Climate Action: Race to Net Zero

Category Description

This award is open to any organisations that set new standards in lowering the carbon footprint impact of their business activities as part of a clear goal to reach Net Zero, or ideally, ‘carbon positivity’, within a defined timeframe, in line with Science Based Targets (SBT) or similar. This category is rewarding entities that are committed to reducing their carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gas emissions, but will not give credit to those simply offsetting their emissions alone.

Winners will be expected to be progressing carbon reduction across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 – where ‘Scope 1’ covers the organisation’s own ‘in-house’ activities; ‘Scope 2’ those of its supply chain; and ‘Scope 3’ the impact of its work and products ‘in use’, including among its customers or investees, all along the value chain.

The judges will specifically be looking for evidence of: verifiable carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gas, emissions reductions; the degree of innovation in delivering the initiatives, in pursuit of industry best practice; awareness raising to promote carbon reduction efforts amongst staff, suppliers and stakeholders; and the extent to which the entry is one of a number of activities by the organisation to reduce its environmental impacts.

The time frame for this category is carbon reductions, measured in the absolute as well as percentage reductions, between 2021-23, with the goal of hitting Net Zero as soon as possible.

We request a total word count of 1500 words +/-10% (excl. supporting docs). Any confidential data will be treated as such and only shared with the judging panel.


Judges will be looking for evidence of the following points within the supplied application form (weighting percentages in brackets):

  1. Is there a credible goal and strategy to achieve Net Zero well ahead of standard practice, and has progress to date demonstrated that this commitment is taken seriously? (40%)
  2. What are the absolute reductions in terms of kg of CO2e saved, as well as the percentage reduction based on the entity’s baseline measured in the last five years? Has the entity adhered to GHG Protocols and/or disclosed them through any regulatory bodies? (35%)
  3. Is the goal driven by the most senior leadership, and is there an effective awareness raising effort to promote the scheme for employees and engage their support for carbon reduction in workplace practices? (15%)
  4. Is the organisation influencing sector peers and others, acting as a replicable example of best practice (10%).

PLEASE NOTE: The criteria above are different to the questions in the application form. You will need to follow the application questions; cross-referencing these with the criteria to ensure you’ve captured them within your application. The criteria are followed by the judges in order to compare all entries in each category like-for-like, Please ensure you register / login to AwardStage (Opens 1st Feb), select the category and export a PDF copy of the questions. Some category application questions differ. The application questions will be available four weeks before entries open, so if you wish to get them ahead of time please email us.

Are we eligible to enter?

Our awards programme is open to all organisations of any kind… companies large and small, charities, not-for-profits, social enterprises, NGOs, membership and accreditation organisations and government departments including local and county councils. We are all about rewarding sustainability practice – in all its forms. So if your organisation is making a difference, directly or indirectly to people and planet, you’re eligible.

We don’t just recognise businesses that are operating responsibly, or supporting / partnering with worthwhile causes. We also actively encourage entries from organisations that have been specifically set up or adapted to offer a product or service that tackles a social or environmental problem.

Our category descriptions and criteria have been written to guide entrants on what content should be detailed in their entries. However, we do not expect square pegs to fit in round holes… Some of your business activities or dedicated programmes might not fit entirely with any one specific category. In these cases, the descriptions and criteria are open to an element of interpretation and rest assured that our judges will still take into account entries that are strongly aligned with the overall context of the category.

If you have any concerns about the suitability of your entry, or would like to discuss your activities in more detail, we are here to help. Give Karen a call on 07813 718541 or email us.