Driving Sustainable Transformation Together: WBCSD and Race to Zero Join Forces

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31 October, 2023


WBCSD insights



Elisa Leimer, Senior Associate, Policy Advocacy and Member Mobilization, WBCSD & Tessa Vincent, Race to Zero Policy & Engagement Lead, Climate Champions

As we emerge from the hottest summer ever experienced since global records began in 1880, we are reminded that we’re deep in the climate emergency and that the impacts are here and now. However, significant progress has been made towards science-aligned 2030 decarbonization goals. From cheaper electric vehicles to groundbreaking new building materials, there is evidence of extraordinary transformations underway and accelerating at an exponential rate. 
It’s essential that we come together to accelerate change and secure a sustainable future for all. This is why the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has joined forces with the Race to Zero, to accelerate corporate climate action and help achieve a net-zero carbon future by 2050. 

Our Commitment to Action

Launched in 2020, Race to Zero has firmly established a high ambition and credible net-zero standard and gathering clear demonstration of support from 12,000+ members through shared challenges, and a global community of first movers and doers. Led by the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, this initiative is at the forefront of climate action. 

WBCSD’s mission is to accelerate the required transformation of businesses, their value chains, and the systems in which they operate, to limit the impact of the climate crisis, restore nature and tackle inequality systems transformation for a better world. WBCSD brings to its new Accelerator role (joining 25 others like Consumer Goods Forum, Net Zero Pakistan, B-Lab and more) a wealth of experience and assets that will help supercharge the Race to Zero across our business network.  

The collaboration between WBCSD and Race to Zero will focus on five strategic areas: 

  1. Raising ambition: With over 200 leading businesses in our community, WBCSD is connected to a vast and diverse network of changemakers. Members span industries and geographies, providing a unique platform to exchange ideas, best practices, and innovative solutions. Already many of WBCSD’s membership are members of Race to Zero. As an Accelerator, WBCSD aims to onboard more members to the Race.
  2. Driving systems change: Together, WBCSD and its members are leading systems transformation by building the infrastructure of a better world through climate, nature and equity action. WBCSD offers companies solutions on how to accelerate value chain transformation across essential sectors of business activity: food & agriculture, products & materials, energy, transport & mobility, and the built environment. This work is inextricably tied to the Race to Zero’s 2030 Breakthroughs, which lay out climate mitigation goals across key sectors, and clear actions across supply, demand, policy, finance and civil society.  The frameworks, insights and lessons learned set a crucial foundation from which non-state actors, in collaboration with governments, can respond to the Global Stocktake with the necessary speed and scale. 
  3. Increasing accountability: Joining forces with Race to Zero demonstrates WBCSD’s commitment to credible climate action. WBCSD embraces the Race to Zero criteria, and supports the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Expert Group’s recommendations on net zero. WBCSD encourages its member companies to align as much as possible with high-integrity voluntary standards. 
  4. Net zero aligned advocacy: Looking to the future, WBCSD wants to support Race to Zero’s efforts to turn credible voluntary action and standards, into net zero aligned policy and regulation, in order to level the playing field and incentivise those leading the Race. In turn, Race to Zero applauds WBCSD’s existing Policy Working Groups. Both organisations will gather joint case studies from those most active in climate policy advocacy, to demonstrate progress. 
  5. Regionalization: WBCSD boasts a diverse membership that covers a wide range of regions, and the Race to Zero initiative shares this global reach. However, both organisations acknowledge the need to spread their resources in a way that is relevant to the unique situations of different regions and countries and ensure developing country perspectives are heard. Both organizations will share learnings on regionalization, and inclusion, with each other.  

Our Shared Vision 

The Race to Zero is the world’s largest global movement of non-state actors — including businesses, cities, regions, financial institutions, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and more — committed to net zero by 2050 at the latest. 

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, we share a common vision: to halve global emissions by 2030 and pave the way for a more sustainable and equitable world.  

Join Us on This Journey

Increased collaboration, innovation and bold action by governments and non-state actors like businesses, investors, cities and regions is at the heart of this shift. As we drive sustainable transformation together, we invite you to join us. Together with WBCSD and the Race to Zero, we can drive the change needed to transform the systems we work in to limit the impact of the climate crisis, restore nature and tackle inequality.