Just over 40 per cent of UK firms are on track to meet the government’s net zero target of 2050, new research from Microsoft and the University of London has revealed.
The figures suggest that the country’s net zero efforts may be far more difficult to achieve if the majority (59 per cent) of firms are forecast to miss the target.
Though there is strong ambition on sustainability, nearly three quarters of business leaders have so far struggled to relay their goals into measurable action.
“If the UK is to meet its net zero ambitions, public and private sectors need to join forces to define the meaning of real net zero, agree how to measure progress and build markets that can deliver a just, prosperous future for everyone,” Microsoft CEO Clare Barclay said.
“Whilst it is encouraging that so many of the organisations surveyed are taking the threat of climate change seriously, the time has come to move from ambition to action. We must work collectively to accelerate our journey to net zero.”
The companies making the most significant progress on their sustainability and climate commitments are those that embed technology into their strategies, the Microsoft boss added.
The research follow findings from the British Business Bank last week, which found smaller businesses to be responsible for around half of the UK’s business-produced emissions.
Despite climate commitments like net zero pledges becoming more prevalent among businesses as the government embarks on its ‘green revolution’, only around half of smaller firms have decarbonisation or cutting their environmental impact as a near-term priority.
More than a third of businesses (35 per cent) said that this is due to the costs associated with the net zero transition, with larger firms having access to a heftier pot of capital to dip into for the cause.