The importance of collaboration to achieve net zero

Published on: 25th April 2023

With increasing emphasis on achieving Net Zero by 2050, we look at the importance of collaboration to achieve Net Zero.

After the legally binding declaration — to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 was made, many South West businesses are focusing on creating decarbonisation action plans in preparation for making this significant change by 2050. It is no longer a question of whether companies should aim for net zero.

The question is HOW to achieve Net Zero effectively, accurately and profitably.

Collaborating with other South West businesses will bring considerable benefits including learning from one another, sharing data about net zero projects and their success (or failures), or delivering projects, and helping to make them as cost effective as possible.

“Effective collaboration, and partnership working can be vital in leveraging transformative change.”

The importance of collaboration to achieve Net Zero

The importance of collaboration to achieve Net Zero

Achieving Net Zero will depend on collaboration, often between unlikely partners, and the adaptation and application of technologies from other industries. Examples of collaboration could include government, local authorities, trade bodies, other businesses, the public and other stakeholders.

Collaboration should be at the heart of every business to achieve Net Zero as well as innovation strategy plans.

Building capacity to achieve Net Zero can be helped by forging partnering with LEPs, universities, catapult centres, research institutions and innovation labs, or by working with private sector funders. A collaborative approach highlights the critical opportunity areas that will play a vital role in developing a safe, reliable and resilient network and future.

Net Zero cannot be achieved alone and only by working together will we conquer the directive to deliver cleaner energy at a cost-effective price.

Building a successful collaboration requires several key elements:

  • working around a shared purpose or vision
  • clearly communicating the goals
  • balancing skills amongst all partners
  • listening to others
  • ensuring there is an openness to learn and share
  • building trust and reliability amongst all those involved
  • respecting diverse opinions
  • compromising and effectively managing conflict
  • and choosing the right collaboration tools.

Companies need to be transparent about their targets, understand how they are going to achieve them, and share what progress they are making and the challenges they face along the way. If we don’t share our challenges, we can’t collaborate to overcome them.

Net Zero vs. Carbon Neutrality vs. Climate Neutrality

Many businesses use the terms “Net Zero,” “Carbon Neutral” and “Climate Neutral” interchangeably, but it’s important to understand the differences of each so you can set clear, actionable goals that will deliver your targets. Each of these terms is used to talk about neutralising the impact of a business’ emissions on the environment.

Carbon Neutrality or Net Zero CO2 Emissions

Referring only to carbon emissions. Achieving carbon neutrality means reducing as many carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as possible and then balancing those that cannot be eliminated through removals.

Source: Sphera

Net Zero Emissions

Getting to zero GHG through reduction in your own emissions-related activities while removing additional GHGs from the atmosphere to make up any shortfalls, all in alignment with the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Climate Neutrality

Reduction of all GHGs to the point of zero while eliminating all other negative environmental impacts that an organisation may cause.




The WEAF Network Portal is an innovative supply chain collaboration and intelligence platform that streamlines inter-company communication and securely captures multi-tier supply chain intelligence so that organisations can increase network competitiveness.

Through this powerful digital tool, you will be able to search across several networks, (including rail, aerospace, manufacturing and advanced engineering), to find and seamlessly collaborate with the businesses that will help you forge new collaborations. The platform’s innovative ‘Capability Search’ allows you to easily locate and connect with Suppliers, Customers, Research and Development Partners based on your unique needs.


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