Beyond Zero Heroes: Why B Corps are committing to go beyond net zero by 2030

beyond-net-zero

This March marks B Corp Month, which is dedicated to celebrating the pioneering work of our B Corp community and sharing ideas about how we can continue to transform our business practices and strive for the highest possible standards in ethics and sustainability. Throughout the month, we’ll be interviewing the B Corps aiming to reach net zero emissions and beyond by 2030, and sharing their ideas to inspire and motivate the wider business community our Beyond Zero Heroes website.

Being a Certified B Corporation means that we go above and beyond to incorporate people and the planet in everything we do. Along with our fellow B Corps, we meet the highest social and environmental standards, and we strive to be transparent and to hold ourselves accountable across our operations. 

So it’s only natural that many B Corps are also deciding to go above and beyond the UK target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. We know that the impacts of the climate crisis are already being felt by communities around the world, and we have a responsibility to get to net zero and beyond as fast as we possibly can, paving the way for other businesses to follow. In other words, the race is on.

That’s why today, we’re launching the Beyond Net Zero campaign, bringing together inspiring leaders from across the B Corp community who are making the leap to climate positive, and empowering other businesses to follow in their footsteps.

Why 2030?

Scientists have long agreed that in order to meet the target set out in the Paris Agreement of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, greenhouse gas emissions will need to reach net zero as quickly as possible, meaning that the emissions we release through activities such as generating electricity, farming and transport must be equally balanced with the amount removed from the atmosphere. The #RacetoZero campaign, led by High Level Climate Champions Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz, was established in 2020 to recognise that we can’t rely on governments alone to reach this target. With ‘real economy’ actors including businesses and investors contributing to nearly a quarter of global CO2 emissions, the private sector needs to step up its commitments if we are to hit the brakes on the accelerating climate emergency.

According to the 2018 Special Report from the IPCC, 2030 is the earliest that scientists predict global warming will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius if it continues along the current trajectory. By committing to a deadline of 2030 – two decades ahead of the Paris Agreement target – these B Corps are sending a powerful message to all businesses about the urgent need to prioritise climate action and reverse our environmental impact.

And as the name suggests, the Beyond Zero Heroes aren’t stopping at net zero emissions. B Corps are already 11 times more likely to be carbon neutral than other businesses, giving us the leg-up to reach beyond this target by adopting practices to transform ourselves into truly regenerative businesses which give back to society and the planet.

“B Corps are unusually well placed to encourage the wider business community to reach and then surpass net zero targets within the next decade. Then, as growing numbers of B Corps are demonstrating, net zero can’t be the end goal. Businesses must adopt regenerative business practices. With world leaders setting targets to be carbon neutral – and, as in the case of Walmart, to become regenerative – by the middle of the century, it’s time to pull back those deadlines and embrace the spirit of the Regenerative Economy.”

John Elkington, a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development

What are B Corps doing to go beyond net zero?

Every business is different, and our approaches to becoming carbon positive reflect the diverse nature of the B Corp community. With our Beyond Zero Heroes ranging from craft beer brewers Toast Ale to period product champions Dame, each business faces unique challenges on the road to carbon positive, and they’ve generated solutions just as unique in order to ensure a smooth ride to net zero, and beyond.

We’ll be sharing more about the inspiring work of these organisations during our interview series, which you can find over on the Beyond Zero Heroes website. And make sure to sign up to our webinar, chaired by sustainability and corporate responsibility expert John Elkington, to hear more about the journey of our Beyond Zero Heroes so far, and their plans to continue driving towards their target, bringing as many businesses as possible along for the ride.

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