Net-Zero or zero emission climate neutrality commitments have become a paradigm of ambitious action on climate change for citizens, businesses, governments and other organisations. However, there is no international standard or criteria for evaluating whether such commitments are feasible, or actually represent a landmark in low-carbon performance.

For this reason, the international consultancy Global Factor has developed the study “A Multicriteria Methodology to Evaluate Climate Neutrality Claims-A Case Study with Spanish Firms” in which it proposes a methodology to quantify and evaluate these claims, which has been published in the academic journal MDPI Sustainability.

This methodology was applied to Spanish companies reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) during 2021, covering a total of 95 companies and 12 sectors.

In this context, it was shown that only 24.2 % of the companies analysed in the study have strong carbon neutrality commitments and objectives towards 2030 or 2050, in line with international and national targets and regulations. Arguably, there is a significant area of opportunity for carbon neutrality among the sectors analysed.

From a sectoral perspective, the study concludes that companies in the Energy, Other services and Finance sectors stand out with the highest scores with 60.18, 49.64 and 46.89, respectively. On the other hand, the Food, Beverages and Tobacco, Industry and Leisure/Entertainment sectors score the lowest with 20.97, 20 and 2.77, respectively, as can be seen in the table below.

Source: Larrea I. Et al (2022). A Multicriteria Methodology to Evaluate Climate Neutrality Claims—A Case Study with Spanish Firms.

What is the Net-Zero methodology?

The methodology consists of a rating or scoring (0-100, with 100 being the maximum score) of companies based on a series of criteria and sub-criteria comprising: Strategy and Commitment; Calculation and Scope; Action Plan towards Net-Zero; Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Offsetting; and Communication. These study criteria and their consideration emerged from a survey of climate professionals, which was open for responses from June to November 2021.

From a technical point of view, Strategy and Commitment, Calculation and Scoping, and Communication are the areas where companies obtained the highest average scores. In contrast, Emission Offsets and Net-Zero Action Plans are the areas with the most room for improvement.

However, it can be interpreted that companies should continue to work in this direction by stepping up climate action, through the setting of even more ambitious and science-based targets that allow for full compliance with the agreements set by the world’s governments.

Source: Global Factor

Global Factor is an international group with 18 years of experience, specialised in offering global, original, and innovative solutions in the fields of climate change adaptation and mitigation, carbon footprint, sustainability, circular economy, renewable energies, climate neutrality and carbon markets. Global Factor has an interdisciplinary team with a presence in 8 countries and has participated in more than 2,000 projects for more than 700 public and private clients, international organisations and non-profit entities in 51 different countries.