EDF Launches Net Zero Action Accelerator to Help Companies Supercharge Climate Goals 

​​​​​​Science-backed tool offers customized net zero action plans  

September 18, 2023
Amy Morse, 603-568-5541, amorse@edf.org

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today unveiled the Net Zero Action Accelerator (NZAA), a new climate action hub to help businesses fast track and scale climate progress, reach their sustainability goals and galvanize net zero leadership across supply chains.  

While over 900 of the world’s 2,000 largest companies have set climate goals, the vast majority don’t have concrete plans to turn pledges into progress at the speed and scale that’s needed to stabilize the climate.  

To address this gap, the Net Zero Action Accelerator prioritizes the highest-impact climate solutions for companies, across six industries. The Accelerator includes key science-backed resources from EDF, Deloitte, Business for Social Responsibility, the University of Oxford Net ZeroUN Race to Zero, Transform to Net Zero Coalition, the We Mean Business Coalition, and other leading organizations. The Accelerator resources are tailored for sustainability, finance and procurement staff within companies. 

“We are facing a massive and urgent climate action gap. Companies are increasingly expected to engage in climate action and develop clear plans to accelerate the transition towards a net zero future,” said Elizabeth Sturcken. “But many don’t know how to get there. Enter the Net Zero Action Accelerator.”  

Failure to slow climate change is costly for companies and the economy. According to a Deloitte analysis, inaction on the climate crisis could cost $178 trillion in economic value globally by 2070, while immediate action could supercharge the global economy by $43 trillion over that time. More than half the world’s GDP – $44 trillion – is at immediate risk due to nature loss. But slowing this loss, and making investments with nature positive outcomes, can create new business opportunities to the scale of $10 trillion annually and create an estimated 395 million jobs by 2030.   

The Net Zero Action Accelerator presents the business case for climate action across 25 pathways and 75 action steps. “Meeting the moment means equipping companies with actionable resources to move climate goals forward. Corporate climate action is a major lever to accelerate the clean energy transition,” Sturcken added. 

The Net Zero Action Accelerator includes: 

  • A centralized, free and customizable resource hub that integrates data, frameworks and tools from EDF, Deloitte Consulting, the National Retail Federation, Oxford’s Net Zero Action Platform and the SME Climate Hub, founded by We Mean Business, Race to Zero, and more. 
  • The first-ever capability to create customized net zero and implementation roadmaps for companies, based on a company’s sector and the user’s specific job function in sustainability, procurement, and finance. 
  • Net zero pathways across six key sectors of the economy: transport, retail, agriculture, consumer packaged goods, technology, and professional services.  
  • Analysis of regulatory developments and policy incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act to help companies use public policies to reduce emissions. 
  • The NZAA embeds climate and environmental justice considerations into most of the 75 net zero action step guides and has a net zero pathway dedicated to specific actions that companies can take to embed climate justice into their climate work. 

While companies are significant sources of climate emissions, they are also crucial actors in the energy transition. Just eight global supply chains account for more than 50 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Likewise, companies use almost two-thirds of electricity generated in the United States. The action steps outlined in the NZAA have the potential to transform not only the energy use of companies, but the entire electricity grid.    

“One of the biggest untapped climate solutions available to companies is targeting value chain emissions. On average operational emissions are only eight percent, while value chain emissions are 92 percent,” added Sturcken. “Value chain emissions are a gold mine of potential climate actions for companies.” 

The Net Zero Action Accelerator will launch at the Solutions House in New York at 5:00 PM at a panel presentation featuring: Joel Makower, Chairman of GreenBiz Group; Roberta Barbieri, Vice President of Global Sustainability, Climate and Water at PepsiCo; Peggy Brannigan, Director of Global Environmental Sustainability at LinkedIn; Kathleen McLaughlin, Chief Sustainability Officer of Walmart; Elizabeth Sturcken, Managing Director of Environmental Defense Fund; and Crystal Upperman, Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting.  

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund