Launched in June 2020, the Race to Zero is a challenge led by the United Nations set to cut down on global carbon emissions. It’s one of the most significant efforts to help curb the effects of climate change and prevent further devastation to the planet.
The goal of the Race to Zero, is to urge cities, regions, businesses, investors, and educational and financial institutions to do their part in attaining zero carbon emissions by 2050—essentially, for us all to work together, commercial real estate will play a valuable role in this effort.
Related: How Real Estate Companies Can Work Toward Net Zero
Did you know that in 2019 alone, 59 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere? In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused global CO2 emissions to drop five percent to 34.81 billion metric tons. It was projected that emissions rebounded in 2021 as lockdowns eased.
The Race to Zero’s goal is to fill the gap between world leaders and citizens to achieve the ultimate goal of net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.
A Changing Economy
The clean energy economy employs about three million people in the U.S. alone, and about half of the new jobs today are in the energy sector. As a business owner and investor in commercial real estate, committing to green technology is a smart economical decision.
Did you know that one of the fastest-growing jobs today in the U.S. is wind turbine technician? That’s a good indicator that there may be a significant shift in fulfilling the net-zero emissions mission.
Related: Larry Fink’s Letter and the Continuing Evolution of ESG and CRE in 2022
What Is ESG’s Role in The Race to Zero?
How does ESG tie into this?
The way investors factor in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects to investments, company decisions and overall policies are becoming increasingly important. ESG represents corporate and social responsibility that customers, clients, investors and other stakeholders can use to develop thoughtful planning around involvement with a company. Companies that have effective, definitive ESG strategies likely are taking steps toward a net-zero world—such as the 3,000+ businesses that have committed to the Race to Zero.
For reference, ESG is separated into three categories. The environmental aspect of the criteria refers to a company’s energy and water use, waste reduction and diversion, and carbon emissions reduction. The social side refers to the company’s impact on society, centered around the influence it has on customers, employees and communities. And, lastly, the governmental piece captures the internal operations of a company, specifically around policies, rules and procedures.
How To Join the Race to Zero
There are a set of criteria to begin the process in the Race to Zero campaign. The initiative refers to these as The Four P’s.
These steps take a well-rounded approach to the responsibility of net-zero carbon emissions. Participants must develop, plan, and execute an action plan to achieve both emission reduction by 2030 and emission elimination by 2050. This vow is a public commitment, with reports and updates published across the climate action community.
Who’s Already In?
By the end of 2021, the Race to Zero had pledges from:
● 733 cities
● 31 regions
● 3,067 businesses
● 173 inventors
● 622 higher educational institutions
● 120 countries
Among the list of internationally recognized businesses that have pledged net-zero are Netflix, Mastercard, Etsy, and Deloitte. Some of the most progressive cities in the world like Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, and Liverpool have also joined the cause. Race to Zero has mobilized so many businesses, organizations and groups that their dedicated network now covers nearly 25% for global CO2 emissions.
The Race to Zero is an admirable effort, one of many in the efforts to fight climate change. The Race to Zero has defined the rules and goals of carbon emission expectations for the groups, institutions, investors and other agencies that have committed to the campaign. The movement is now gaining momentum even in unconventional sectors, and it needs all the help it can get in order to successfully mitigate the effects of the climate crisis.
ESG data and transparency is connected to the pursuit of a net-zero world. Awareness and accomplishment of environmental, social and governmental intentions has potential to aid the efforts of decreased/eliminated carbon emissions, provide financial returns and positively contribute to our environment.
Contact us today to learn how Measurabl can help you track and reduce carbon emissions throughout your real estate portfolio.