United by the urgency to find a simple solution to the climate emergency that makes good business sense, a small global team of independent professionals has created the zero-carbon 2030 Project with a clear mission – to put the power to drive faster, bolder climate action directly in the hands of every consumer, investor and business the world over.
zero-carbon 2030 is an online platform established to amplify the voices of consumers and investors, and give businesses, financial institutions and investment managers the incentives and tools to take action, to meet agreed interim targets and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
“We were brought together by the same frustrations and climate anxieties that many of us are feeling today. We’re driven by concern for the future our kids and humanity will inherit,” zero-carbon 2030 founder and CEO, Duncan Ritchie said.
“We watched world leaders fail us at the UN’s Conference of Parties in Madrid last December, and looked on in horror as Australia was ravaged by the worst bushfires in living memory. That was the pivotal moment that moved us to action.”
Self-described as ‘pragmatic activists’ Duncan and his team share a vision to move the needle to zero carbon emissions by 2030 and limit the average global temperature rise to a safe 1.5°C.
They’ve developed a practical strategic plan to achieve that. A plan that puts the focus squarely on business and leverages the collective economic power of consumers and investors.
“If we continue to reward bad, unsustainable behaviour, then companies, investment managers and governments will have no incentive to change the way they think and act. So, we need to walk the talk and align our everyday purchases and investment decisions with our values,” Duncan said.
“The more of us who change our spending behaviours, the more businesses will be obliged to change their strategy and commit to net-zero carbon to maintain their sales and access capital.
“It only takes a small percentage of consumers to bring about positive change in a company’s behaviour. Just consider this for a moment: A 14% loss of sales could lead to a 50% fall in net profits . This could significantly dent a company’s profitability and financial position.”
Three pillars form the core of the zero-carbon 2030 Project, giving consumers and investors everything they need to make carbon-informed decisions every day, and a voice for change to move the money where it matters.
A key pillar is the zero-carbon 2030 Commitments – a set of commitments companies are asked to adopt to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across their value chains by 2030. There are also specific commitments aimed at the financial sector, which is an important enabler in transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
“The Commitments go beyond disclosure of historical carbon reporting. They’re forward looking, with a focus on businesses’ plans and targets, and they call for clear carbon labelling on products and services,” Duncan explained. “They’re also the criteria on which the zero-carbon 2030 Project team measures, assesses and applies our Carbon Ratings – the second pillar of the Project.”
Carbon Ratings are published on the zero-carbon 2030 website, putting independent, reliable carbon information into the hands of consumers and investors, so everyone can see how a company is performing against the competition and make informed decisions with everyday purchases and investments.
The Project’s immediate objective is to steer a handful of high-profile companies on the path to sustainability – the brands that have the biggest share of the Australian wallet.
“We’ve started by conducting carbon rating assessments on the big four banks, Macquarie, the major supermarkets, fast food and beverage brands like Coke, Pepsi and McDonald’s. So they’re not all ASX 100 companies,” says Duncan. “Then we’ll be looking at the top car, telecom and consumer electronics companies.”
Campaigns form the third pillar of the zero-carbon 2030 Project – amplifying the voices of consumers and investors and engaging directly with corporate boardrooms to send a clear message to the decision makers.
“We’re calling on companies to change their strategies to prioritise action on climate, because it’s their future too. To survive and thrive, Boards and CEOs need to show they’re the kind of leaders, change-makers and human beings that customers and investors want to support, otherwise they’ll move their money to more progressive competitors,” Duncan said.
The zero-carbon 2030 Project welcomes individuals, businesses, and investment managers the world over to join the movement, and it’s free to sign up for membership at zero-carbon2030.org.
zero-carbon 2030 Limited is the Trustee for the not-for-profit zero-carbon 2030 Trust, an online platform that’s putting the power to drive faster, bolder action on climate change into the hands of the people. Giving consumers, investors and investment managers a voice and the tools to take action. Calling for carbon labelling. Applying carbon ratings to businesses. Moving the money where it matters. Setting a carbon-reduction ripple effect in motion across the global economy.
Based on zero-carbon 2030 analysis of profitability ratios of the S&P 500 in 2019; impacts will vary for different industry sectors.