Skip to main content Skip to footer


Destination net zero


November 16, 2023

In brief

  • Companies continue to adopt net zero targets. 37% of the world’s largest companies now have public targets, up 3 percentage points from last year.
  • More companies are also cutting emissions – yet only 18% are doing so fast enough to reach net zero by 2050.
  • We have identified decarbonization actions that work—and companies must adopt more of them to get on track.

Moving from commitment to action

To limit global warming to 1.5°C global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must peak by 2025, decline 43% by 2030, and reach net zero by 2050. Organizations must dramatically accelerate their transitions, progressing from setting targets to delivering outcomes. To gauge progress, for three years Accenture has looked at the 2,000 largest public and private companies by revenue globally (the G2000). We have examined their net zero commitments and disclosed GHG emissions reductions over the past decade. In 2023, the share of companies with targets continues to grow—37% are now committed to net zero. Yet, among those disclosing emissions data, half continue to increase their emissions, one-third are cutting emissions but too slowly, and only 18% are on track to reach net zero in operations by 2050.


of companies are committed to achieving net zero emissions


of companies are cutting emissions but not fast enough


of companies are on track to reach net zero in operations by 2050

Uncovering net zero trends across industries and geographies

Pulling multiple levers

This year, we looked more closely at how companies are reducing emissions. We identified 20 levers required for full value-chain decarbonization. These range from renewable energy use to carbon removal to business model change. The more well-established and proven methods of decarbonization were the most widely adopted. The least used levers are in many cases the most difficult to implement, rather than the least important, and will be key to eventual success. Using more levers is also pivotal to success. Companies that adopt fewer than 10 levers typically still grow emissions. But those that adopt 10 or more are much more likely to be decarbonizing.

1. Switching to renewable energy

2. Improving energy efficiency

3. Decarbonizing fleets

4. Making IT infrastructure greener

5. Decarbonizing buildings

6. Using digital technology (AI or automation) to reduce emissions

7. Embracing circular-economy principles

8. Facilitating sustainable disposal for customers

9. Reducing waste

10. Improving the environmental commitments and performance of suppliers

11. Actively sourcing sustainable materials

12. Adopting internal carbon pricing

13. Incentivizing employees by linking financial rewards to sustainability goals

14. Creating travel policies that aim to avoid or reduce greenhouse gas emissions

15. Promoting sustainable behavior choices for consumers

16. Promoting sustainable behavior choices for employees

17. Using offsets as part of a net zero strategy

18. Removing carbon from the air with either nature-based or technological solutions

19. Changing or transforming business model to achieve decarbonization

20. Developing new products or services to generate positive environmental impact

Actions companies can take today

Every company is at a different place along its journey to net zero. But whether they are right at the start, making good progress or well along the way, the roadmap is similar:

  • Set targets – Almost two-thirds (63%) of companies still do not have full net zero targets. They need to set targets urgently.
  • Master the basics – Goals are one thing; action is another. To make progress, companies need to adopt common decarbonization levers.
  • Pull the more complex levers – After the basics comes the more complex work. Some levers are still niche, but key to future success.

How Accenture can help

Accenture helps clients develop their ‘carbon intelligence’, to control, improve and create value by embedding carbon data into decision-making across the core business. Accenture helps companies become carbon intelligent by focusing on:

  • Information – to diagnose, assess and set the decarbonization strategy, and then monitor and measure carbon performance.
  • Insight – to record and report emissions with high frequency and granularity, as well as to set and translate targets and decarbonization programs into actionable metrics.
  • Impact – to leverage these enhanced decision-making capabilities to identify, prioritize and deploy the levers to reduce, replace, optimize, and offset emissions; to predict and rebalance the portfolio; and to trade and monetize new products and services.

Accenture is embedding sustainability into everything we do and is committed to helping our clients through the net zero transition. In the second half of 2023, we are publishing four reports that help to show the way.

  • Destination Net Zero focuses on steps individual businesses can take to accelerate their progress toward net zero. (November)
  • The 2023 Edition of the Net Zero Industry Tracker, published by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Accenture, provides a comprehensive analysis of the progress hard-to-abate industrial sectors are making in their efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. (November)
  • Powered for Change looks at the ecosystem changes that need to happen to create the right macroeconomic and policy environment for industrial sectors to reach net zero. (November)
  • The Private Sector SDG Stocktake, created through our partnership with the United Nations Global Compact, looks at the broader context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the practical steps business can take to help accomplish them. (September)


Stephanie Jamison

Global Resources Industry Practice Chair and Global Sustainability Services Lead

Jean-Marc Ollagnier


Mauricio Bermudez Neubauer

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Carbon Strategy & Intelligence Lead