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Most Frequently

Asked Questions...

  • What is the Pledge to Net Zero?
    The Pledge to Net Zero is an industry-led initiative focused on reducing the GHG emissions in the environmental sector and seeks to establish the sector as a leader in climate change.
  • What does ‘Net Zero’ mean?
    To be net zero is to quantify emissions and set a plan for reducing emissions in a meaningful manner which is in line with the Paris agreement and includes investing in carbon removal projects to generate offsets. This is slightly different to the commonly used term of carbon neutrality which is more focused on purchasing carbon offsets versus authentically reducing emissions.
  • What are the commitments of the Pledge?
    Please visit our Pledge page for details.
  • Can any organisation become a signatory of the Pledge?
    Yes. While the pledge is primarily aimed at the environmental services sector and UK based organisations, it isn’t exclusive to this sector or the UK. However, if you are not in the consultancy or service sector then you should align your target with the commitments on SBTi’s website.
  • Is there a fee to become a signatory?
    No, there is no fee involved
  • When did the Pledge to Net Zero start?
    The Pledge officially launched in November 2019.
  • If I have a question, who should I contact?
    Please email for any general enquiries.
  • As a signatory to Pledge to Net Zero, can I join the UNFCCC's Race To Zero campaign?
    Yes - though please note that to do so you must meet some additional requirements, as set out on our Pledge page. If you are a signatory to the Pledge to Net Zero and feel you meet these requirements, please contact us so we can verify this and confirm whether you are eligible to join the Race to Zero.
  • How do I set a target for our organisation?
    For information on how to set your target, we recommend watching our “Guide to Setting a Science based Target” webinar and using the “Science-based Target Setting Tool (version 1.2)” guidance, both available from our 'Guidance' webpage. Further guidance can be found via
  • Does our target have to be officially validated by the Science-based Targets Initiative?
    No, your target does not need to be officially validated by the Science-based Targets Initiative. It is up to your organisation if you wish to undertake the certification process.
  • What is a baseline year and how do you decide which year to use?
    The baseline year for the target should be the most recent year for which a full set of data is available and should be consistent across all targets set by the same company (e.g. calendar or financial year). If you are wondering about the impact of covid, Science Based Targets Initiative has some guidance on this, allowing some flexibility on base years for Covid: For companies that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, the SBTi recommends selecting a base year such as 2019 instead of 2020 or 2021 when setting targets. Alternatively, companies are welcome to use a multi-year average base year approach, as described in Chapter 5 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard. As some companies have been less impacted by COVID-19 than others, the SBTi will still allow 2020 base years for target setting purposes and will allow companies to make their own determination about the appropriateness of a 2020 base year. The SBTi also assesses ambition of the most recently reported year of emissions during the target validation stage. The SBTi similarly recommends 2019 is used for most recent year emissions when a business has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. The SBTi accepts most recent year inventories for up to two years before target submission, so 2019 most recent year emissions will be acceptable for all target submissions in 2021. In 2022, the SBTi will make an exception for acceptable most recent year inventories, allowing 2019, 2020, 2021, or 2022. FAQs - Science Based Targets
  • What is included in Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?
    Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions that occur from sources that are owned and/or controlled by the signatory (e.g. gas burned on site, vehicle fleet, HFC and CFCs in company real estate). Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from the generation of purchased electricity that is consumed by the company. Scope 3: All other significant indirect GHG emissions that occur as a consequence of the signatory’s activities, but are from sources not owned or controlled by the company (e.g business travel and commuting). For more information please visit the Science-based Targets Initiative guidance.
  • Why does the Pledge only include travel and buildings as a minimum?
    As this Pledge is targeted towards (but not limited to) the environmental services sector, we have included travel and buildings as a minimum as that is where the majority of our emissions occur.
  • Are there any tools you recommend using when measuring emissions?
    Yes, please visit our Guidance page for a full list of tools you can use to help you.
  • Is it compulsory to include homeworking emissions in your calculations?
    Emissions from homeworking and commuting are part of Scope 3 calculations. If Scope 3 emissions are >40% of total scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions then there is a requirement to include scope 3 emissions in your targets The Scope 3 target has to cover at least 2/3 of total scope 3 emissions. For service sector organisations homeworking emissions can be quite large (and so are included), but for others it’s a tiny part of their overall emissions when set against purchases for example – so in that circumstance homeworking/commuting emissions are not usually included. As outlined in the SBTi guidance: SBTi-criteria.pdf (
  • How can I fulfil the research/thought-leadership pledge commitment? Are there any examples that I can use as inspiration?
    Firstly, we are quite flexible with format, so for example it doesn’t have to be in written format – if you organise/participate in a webinar, that can work – so long as it’s on the theme of practical steps to delivering an economy in line with climate science and in support of net zero carbon. You can find some examples of signatory thought-leadership at the bottom of our guidance webpage: Guidance | Pledge to Net Zero. You may also find it useful to take a look at the case studies also highlighted on the guidance webpage, as this could provide inspiration for your own piece detailing what you have put in practice to cut your emissions.
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