The journey to net zero

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Umbrellar Connect

New Zealand is one of a handful of countries taking the ambitious step of legislating their commitment to net zero by 2050. Microsoft have partnered with Goldsmiths, University of London, to develop "Accelerating the journey to net zero: A blueprint for New Zealand Aotearoa" - a report designed to help you on your journey to net zero.

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It’s an ambitious proposal, but how are we going to achieve it if close to a third of organisations with 2050 net zero targets are on track to miss them?

Dr Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation, and his research team have drawn on surveys with hundreds of business leaders, senior decision makers and full-time employees to measure each industry’s progress and identify the key obstacles organisations are facing on their sustainability journeys.

If you’ve been wondering what steps businesses, government bodies and others are taking to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, and how you can start your transformation, this report might just contain the answers.

Featuring commentary from leading industry experts, academics and sustainability consultants, the blueprint offers practical advice on how organisations can accelerate their paths to net zero. Uncover the challenges being faced and what everyone can be doing to help NZ hit the target of halving emissions by 2030.

Microsoft committed to tackling climate change

As a major employer and investor in New Zealand, Microsoft has a deep and longstanding commitment to tackling climate change, highlighted by the fact they’re delivering some of the solutions that will underpin the country’s net zero future.

The road to a low-carbon future won’t always be smooth. There will be bumps ahead for every nation, including Aotearoa. But we hope that this snapshot of where the nation stands – including where organisations are excelling, and where they are falling behind – can help all of us accelerate our own journeys to net zero.” – Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director – Microsoft New Zealand.

All sectors are moving at different rates. So within every sector you’ve got everyone from early adopters, who totally get where things are at, to the laggards betting on everything staying the same. Agriculture, for example, has been a relatively slow mover on environmental issues. They’re now under a lot of pressure. But there are also some incredible innovators and courageous pioneers in there.” Rachel Brown, Chief Executive Officer – Sustainable Business Network.

Progress on several important fronts

Despite the challenges, New Zealand is already taking the lead with close to one in 10 organisations already achieving net zero emissions – almost double the rate of Australia. Over two-thirds are using at least partly renewable energy on their premises and more than half have implemented sustainability goals aligning with NZ government policy.

Technology is recognised as being central to operationalising sustainability strategies, with 72% of business leaders agreeing that tech innovation has a key role to play in improving environmental sustainability.

Digital transformation is one of the accelerators for helping to improve or bring about the technologies that will enable us to become more efficient or reduce our emissions … it’s got a part to play in the solutions for sustainability, and it’s got a part to play for organisations increasing their own efficiencies as well, and speeding up and accelerating progress towards more sustainable solutions. It’s definitely needed.” Dr Sarah Holden, Director – Oxygen Consulting

However, less than half of all organisations are directing funding to sustainable innovation.

There’s an opportunity here for the technology industry to take the lead, using innovations in machine learning, robotic process automation and digital twin technologies to help businesses reimagine the way they work.

Accelerating the journey to net zero aims to help New Zealand Aotearoa’s organisations move from ambition to action, to drive a greener, more sustainable future for everyone. Download the report below to map out your steps for a sustainable tomorrow.

Download the report




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Umbrellar Connect

Umbrellar Connect is the leading multi-media hub for New Zealand's tech innovations. We keep you informed on the need-to-know impact stories, the trends shaping our world, and the tech enabling us to go further.


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