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ISO's First International Net Zero Standard: A New Benchmark for Climate Action

ISO's First International Net Zero Standard: A New Benchmark for Climate Action

In a significant step towards climate action, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has begun developing its first international standard on net zero. This new standard aims to provide a clear pathway for the net zero transition, offering robust requirements and the potential for independent verification. This initiative is expected to accelerate progress towards a sustainable future.

Development Underway for ISO Net Zero Standard

ISO's groundbreaking standard on net zero is set to launch at COP30 in November 2025. This global solution is designed to guide organizations of all sizes, sectors, and geographies as they embark on their net zero journey.

The creation of the ISO net zero standard will involve collaboration from thousands of experts through national standards bodies in over 170 countries, ensuring it reflects the latest climate science.

The evolution of the ISO Net Zero Guidelines, first introduced at COP27, into an internationally verifiable standard marks a significant milestone. The guidelines were initially developed to help organizations create credible net zero strategies by providing best practices.

The upcoming standard aims to further this by enhancing public confidence and preventing greenwashing through stringent guidance and requirements.

Key Milestones and Collaborative Efforts

The formal launch of the ISO net zero standard development was announced today during London Climate Action Week by Noelia Garcia Nebra, ISO’s Head of Sustainability. The British Standards Institution (BSI), in its role as the UK National Standards Body, and ICONTEC, Colombia’s National Standards Body, are spearheading this initiative.

According to Garcia Nebra,

"ISO takes our role in supporting a net zero transition seriously. As part of our Climate Commitment, we look forward to delivering an international standard the market has been asking for, and importantly, suitable for organizations of all sizes, sectors, and geographies."

A public consultation will open later in 2025 to gather global input and ensure all voices are heard, reflecting a truly inclusive approach to the standard’s development. This collaborative effort underscores the commitment to creating a standard that is both comprehensive and adaptable to various organizational needs.

Ensuring Credibility and Preventing Greenwashing

One of the critical objectives of the ISO net zero standard is to provide a framework that helps verify the credibility of net zero claims. By setting out clear and robust requirements, the standard aims to guard against greenwashing and ensure that organizations' net zero strategies are genuinely effective and transparent.

The involvement of national standards bodies and the input from a wide range of experts will help ensure that the standard is rigorous and reliable. This effort will not only support organizations in achieving their net zero goals but also enhance public trust in their climate action initiatives.

Participation and Next Steps

Experts interested in contributing to the development of the ISO net zero standard are encouraged to apply to join their National Standard Body’s climate change management committee. This participatory approach will ensure that the standard benefits from diverse perspectives and expertise, making it a robust tool for driving global climate action.

In conclusion, the creation of the ISO net zero standard represents a pivotal moment in the global effort to combat climate change. By providing a clear, verifiable framework for the net zero transition, ISO is helping to pave the way for a more sustainable and accountable future.

This initiative highlights the importance of collaboration, transparency, and rigorous standards in achieving meaningful climate action.


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