The Carbon Trust launches new Route to Net Zero Standard, certifying the journey to climate leadership

Aerial view of bridge at night

To achieve science-based targets, the Route to Net Zero Standard will support companies in the development and evolution of their action plans, helping to measure and manage their emissions, inform carbon reduction strategies, and align targets for the future. It is the only certification that recognises an organisation’s progress on their route to Net Zero, acknowledging that companies in different industries, geographical locations, and facing diverse challenges, may be at different stages.

There are three tiers of certification: 1) Taking Action 2) Advancing and 3) Leading, which recognises a company’s efforts wherever they are on their journey. Companies will receive tailored support to increase their climate ambition over time, and guidance on how to align to science-based targets and best practices. The Carbon Trust will also help organisations communicate their progress to stakeholders through marketing communication resources.

As part of the Carbon Trust’s long term digital investment strategy, the Route to Net Zero Standard will be the first service offering delivered through a new digital platform, to ensure the comprehensive assessment is seamless and engaging, with custom designed interfaces. The platform will evolve to support companies with carbon footprinting, target setting and value chain analysis.

Ten pathfinder companies have already signed up to the Carbon Trust’s Route to Net Zero Standard, to include Virgin Media O2, PwC, Sainsbury’s, Severn Trent Water and SGN, which will help to plan their route map to Net Zero and certify their progress to share with stakeholders.

Tracey Herald, Head of Sustainability at Virgin Media O2 said:

“We’re proud to be one of the first pathfinder companies to work towards the Carbon Trust’s ‘Route to Net Zero Standard’. This provides Virgin Media O2 with a robust and rigorous framework, which holds us to the highest standards as we create and deliver a transparent and best practice climate plan to decarbonise our business.”

Patrick Dunne, Director of Property and Procurement at Sainsbury’s said:

“We’re really proud to be the only retailer and one of the first organisations to sign up to the Carbon Trust’s new Route to Net Zero Standard. We’re committed to reaching our newly accelerated target to be Net Zero by 2035 in our own operations and believe that external verification and guidance from industry leaders like the Carbon Trust will help us to plan our route there at the speed and scale needed. As an early adopter of the new standard and a named Pathfinder, we look forward to partnering with the Carbon Trust to advance not only our own progress, but to lead the way for others towards a decarbonised future.”

Tom Delay, Chief Executive at the Carbon Trust added:

“Tackling the climate crisis is the most critical environmental issue of our time, requiring businesses to both act and collaborate to elicit change and achieve success. The new Route to Net Zero Standard will inspire and foster immediate and longer term action by supporting companies as they create and deliver on their roadmaps to reduce carbon emissions, certifying and celebrating their achievements as they progress. We are delighted to have ten pathfinder partners already committed to the new standard and look forward to our continued collaboration on their journeys to Net Zero.”

Route to Net Zero Standard logo

The route to Net Zero will be challenging, but we must succeed in reaching our destination. With more than 20 years of experience in consulting corporate clients on their sustainability strategies and certifying their efforts, the Carbon Trust is an expert guide.

Route to Net Zero Standard

*Source: Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), February 2022,

3 March 2022 - A European press release was issued with the following additional quote

Olivia Whitlam, Head of Sustainability, Siemens plc said: 

“We are pleased to announce that Siemens plc is among the first organisations to sign up to the Carbon Trust’s new Route to Net Zero Standard. As a ‘pathfinder’, we are among the pioneers of the Standard and look forward to partnering with the Carbon Trust on our journey to climate leadership.”


Notes to editors

For further information please contact: The Carbon Trust press office on +44 (0)20 7170 7050 or

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is a global climate consultancy driven by the mission to accelerate the move to a decarbonised future. We have been pioneering decarbonisation for more than 20 years for businesses, governments, and organisations around the world. We put impact before profit – and reinvest any surplus into achieving our mission. That means we are impartial, objective, and true to our vision - where environmental sustainability and economic realities go hand in hand.

Drawing on a network of over 300 experts internationally, the Carbon Trust guides organisations through their journey to Net Zero. From strategic planning and target setting to delivery, activation, and communication - we provide smarter ways to turn intent into impact. For further information please see: Climate Action Plans & Business Sustainability | The Carbon Trust