Race to Zero latest: Japan leads with highest number of companies setting science-based targets in 2022

By Climate Champions | September 12, 2023

Science Based Targets initiative released their 2022 Monitoring Report demonstrating the key progress being made towards net zero. The key findings of the report were:

  • Corporate climate action accelerated in 2022, with an 87% year-on-year increase in companies setting science-based targets
  • Japan had the highest number of companies setting targets in 2022 (201), followed by the UK (181) and the US (109)
  • More companies set targets in 2022 than the entire seven years prior
  • Over a third (34%) of the global economy by market capitalization have science-based targets or have committed to set them

You can share their LinkedIn post here

This month we also have focused on how the Race to Zero can support a nature-positive future. During our monthly Partner meeting, we heard from UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, HE Razan Al Mubarak that nature is already embedded in the Race to Zero campaign, and our 11,000+ members can do more to drive nature positive for climate action in the lead-up to COP28.

In particular, we should prioritize:

  1. Nature being a central feature of the Global Stocktake.
  2. Delivery of global restoration and conservation targets in terrestrial ecosystems e.g., 30 by 30 and AFR100.
  3. Delivery of key targets for ocean and coastal zones including restoration of mangroves with $4bn by 2030.
  4. Non state actors accelerating nature positive for climate action, with a focus on adopting relevant targets e.g., SBTi FLAG (pledge), embedding climate action into transition plans, addressing commodity-driven deforestation, investing in nature-based solutions (proceed), appropriate nature disclosures e.g., TNFD, and driving nature advocacy or policy (persuade).
  5. Accelerate deployment of capital for nature-based solutions including via sustainability debt instruments, high integrity biodiversity markets, and direct access to Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLC).


Exponential Roadmap Initiative launched their Greening Cash Action Guide. This Guide examines a driver of corporate greenhouse gas emissions – emissions associated with how banks manage and repurpose the cash deposits of their corporate clients for emission-producing activities. Read more detail here

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), who supports a number of Race to Zero’s finance partners, such as Net Zero Asset Owners Alliance, Net Zero Investment Consultants and Net Zero Asset Managers, has just released a report on ‘Responsible Investment and Sustainability Outcomes in China’. Positively, the report notes that: “Internationally, China’s foreign investment activity, particularly through the Belt and Road Initiative, is focused on open, green, clean and inclusive sustainable development that follows high standard, people-centred and sustainable approaches.”

Race to Zero Universities and Colleges’ partner EAUC have this year released two critical reports on accelerating the tertiary education sector’s path to net zero.

This is an ambitious roadmap for carbon reduction in the tertiary education sector, in the UK, which offers detailed modelling on target areas for emissions reduction that could be replicated internationally.

In the UK, the overall estimated cost of achieving net zero for the entire sector is £43.8bn (made up of £37.1bn for Higher Education and £6.7bn for Further Education). Of this, £29.1bn is within the supply chain, £8.8bn within the built environment and £6.1bn within the category of travel/transport.


Race to Zero is pleased to welcome WBCSD as an Accelerator of the Race to Zero after many years of collaboration. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a global community of leading businesses driving systems transformation for a better world in which 9+ billion people can live well, within planetary boundaries, by mid-century. Together, this community tackles three pressing, interconnected challenges our world faces: the climate emergency, the loss of nature and mounting inequality. Watch this space for a bigger announcement at Climate Week NYC.

Business in the Community (BITC) in collaboration with Arup launched a new report: In Your Hands: Going Circular for Net Zero. The report is based on conversations held during a series of business leadership roundtables and sets out what leaders believe is required to create the right enabling conditions, and actions needed to move the key levers in order to mainstream circular economy practices. Download the report to see what actions you can prioritize: https://www.bitc.org.uk/report/in-your-hands-going-circular-for-net-zero/


Learn about Los Angeles path to a sustainable and resilient economy, a Cities Race to Zero and C40 member.

Distell International, a leading cider producer in South Africa and Member of the Scotch Whiskey Association, is working towards net zero by capturing and purifying emissions released throughout the fermentation process. Learn more here.

Net Zero Insurance Alliance and UN Convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance Member Allianz just published their net zero transition plan with 2030 interim targets. Check out the plan, including their 2030 interim targets, here.

The American University in Cairo, a Race to Zero for Colleges and Universities Member, recently published their 2022 Sustainability Report outlining their progress towards net zero and the SDGs.


CDP has released their report on High Quality Disclosures, calling on G20+ policymakers and financial market regulators to embrace the journey towards HQMD policy and regulation at speed. Read more here.

In an open letter coordinated by Climate Group and We Mean Business Coalition, and covered in the Financial Times, leading Indian businesses and companies operating in India have written to G20 leaders with seven key policy asks. Read the letter in full here.

Get in touch with Tessa Vincent <tessavincent@climatechampions.team> if you would like to receive the full update.


Climate Week NYC

Race to Zero is focusing on accelerating delivery at New York Climate Week 2023 with events geared towards creating an enabling net zero environment with a positive look towards the future and addressing questions around how we build capacity of non-state actors to accelerate real economy transformation.

For information about the events the Climate Champions’ team are engaged in, you can find this here.

A key priority for Race to Zero is regionalization. We would like to hear from you if you plan to engage in the upcoming regional climate weeks and to discuss opportunities to collaborate. Please contact Karim Ehab Salah.


Giki hosted their first webinar for Race to Zero members interested in joining the Employee Race to Zero on Aug 30.  https://giki.earth/join-the-employees-race-to-zero-competition/

BITC will be hosting a Green Skills Networking Event September 19th in London alongside Anne- Marie Verstraeten, Deputy Chair of BNP Paribas in the UK, and Sarah Mukherjee, CEO of IEMA and the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero to discuss building skills for a just transition. Interested in attending? Find more details here.

Race to Zero Working Group Meetings

Starting this month, the Race to Zero is convening two pivotal working groups. These groups signify a pressing need for inclusivity and effective strategies in global climate action.

Net Zero for Professional Service Providers Working Group. 

Focus: This group recognizes the significant influence of Professional Services Firms, including legal entities, consultancies, and communication agencies, in the global net zero transition. Their mission includes identifying implementation barriers, establishing climate action principles, mapping stakeholders, and formulating Race to Zero-aligned guidelines.

Co-Chairs: Alexis McGivern, Net Zero Standards Manager at Oxford Net Zero and notable for her contributions like the Global Youth Climate Training Programme; and Ranjita Rajan, an authority in sustainability and chair of Oxford Global Partnership.

Fair Share, Equity, and Justice Working Group

Focus: This group aims to ensure fairness, equity, and justice in net-zero actions, emphasizing best practices and challenges in emerging markets and developing economies.

Co-Chairs: Ulka Kelkar, Director of Climate at the World Resources Institute India with over two decades in climate policy; and Mariana Nicolletti, a climate change adaptation and disaster risk management researcher at FGV, dedicated to climate justice.


Race to Zero

Google CSO Kate Brandt: In 2023, terms like “carbon footprint”, “charging station” and “solar energy” reached all-time highs

Google Chief Sustainability Officer, Kate Brandt explains why a CSO’s daily work is no longer simply confined to decarbonizing a businesses. For Google this means empowering individuals, businesses, organizations and governments with quality information through products and platforms, and by helping drive systems change to accelerate climate action.