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Climate Action Roadmap

Climate Action Roadmap

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Business response

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly taking a leadership role in the response to climate change. Over the previous decade as the urgent need for climate action has been increasingly recognised corporate commitments and action have accelerated dramatically. Accurate GHG measurement, reporting and target-setting is fundamental to this. Alongside new regulatory requirements around reporting, companies are taking additional voluntary steps in adopting standards and protocols for the measurement of corporate greenhouse gas emissions, with the most prominent being the Greenhouse Gas Protocol

The number and rate of companies committing to comprehensive emissions reductions targets has increased significantly, with recent action focused on setting ‘science based’ targets in line with the latest scientific consensus on meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. One key enabler behind this coordinated movement and adoption by companies has been the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), which defines a common basis for corporations to set emissions reductions targets. At the time of writing almost 1000 companies are listed by SBTi as taking science-based climate action. 

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol and SBTi are just two examples of key cross-sector initiatives for tracking and reducing emissions. Other initiatives of note include: CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Sustainability Accounting Standards Boards (SASB) and Carbon Trust Carbon Neutral Certification scheme. 

Beyond measurement, a wide variety of collaborative, sectoral initiatives for decarbonisation provide ambitions for companies to follow, and aid in highlighting key action areas and examples of best practice. Examples include:


  • National Farmers Union (NFU) - Key agricultural sector commitment for England and Wales with a goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
  • Food and Drink Federation (FDF) – As part of the Five-Fold Environmental Ambition the FDF has commitment to deliver absolute reductions in CO2 emissions from energy use in their UK manufacturing operations.
  • WRAP Courtauld Commitment 2025 - A series of voluntary agreements that have improved resource efficiency and reduced the carbon and wider environmental impact of the UK grocery sector.
  • WRAP Sustainable Clothing Action Plan / Textiles 2030 - UK industry-led action plan to deliver positive environmental and economic outcomes to organisations, by reducing carbon, water, and waste through the SCAP 2020 Commitment.


  • Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) - The CGF is a CEO-led organisation that brings consumer goods retailers and manufacturers together globally. Their work focuses on some of the most important opportunities and risks facing the consumer goods industry.
  • UNFCCC Fashion Charter - A fashion industry programme coordinated by the UN, that is working to identify ways in which the broader textile, clothing and fashion industry can move towards an holistic commitment to climate action.
  • Greenhouse Gas Protocol Land and Removals Guidance – Standards and guidance on how companies and organisations should account for greenhouse gas emissions and carbon removals from land use and land use change.

A Net Zero NHS

The health and care system in England is responsible for an estimated 4-5% of the country’s carbon footprint so as a public entity has a major role to play in supporting the drive to net zero. The NHS has therefore committed to reaching net zero as soon as possible. They have identified direct intervention areas to decarbonise the NHS. In much the same way as this roadmap highlights key areas for retailer intervention, the pathway for the NHS has identified target areas including: buildings, transport, supply chain and products.

There are two distinct net zero targets for the NHS:

  • By 2040 for the NHS Carbon Footprint, covering scopes 1,2 and 3 (with an interim target of 80% reduction against 1990 baseline by 2028-2032)
  • By 2045 for the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus, covering all scopes plus emissions from patient and visitor travel to and from NHS services, and medicines used within the home (with an interim target of 80% reduction against 1990 baseline by 2036-2039[5]

[5] Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service (2020) - NHS