Scope zero

Is the business community aware of Scope 0?

Since the Paris climate agreement in 2015, reducing greenhouse gas emissions has been prominent on the agenda of governments and businesses. If and how companies take into account cleaning up their historical emissions – aka Scope 0 – , and what vision they have for it is unknown. To find out, a research program was launched today.

Reduce and remove

This year will be the warmest on record, making the need for radical emission reductions more pressing every day. Five years ago, in 2018, the IPCC named that besides eliminating our emissions, removing CO2 from the atmosphere is crucial to keep climate change within 2ºC. These negative emissions are also known as Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR).

Hardly any companies include CDR in their strategy. Microsoft is an exception, not only does Microsoft want to be Net Zero by 2030 (removing as much CO2 from the atmosphere as they are still emitting that year), by 2050 the company also wants to clean up all historical emissions. So in doing so, they are going beyond their current scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and setting a new benchmark for business to take responsibility for past emissions: Scope 0.

Research on carbon awareness in Dutch business

The first large-scale survey on carbon awareness in Dutch business starts today. Sinkit, Climate Cleanup and online knowledge centre Duurzaam Ondernemen are initiators of the survey and expect it to provide insight into the ambition of leading companies regarding CO2 removal and historical emissions. 

Participants in the survey can become part of the Beyond NetZero coalition in which knowledge sharing and joint agenda-setting for the need for negative emissions and Scope 0 are central. For inspiration, participating companies will receive several copies of the book “Drawdown” which describes 100 solutions to stop climate change. Participating in the survey can be done online until the end of 2023 at

A fisherman walks under the ancient tree root bridge at Mawlynnong village. The bridge, built by humans with nature, is an example of carbon storage in the built environment. Photo: Amos Chapple