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Responding to the spread of coronavirus - Message from our Managing Director

Why wait to pursue net zero? Build a sustainable business model now

Download our report to learn how sustainable business leaders are balancing the demands of planet and profit, and what less well-prepared organisations, or followers, can do to catch up.

Science tells us we need net zero emissions in order to limit temperature rises to 1.5C. The science is clear, and the policy landscape has changed to reflect that. Some organisations are falling over themselves to announce and accelerate net zero targets. They are not waiting for the perfect time to act — they know that the sooner they start, the greater the benefits. Others risk being left behind.

Key findings


of businesses worry that cutting carbon emissions will reduce their profitability


of followers have a decarbonisation strategy based on scientific data


of followers don't know what energy technologies to invest in

Building a sustainable business

We've researched 1,000 executives in 7 countries and across 9 industry sectors, and benchmarked their sustainability efforts in 5 key areas to identify what it takes to become a sustainable business leader. Our report explores the steps sustainable business leaders are taking now to make their organisation more resilient, competitive and sustainable in the long-term, even if it incurs short-term cost. Your path to net zero starts here.

Click through the 5 areas on the wheel below to find out how - and why - they're taking action.

  • Focus

    “Those that do not embed sustainability throughout their company, will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage 10 years down the road — if they are able to do business at all.” - Bill Sisson, Executive Director for North America at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

    Decarbonisation efforts are under scrutiny, and uncertainty is widespread. Senior executives might fear the unknown, but failing to act now could cause long-term damage. Find out more.

  • Policy

    “Who has got the time to wait until 2050? When I see some companies' goals, they are very long-term and I think they can quite easily be pulled forward, especially if they enter good partnerships” - Uday Senapati, Executive Director, Corporate Strategy and Product Management, at Lotus.

    It’s inevitable that regulations and policies will change. If you're not one step ahead, your organisation’s performance could be seriously harmed. Find out more.

  • Organisation

    "The marketplace is changing. And lots of businesses are struggling, because there is not one simply narrative that makes it really obvious how to go from here to net zero" - Mike Barry, Sustainability Consultant.

    Some organisations are waiting for the ‘right time’ to decarbonise. But the right time is now. Strong, consistent leadership will make sure every decision is looked through a prism of sustainability. It needs to permeate everything you do. Find out more. 

  • Technology

    “There is no one technology that is going to solve the problem. Net zero requires an enormously complex and diverse set of technologies. But it is not a choice between technologies — we need everything and more if we are going to be successful.” - David Holmes, Chief Technology Officer for Energy at Dell.

    There’s no silver bullet. It might be tempting to keep waiting for the next big thing, or for current technology to improve or become less expensive, but this just exposes you to future risk. Find out more. 

  • Finance

    “There is opportunity in developing products and having brands and working in a certain way that is part of the solution to the global challenge of climate change.” - David Croft, Sustainability, Environment and Human Rights Director at Reckitt.

    Pursuing profit at the expense of everything else will end up costing your business and the planet more in the long run. Holding your nerve in the face of short-term pressures and harness green finance opportunities to invest for the long-term. Read report in full... 

What other senior executives say

We've interviewed a range of leaders about what they think it takes to build a sustainable business - including senior executives, who have their own experiences of driving a corporate sustainability agenda; to leaders who are helping other organisations navigate the energy transition.

Read our case study booklet and find out how we are helping businesses to become more sustainable

Previous sustainable business research

We're in our third year of researching organisations about energy and sustainability, to understand what a sustainable business looks like and what less-well-prepared organisations can do to catch up. Take a look at the methodology behind our latest report. Alternatively, you can download our previous research reports below.

Hear what sustainable business leaders are doing to balance the demands of profit and planet, and the steps you can take now

Why wait to pursue net zero?
Download our report to hear from sustainable business leaders about how they’re balancing the demands of profit and planet.