Beyond Net-Zero: A business pathway to spur urgent climate action towards 2030

Posted on April, 27 2022

We are at a defining moment. The risks of global warming and nature loss are rising as our planet is facing multiple crises. 

Business has a key role to play in solving these interlinked crises. That is why WWF is working with companies in our Climate Business Network to reduce their emissions and secure a future where people and nature thrive.

Our Beyond Net-Zero guidance road map lays out the path to follow. It aims to help companies achieve their targets and go beyond, by taking meaningful action and helping to restore our planet’s natural systems. The guidance highlights what actions companies can take to truly help tackle the climate crisis. 

We don’t just tell you what to do, we show you how to do it. Beyond Net-Zero includes 7 key leadership actions. Each action has the metrics you should use, the process you should follow and some examples of best practice.

Why do we need this?

Every day we hear new announcements and ambitions from companies in their efforts to become more sustainable. Not all of these are credible or are in line with the science, approaches and understanding we have to tackle climate change. 

We know there is a lot of confusion on this topic, and a lot of information already published. The aim of this report is help overcome that confusion by clearing things up. With Beyond Net-Zero, WWF is creating a best practice approach to ensure action is in line with science and supports the needed societal shifts to achieve a 1.5°C future.

Some companies try to reduce their impact by offsetting their emissions without tackling the underlying problems. But this is not good practice. We cannot offset our way out of a climate emergency. Companies need to make those drastic emissions cuts and restore and protect nature – the best strategy is to limit your impacts and emissions by as much as you possibly can before looking into alternative solutions.

The 7 leadership actions

A corporate climate leader should strive to maximize its contribution to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C. This is done by halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero by 2050 at the latest, as well as financing and supporting additional climate and nature solutions, engaging responsibly and actively in climate policy, collaborating with other companies and stakeholders, and enabling and inspiring customers. 

The seven actions that are expected from a corporate climate leader are:

  1. Account and disclose consistently and transparently according to best available practices and against all commitments.
  2. Set climate targets in line with 1.5°C according to the SBTi near-term and Net-Zero criteria.
  3. Reduce value chain emission (scope 1-3) in line with the 1.5°C trajectory.
  4. Finance and support climate and nature solutions across and beyond the value chain.
  5. Engage responsibly and actively in climate policy in line with 1.5°C and ensure internal and external corporate policy alignment.
  6. Collaborate with value chain partners, peers, employees, and other key stakeholders.
  7. Enable and inspire customers through sustainable products and services, education and campaigns, and transparent and accessible information.


Case Studies

We have developed the Beyond Net-Zero guidance working with our corporate partners in WWF’s Climate Business Network, most notably H&M and IKEA, using their institutional knowledge and hands-on experience of emission reduction and corporate sustainability to help develop guidance that can clear up confusion and help other businesses.

The Climate Business Network is a group of leading companies working towards implementing credible net-zero plans. They are a small but growing group of companies that have clearly understood the science, the benefits of cutting emissions and the risks of inaction. We think other companies could learn a lot from their example.

Working with these partners, we have developed case study videos to help illustrate our report in a more practical way. Hear from these company representatives on how they are taking the 7 leadership actions, and implementing them within their businesses.


With the Beyond Net-Zero guidance, WWF is showing every business how to step up and become a climate leader by striving to maximise your contribution to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We urge your business to commit to net-zero and go beyond.

To find out more about the Beyond Net-Zero guidance, please contact
WWF's Beyond Net-Zero guidance explains how businesses can become climate leaders and maximise their contribution to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C.