Global Corporate Survey 2024: Net Zero Budgets, Priorities & Tech Preferences

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Executive Summary

Reflecting an increasingly complex regulatory landscape, and near-term decarbonization targets, firms are shifting climate strategies to meet compliance obligations and accomplish emission reductions. Throughout 2024, climate leaders will implement climate KPIs for adjacent and senior functions to keep climate goals within corporate agendas. As they work to achieve their priorities, businesses will find their climate strategies obstructed by technological immaturities, data issues and the threat of weakened climate policies. Third-party solutions to support climate use cases are now becoming mainstream and budgets for such solutions are increasing, as firms seek to prioritize essential regulatory-compliance-oriented functionality and decarbonization management capabilities.

Table of contents

Global survey reveals corporate decarbonization priorities
Verdantix interviewed 353 corporate climate leaders across six regions and 15 industries
Organizations are under pressure to comply with new regulations and meet ambitious reduction targets
New regulatory requirements will lift climate ambitions in 2024
Integrating climate goals into board-level performance and pay processes keeps climate on corporate agendas
Electrification and renewable energy dominate firms’ three-year decarbonization priorities
Sustainability leaders fear that a loss of focus will sink their near-term decarbonization targets
Buying third-party climate software and services is now mainstream
Software and services have gained traction to support decarbonization strategies
Carbon management software selection is dictated by ease and expertise
Decarbonization-related functionality is in high demand
Meeting regulations, ambition and expectation will require increases in spending over the next two years

Table of figures

Figure 1. Respondents represent five core role types
Figure 2. Respondents are located in six geographical regions
Figure 3. Respondents represent industries with varied business models
Figure 4. Firms’ climate strategies are increasingly compliance-focused
Figure 5. Executive and regulatory pressure are the most important factors influencing climate strategies
Figure 6. Most operations teams are aware of climate goals and have KPIs to support targets
Figure 7. Distractions, data issues and vague KPIs create pervasive obstacles to firms’ climate strategies
Figure 8. Firms are prioritizing executive incentivization and peer collaboration
Figure 9. Process and energy-intensive firms will prioritize electrification and renewable energy
Figure 10. High real estate sectors will target investment in renewable energy and building retrofits
Figure 11. Fleet-reliant industries will invest in alternative fuels and EV charging infrastructure
Figure 12. Financial institutions will focus on target-setting and improving data collection
Figure 13. Almost 10% of firms are not confident in their ability to reach short-term decarbonization targets
Figure 14. While financial and climate teams are broadly aligned, most climate leaders struggle to build business cases and ringfence budgets
Figure 15. Governments weakening their climate policies is the most common risk to decarbonization targets
Figure 16. Firms are using multiple software solutions to meet climate-related use cases
Figure 17. Industry-specific expertise and functionality are must-haves for carbon management software vendors
Figure 18. Most carbon management software solutions are already connected to ESG reporting platforms
Figure 19. Software buyers prioritize net-zero-related capabilities and mandatory reporting functionality
Figure 20. In the next two years, most firms will increase their spending across all climate-related use cases
Figure 21. Vendors with an EHS background will receive the largest proportion of carbon management software spend in 2024

About the authors

Alastair Foyn

Alastair is an Analyst in the Verdantix Net Zero & Climate Risk practice. His current research agenda focuses on carbon management software and decarbonization best practices, particularly those relating to Scope 3 and industrial emissions. Prior to joining Verdantix, Alastair worked at Tyler Grange, where he gained experience in consultancy practices and environmental strategy. Alastair holds a First Class BSc in Biological Sciences from Durham University, as well as an MSc in Sustainable Development, with Distinction, from the University of St Andrews.

Ryan Skinner

Research Director, Net Zero & Climate Risk
Ryan is the Research Director for the Verdantix Net Zero & Climate Risk practice. He guides the research team to develop compelling research at the intersection of net zero strategies, carbon management, climate risk and technology. Prior to joining Verdantix, Ryan was a principal analyst at Forrester Research, where he initiated the research into ESG data and analytics offerings. He also has extensive experience of helping software companies with their messaging, positioning, market and technology strategies. Ryan studied at Duke University, the University of Manchester and the University of Oslo, and speaks Norwegian fluently.

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