Strategic Focus: The Net Zero Programme Governance Toolkit

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Executive Summary

This report provides the C-Suite, boards of directors and sustainability leaders with the information they need to support their firms as they transition from net zero ambition to action. Very little – to no – research has been conducted to unpack the governance processes required to nurture net zero programmes to fruition. The 2023 Verdantix net zero global corporate survey highlights that in-house digital capabilities are not enough to deliver net zero (see Verdantix Global Corporate Survey 2023: Net Zero Budgets, Priorities and Tech Preferences). The research identifies a lack of climate change expertise at the board level as the biggest obstacle to net zero strategies. This report explores the decision-making processes and the responsibilities of internal stakeholders in the chain of net zero programme delivery. The paper also outlines the sets of activities, and three approaches that firms can deploy, to drive the success of their net zero programme governance. 

Table of contents

Exploring strategic approaches to net zero programme governance
Firms start with a lack of resources for net zero programme governance
Net zero programme governance has two key components
Prioritization levers ensure ongoing organizational commitment to net zero
Operational levers support resources and decisions for net zero
Firms can manage net zero programme governance through one of three models

Table of figures

Figure 1. Size of businesses’ climate-focused budgets
Figure 2. Essential elements of net zero governance: prioritization and operational levers
Figure 3. Net zero strategies are largely led by CSOs
Figure 4. Portfolio alignment processes and stakeholder collaboration against net zero programme components
Figure 5. Collaboration on net zero programme governance 

About the authors

Maya Hilmi


Maya is a Net Zero, Climate Risk Analyst. She is currently specialising in carbon management, ESG regulations, and identifying climate risk solutions. Prior to joining Verdantix, Maya interned at Cardano Advisory where she gained experience in covenant, sustainability, and pensions corporate finance matters. Maya holds a master's degree in Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies with Distinction from King's College London, and an undergraduate degree in International Relations from SOAS, University of London.

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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