Climate Leadership Framework

Develop a step-by-step strategy to align your organisation to a net zero economy.


Transitioning to a net zero carbon economy might seem daunting. It can be difficult to understand climate change impacts, risks and opportunities, and agree a long-term strategy. There are many approaches, initiatives or schemes, but how do you bring these together to develop a single over-arching strategy that works for your business? 

The Carbon Trust Climate Leadership Framework has been designed to overcome these barriers and provide clarity for senior leaders. It reviews a company’s current performance on climate change using a scorecard assessment before providing specific actions in a bespoke net zero roadmap that can be embedded in strategic plans.

About the framework 

The Climate Leadership Framework has been tested and refined in partnership with Pearson, Quorn Foods, SGN, Sky and Marshalls. It’s been informed by the Carbon Trust’s considerable expertise working with companies across the world on reducing their climate impact. 

The Climate Leadership Framework is a powerful internal tool, helping those who are already championing action on climate change to influence senior colleagues and elevating actions on climate change within an organisation. 

Benefits of the Climate Leadership Framework 

  • Holistic – evaluation of the entire value chain, the enablement of avoided emissions, and an emphasis on the future through innovation and influencing 
  • Strategic – an eagle-eye view of current performance using a proven scorecard approach presented with minimal technical detail 
  • Guidance – development of a tailored roadmap to make real progress towards a net zero economy 
  • Engagement – powerful opportunities for internal collaboration and engagement 
  • Resource-light – minimal up front time and effort 
  • Recognition – demonstrate a clear climate strategy and an ambition to become a climate leader 

Our approach 

Using the framework, we help companies develop a climate strategy in two phases: 

Climate impact assessment - Research and expert evaluation of a company’s current activities. The scorecard ranks performance across four levels, with level 4 indicating that a company is doing everything it should to successfully transition to a net zero carbon economy. 

Roadmap development and engagement - Development of a bespoke roadmap to progress against the framework, and a collaborative workshop to present the scorecard results and embed the roadmap in the company strategy. 

In addition to the initial assessment and strategy development, The Climate Leadership Framework can then be used as a tool to track progress on an ongoing basis.

How we assess climate performance 

The Climate Leadership Framework assesses a company’s climate performance across three perspectives: 

  • Own operations - all emissions under your operational control 
  • Value chain - upstream and downstream emissions in the supply chain and with customers 
  • Avoided emissions – development of products and services that contribute to a net zero emissions future 

Activity streams 

Across these three perspectives, performance is scored against the following five steams of activity: 

  1. Target setting - Are targets sufficiently ambitious and in the right area? 
  2. Implementation - Is there a clear action plan to achieve these targets? 
  3. Contextual analysis - Does the business fully understand the issues, opportunities and risks it faces? 
  4. Innovation - Is there a structured approach to develop carbon reduction solutions beyond current short-term targets? 
  5. Influencing - What actions are being taken to drive broader system changes that are necessary to achieve significant carbon reduction?

Related insight

Climate Leadership Framework: helping businesses transition to a net zero economy

Related project

A decarbonisation roadmap for Siemens

Find out more and speak to one of our experts

Get in touch to discuss the best solution for your business and how we can help you achieve your sustainability goals.