Supporting the Australian director community’s pathway to Net Zero by 2050 (23.RP4.0160)

Countries around the world have widely embraced Net Zero emissions by 2050 targets to combat climate change and align their policies to the Paris Agreement of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C. This momentum has also transferred into the corporate world, with 45% of ASX200 companies committing to achieve Net Zero by 2050 in their own businesses as of March 2022 (Climateworks Centre, 2022). While these commitments and targets represent a positive shift towards climate action, Australian organisations still have further to progress and converting these goals to achievable strategies for implementation is no simple task. This project, accordingly, aims to capitalise on the increasing interest by corporate Australia to commit to Net Zero by 2050 and support company directors in their role to lead this transition in their organisations.

Using a mixed-method approach, this project will explore current best practice approaches to Net Zero by 2050 strategies from ASX200 companies and identify current, and future challenges that may hinder director’s implementation of these strategies, as well as factors that could help enable and accelerate progress. Focus will also be applied specifically to Australia’s heavy industry, to better understand the specific challenges organisations with large-scale and often hard-to-abate operations face in achieving Net Zero by 2050. This evidence base will then be utilised to develop practical guidelines and materials for the Australian director community tasked with leading and implementing strategies to achieve Net Zero by 2050. In doing so, this project will equip directors with deeper knowledge and shared learnings of best practice approaches to Net Zero by 2050, and significantly contribute to the development and implementation of strategies across corporate Australia.

Partners: Queensland University of Technology, Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government & Planning, Western Australia Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science & Innovation

Researchers: Dr Ellen Tyquin, Prof Cameron Newton, Prof Amisha Mehta

Duration: 12 months