A new task force, set up to inform the government’s green policymaking and garner support for climate action across the tech industry, has today (14 June) published a set of commitments designed to unify ambition and action in the sector.
The so-called ‘Tech Zero Taskforce’ was first announced in March and officially launches this week. Founding members include Bulb, Starling Bank and Olio, with the Taskforce now targeting 1,000 members by the time COP26 kicks off in Glasgow this November.
Now, the Taskforce has released a set of net-zero commitments for the tech sector. These will be mandatory for all members, but the initiative is encouraging other firms to follow suit as well.
The headline commitment is to publicly announce a net-zero target and supporting climate action plan by the end of 2021. Climate action plans should include short and medium-term targets to cut emissions.
Other commitments include publishing comprehensive emissions data for Scope 1 (direct), Scope 2 (power-related) and Scope 3 (indirect) emissions on an annual basis, and reporting on climate risk in line with the recommendations of the global Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). TCFD-aligned disclosure is notably becoming a legal requirement for UK businesses in the coming years and, at the G7 summit, the other six member nations also committed to instating this mandate.
There is also a commitment for tech businesses to change the way in which they communicate climate commitments and progress with other key stakeholders, including to customers. The Taskforce will measure progress against an overarching vision to help 100 million customers globally live more sustainable lifestyles or run more sustainable businesses of their own.
The initiative is building a directory of members and their products and services, along with how choosing these options can help reduce emissions, energy and/or waste. It will also launch a ‘toolkit’ designed to help member companies teach their staff and customers to understand “climate jargon”.
Aside from businesses, the Taskforce is being supported by industry bodies Tech Nation, Level39 and London & Partners, as well as the UK government’s Council for Sustainable Business, COP26 Unit and Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
“Decarbonising our economies to net-zero will undoubtedly involve mindset change, habit change and technologies, some not yet invented, to scale,” Tech Nation’s chief executive Gerard Grech said.
“At Tech Nation, we’ve seen first-hand the amazing things that can happen when businesses work together; working towards actionable targets to improve our society, our economy and now the future of our planet. I am therefore delighted for Tech Nation to be part of the founding Tech Zero Taskforce, focused on getting more than 1000 UK tech companies on a mission to reduce our carbon emissions, which hopefully will inspire others to do the same, igniting more change.”
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