Environment sector organisations have joined forces to announce a “Pledge to Net Zero” to support national efforts to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The initiative is led by the Society for the Environment, along with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and Environmental Industries Commission, as well as engineering and infrastructure groups WSP, AECOM and ACE

This is the first industry commitment in the UK requiring science-based targets from its signatories to tackle carbon emissions within their organisations. In September, IEMA declared a climate and environmental emergency, which it said was “rooted in the reality of the international science and the urgency for action outlined in the IPCC’s report…”

Launching IEMA’s commitment, Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor, said: “The transition to net zero carbon emissions is the defining challenge of our time. We are fully supportive of the environmental services sector pledging credible emissions reductions which align with the urgency of addressing the climate and environmental emergency.”

As part of the net zero pledge, signatories agree to set and commit to delivering a greenhouse gas target in line with either a 1.5°C or well below 2°C climate change scenario and to publicly report progress on achieving the target each year. Emissions relating to buildings and travel is a minimum requirement.

Signatories are also required to publish at least one piece of research or thought-leadership piece each year on practical steps to deliver a net zero greenhouse gas economy, or provide mentoring and support for smaller companies that sign up to the scheme.

Dr Emma Wilcox, Chief Executive at the Society for the Environment said: “It is so important that the environmental services sector, which stands for professionalism and competence, takes a united leadership role in achieving Net Zero by 2050. We hope it will encourage organisations around the world to be part of the solution to the Climate and Environmental Emergency.”

Businesses and other organisations wanting to sign up to the pledge can find out more here.

Last reviewed 22 November 2019