– New survey of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) decision makers finds over three quarters of respondents at US companies have a net zero strategy in place as opposed to only half of those in UK companies –
A new survey of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) decision makers in the US and UK, commissioned by carbon credits ratings provider, Sylvera, has found that large US corporations are ahead of large UK corporations when it comes to creating their net zero strategies.
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Over three quarters (78%) of US ESG decision makers surveyed said their company has a net zero transition strategy already in place, whereas only just over half (55%) of UK ESG decision makers said the same.
The survey also discovered that US ESG decision makers are more clued up on Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCMs) – which can be a vital part of net zero strategies to offset emissions that can’t be reduced – than UK ESG decision makers. 50% of those surveyed in the US claim to have expert level knowledge as opposed to only 26% of those surveyed in the UK.
When asked about activity in VCMs, the majority (96%) of US and UK decision makers surveyed said their corporation currently invests in carbon credits.
The biggest driver of this activity is stakeholder pressure. Requirements from investors/boards and CEOs/leadership formed two of the three biggest drivers of investments, with over a third (35% and 33%) of respondents whose companies currently invest in carbon credits saying this is what drove the decision of their company to invest.
The survey also assessed US and UK ESG decision makers’ perceptions of VCMs. Lack of transparency into project quality and performance was identified by those surveyed as the biggest risk associated with investing in VCMs and carbon credits (50%). On the other hand, positive public perception and a competitive edge was identified by ESG decision makers as the biggest benefit of investing in carbon credits (39%).
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Talking about the findings, Sam Gill, co-founder and COO of Sylvera, said:
“With the urgency of the climate crisis upon us, it’s encouraging to see corporations putting, or planning to put, net zero strategies in place. The general perception is that European markets are further ahead, however, the survey data indicates that US counterparts are more advanced in building their strategies than UK corporations. Regardless of where these companies are located, the next 12 months will be pivotal in hitting climate targets, putting words into action and ensuring that net zero transition plans are not just created but also implemented.
“Decarbonization must always be the number one priority for businesses, but we know that this is not 100% possible for a lot of industries in the short to medium term. Balanced with aggressive abatement activities, carbon offsetting can deliver short term positive climate impact. However, it is vital that investments are made into high quality carbon credits. Increasing transparency into project quality will help mitigate risk. Robust data can ensure that investment goes into high quality projects and not into projects with poor additionality or unreported issues in performance. Not only will this subsequently increase confidence in VCMs, but it will also accelerate change so that activity is only for balancing out any corporation’s shortfall on their net zero trajectory.”
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