Many UK organisations (59 per cent) are set to miss the Government’s target for net zero carbon emissions, according to research from Goldsmiths, University of London and Microsoft, which has highlighted the need for better collaboration and technology to deliver a more sustainable future.
The study suggested that this may be caused by leaders being better at designing strategies than executing them, which Microsoft says “is partly due to a failure to turn strategy into action and a scarcity of in-house skills”. Despite highlighting the urgent action needed, the research also proposes some solutions, particularly in collaboration and technology.
“If the UK is to meet its net zero ambitions, public and private sectors need to join forces to define the meaning of real net zero, agree how to measure progress and build markets that can deliver a just, prosperous future for everyone,” said Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK.
The research highlighted some key challenges for business leaders: actioning the strategy, having the in-house skills to support a strategy, receiving greater guidance from unified cross-system collaboration, and accessing the funds and technology to implement and support sustainability initiatives.
“Technology will play a key role in addressing these challenges and it’s clear from our research that those organisations that have embedded technology in the heart of their strategies are the ones that have made the most significant progress against their sustainability goals,” said Barclay. “And while it is encouraging that so many of the organisations surveyed are taking the threat of climate change seriously, the time has come to move from ambition to action. We must work collectively to accelerate our journey to net zero.”
The research was released ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 (COP26), for which Microsoft has been named a principal partner.
Read the full study.