved today.
Race to Zero: Getting to net-zero emissions as soon as possible
Be counted in the Race to Zero
Sign the Business Ambition for 1.5°C commitment and set a science-based target aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5°C
Join The Climate Pledge and commit to net-zero emissions by 2040
If your company has less than 500 employees, sign the SME Climate Commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050
Achieve your science-based target and/or net-zero commitment through SOS 1.5
Apply climate action strategies from the Climate Emergency Playbook
Nature: Re-greening the earth
Engage with the Science Based Targets Network to help your company consider all of its environmental impacts and learn how taking action on nature helps achieve climate goals
Join the Business for Nature coalition
Bring Natural Climate Solutions into your business
Use the Four Principles for Nature-Based Solutions to guide your investments to cut emissions and restore nature
STORIES OF CORPORATE CLIMATE ACTION
This climate action hub aggregates stories of change from the businesses and governments that are taking action to create zero-carbon economies of the future.
The CEOs of Rolls-Royce, IKEA, Nestlé, Signify and others share why the zero-carbon transition should be at the heart of economic recovery efforts and how climate action is helping their companies thrive.
Germany’s BMW Group is the latest global car maker to commit to setting a science-based target to reduce emissions,joining the likes of Mercedes-Benz AG, PSA Group, Groupe Renault, Toyota Motor Corporation and Nissan Motor.
Over 300 businesses met virtually with members of the U.S. Congress to call for economic recovery that addresses climate change so we can build back better.
155 companies with a combined market cap of over $2.4 trillion and with headquarters in 33 countries are urging governments around the world to align COVID-19 recovery efforts with the latest climate science.
In partnership with Global Optimism, Amazon committed to meeting goals of the Paris Climate Agreement 10 years ahead of schedule and be carbon neutral by 2040.