24 November 2022

ISO: Businesses should choose “net-zero” IT providers

ISO: Businesses should choose “net-zero” IT providers

The latest report from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recommends that organisations choose technology and service providers that demonstrate commitment to “robust net-zero targets.”

On Saturday, 11 November 2022, the ISO released its latest Net Zero Guidelines at the UN’s 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) held in Egypt.

The guidelines aim to tackle one of the significant barriers to reducing greenhouse gas emissions – the fragmented nature of governance around what it means to be “net zero”.

The Net Zero Guidelines include standards on:

  • the definition of net-zero emissions.
  • actionable guidance on reaching net zero as soon as possible.
  • transparent communication, credible claims, and consistent reporting on emissions, reductions and removals.
Where can I read it?

The relevant passage is Action O, located under section 9.2.2 (Actions to address Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions) of the ISO Net Zero Guidelines.

Consistent with its mitigation plan, the organization should take actions such as choosing technology and other service providers that have committed to robust net-zero targets.

The guidelines state: “This document provides guiding principles and recommendations to enable a common approach with a high level of ambition, to drive organisations to achieve net zero GHGs as soon as possible.”

Why look to ISO recommendations?

The guidelines help to address growing concerns over the practice of “greenwashing.” This practice is where corporate players announce intentions to reach net-zero emissions but do not back up their announcements. The organisations in question may lack credible decarbonisation plans, continue to invest in activities that drive climate change or misrepresent the extent to which their methods rely on carbon offsets instead of emissions cuts.

ISO described its new Net Zero Guidelines as “a tool for policy makers and all who work towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions,” including businesses, NFP organisations, and governments. The guidelines were developed through ISO’s International Workshop Agreement (IWA) process and involved collating input from over 1,200 organisations and experts from over 100 countries to create universal guidelines that reflect a global perspective on reaching net zero.

ISO said the new guidelines responded to the United Nations’ call earlier this week to create more transparent standards to support net-zero pledges and drew from the existing landscape of climate target standards and initiatives.

Why do supply chains matter?

While many organisations work hard to reduce and even reverse the impact their activities can have on the environment, one of the simplest ways to make an impact is to examine the supply chains in place. Suppose your goods and service providers are already focused on achieving net-zero emissions and have backed their commitment with certifications. In that case, you can rest assured that these suppliers are doing what they can to minimise their climate impact.

If you’d like to know more about how First Focus is taking action to go beyond net-zero emissions to achieve climate positivity, please check out our eco-commitments on Sustainable Choice, our environmental ISO certifications, and our environmental policies.