Pledge To Net Zero, the initiative tackling carbon emissions within the UK’s environmental sector, has now passed the landmark figure of 150 signatories.
The Pledge has gained 57 signatories since May 2021, including the recent addition of Arcadis, Waterman Group, Royal Meteorological Society and Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
The initiative is also gaining momentum in Ireland as eleven organisations, including consulting engineering firm Ryan Hanley, join as part of the new Irish hub, along with hub coordinators the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI).
Launched in late 2019 to mobilise fast climate action within the UK’s environmental industry, Pledge To Net Zero requires signatories to commit to deliver a greenhouse gas target in line with either a 1.5°C climate change scenario (encouraged), or well below 2°C.
The initiative’s growth over the last six months mirrored the heightened activity around COP26 in Glasgow. During the conference, Pledge To Net Zero hosted a webinar titled ‘Creating the Business Case For Fast Climate Action’, reinforcing the importance of industry collaboration in tackling the climate crisis.
Neil Humphrey, chief operating officer at Waterman, said: “Pledge to Net Zero has become a critical component of leadership in the built environment sector and is indicative of the collaborative approach required to help secure a net zero society for generations to come. Since signing in 2021, the Pledge has become a cornerstone for Waterman’s strategy underpinning our business operations, and we have since committed to reduce our carbon emissions by setting science-based targets in line with the requirements for keeping global temperature rise under 1.5°C.”
Alexis Haass, chief sustainability officer at Arcadis, said: “The next decade will be pivotal in ensuring an effective response to the threat of climate change and mitigating its impact. Arcadis hopes to accelerate our industry’s transition to net zero through the solutions we bring to market and the example we set. A net zero world is about creating a future that is so much better than today - healthier lives; thriving nature; effortless transport; enjoyable places. By joining Pledge to Net Zero, we are committing to working alongside our peers in the environmental industry to make this future a reality.”
Pledge To Net Zero is led by a steering committee including Society for the Environment (SocEnv), Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI), and Environmental Industries Commission (EIC), with leading environmental consultancies WSP and AECOM.
David Symons, UK director of sustainability at WSP, said: “It’s excellent to see the environmental sector coming together to be a role model on climate action – making bold commitments and sharing practical ideas to take action. We warmly welcome others in the sector to join; all are welcome, both large and small, to take action together.”
Dr Emma Wilcox CEnv, chief executive at the Society for the Environment, said: “COP26 was a real catalyst for organisations to show their climate leadership and today’s announcement is an excellent demonstration of their dedication to reaching net zero. Turning commitments into tangible action is now key – and what Pledge to Net Zero is all about. It’s for this reason that I am so pleased to see a further growth in Pledge signatories and call on more organisations to show their commitment by signing up.”
Sarah Ingle, ACEI secretary general, said: “As key stakeholders in the built environment sector, consulting engineers in ACEI member firms are committed to demonstrating their actions as leaders in the field. They are undertaking to make a real difference within their own operations on the net zero journey, as well as continuing to provide world class advice on sustainability and environmental concerns to clients.”
Ryan Burrows, AECOM global sustainability manager, said: "As co-founding members of Pledge to Net Zero, we are proud see it reach this milestone. It takes courage and commitment to tell your customers and your employees about plans to reduce greenhouse gases and how you’re going to achieve them, so congratulations to the new members of Pledge to Net Zero for signing up. By working together, we can take bigger steps to reduce carbon emissions in the built environment sector."
The next signatory window for the Pledge is open now and closes on 5 June.