How to become a net zero business

Set net zero targets for your business


Your business is ready to make credible commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when you’ve established a baseline – see how to calculate the carbon footprint of your business.

Make your net zero commitment

Making a public net zero commitment can help businesses stick to their plan and work to meet their targets. A commitment lets everyone involved in your business and value chain, and potential new customers and partners, know that you are serious about net zero and can demonstrate progress.

Your broad commitment should include the near-term target of halving emissions before 2030 and the long-term target of achieving net zero emissions before 2050.

The SME Climate Hub is a global initiative that aims to mainstream business climate action and build resilience. They have developed a standardised text as an example of how to commit to becoming a net zero business:

The SME Climate Commitment

Recognising that climate change poses a threat to the economy, nature and society-at-large, our company commits to take action immediately in order to:

  • Halve our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030
  • Achieve net zero emissions before 2050
  • Disclose our progress on a yearly basis

In doing so, we are proud to be recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, and join governments, businesses, cities, regions, and universities around the world that share the same mission. 

Learn more about the SME Climate Commitment (PDF, 249K).

You should then publish and communicate your commitment to staff, customers and suppliers, along with further details on how you will monitor progress and transparently report this on an annual basis.

Start to take action towards net zero

Once your business has made its net zero commitment, you should begin to take actions in the following months.

For example, you could start by developing a detailed action plan setting out how you intend to achieve your reduction targets.

Your net zero action plan should include detailed information on:

  • existing Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions – see carbon literacy for your business
  • where reductions will be made
  • overall timescales and interim checkpoints for reductions
  • business growth projections and how you'll target any additional emissions that arise

The Cabinet Office has developed a Carbon Reduction Plan template for demonstrating net zero commitment when bidding for major government contracts – it can act as an example template for businesses wanting to develop their own net zero action plan (ODT, 73K).

You should then begin to take concrete actions to reduce your emissions in line with your action plan - find out more about how to cut your carbon emissions.