Realistic Guidance for Managers in a Net Zero World

The internet is awash in reports, web pages, blog posts and social pages that describe the causes and likely impacts of the climate crisis. However, there are far fewer publications that provide realistic1 guidance as to how we can respond. The responses as do exist are often on the lines of, ‘They must do something’. But it is not clear as to exactly who ‘They’ are, or what they are actually meant to do at 8 o’clock on Monday morning. There is a lack of practical leadership.

A theme of this site is that business and industrial managers can provide some of that missing leadership. Their motivation is not to ‘do good’, but to be commercially successful in a rapidly changing world. The objective of the posts at this site is to provide realistic (that word again) information and guidance to these executives and managers as they implement Net Zero programs. The focus is always on engineering and project management realities2.

A Business Opportunity

The topic of climate change is immensely complex ― there are many, many variables, most of which we do not fully understand, and many of which have not even been identified. And that’s just climate change. Other equally complex topics such as resource depletion, destruction of the biosphere, and economics are equally complex and difficult to understand. Moreover, these topics all interact with one another in a myriad of ways, thus adding even more complexity. (Background information to do with climate change and its consequences is provided at A Climate Change Framework.)

At this site we accept that these changes are taking place, maybe more quickly than any of us could wish for. We also accept that society as a whole is in for some wrenching and unpleasant changes in the coming years. However, we also recognize that the situation provides opportunities for business leaders who are willing to face up to these realities. The leaders of the companies that understand what is taking place and who are willing to adapt can become leaders in their industry or business area. The posts at this site are written for those leaders.

Note: Most of the material at this site is written by Ian Sutton, a chemical engineer. We do not offer legal or professional advice to do with climate change regulations.

Regulations and Standards

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Business and industrial leaders are not the only ones responding to our rapidly changing climate. Regulatory agencies around the world are issuing rules that will require companies to report on their climate-related activities. The rules are often long-winded, confusing, difficult to understand, and create as many questions as they answer. One of the goals of this site is to provide an interpretation of the rules, and how companies can meet their requirements.

We also provide analyses to do with the standards published by agencies such as the TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures), the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Engineering and Project Management


We frequently hear that, ‘We need to listen to the scientists’. What is meant by this is that we need to pay attention to reports from organizations such as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and that we need to stop kidding ourselves about the seriousness of the climate crisis.

Fair enough, but if we are to achieve Net Zero goals within just a few decades then it even more important to listen to the engineers, project managers and investors. They are the ones who will have to implement responses at scale, and they are the ones who will have to work out the economics of those responses3.

Net Zero by 2050

Many organizations have committed to the goal of net zero emissions by the year 2050. (The word ‘net’ allows those organizations to take credit for carbon capture projects.)

This goal, which is often abbreviated to NZ2050, is extraordinarily ambitious. Achieving it will require wrenching changes in all aspects of an organization’s operations. The post Net Zero by 2050 discusses how this target came about, and what needs to be done to meet its requirements.

Process Safety Management

Net Zero by 2050 - An Opportunity

When we started this site we mixed in a few posts to do with the topic of Process Safety Management (PSM). Those posts attracted a strong following, so, at the end of 2023, we opened a new site, The Process Safety Report. Posts at this Net Zero site have been transferred to the new location.

Publication Policies

There are two types of subscribers: free and paid. Our target is to publish one detailed post every week for the paid subscribers. (Please note that this is a target ― we do our best to meet it, but cannot make a commitment.) There is no schedule for the free posts, but we usually publish at least two of these weekly.

The subscription posts will cover regulations, standards and technology. The following are the benefits of subscribing.

  • You will receive assessments of alternative technologies such as nuclear power (both fission and fusion), geoengineering and energy storage.

  • You will receive detailed analyses of climate-related regulations and standards, such as those from the United States SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and the TCFD (The Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures). These analyses aim to translate language that is often bureaucratic and difficult to follow into plain English.

  • You will receive information to do with work that other companies and organizations are doing, and the lessons learned that they provide.

Editorial Principles

The following principles are followed at this site.

  • We may advocate certain political actions, such as the implementation of climate disclosure rules. However, we avoid partisan politics.

  • We will declare any commercial interests that may affect the objectivity of our work.

  • We aim to back up statements of fact with an appropriate citation or reference from a recognized source.

  • We try to provide material that is useful, particularly to busy managers.

  • We occasionally publish videos that supplement the written materials.


The word realistic crops up a lot in the posts at this site.


It is important to stress that this site is not about climate change per se. We accept that the climate is changing, and that the consequences will be increasingly severe in the coming years. The focus of this site is on how business leaders can respond to climate change.


The issue of scalability is absolutely crucial. There are plenty of good ideas that may or may not be practical one day. But, if we are serious about Net Zero targets, we need to reorganize our entire industrial base within just one generation.

Subscribe to Net Zero by 2050

We provide information and guidance for organizations implementing ‘Net Zero greenhouse gas’ programs. We also provide updates to do with process safety management (PSM) and the proposed changes to OSHA’s PSM regulation.


Ian Sutton is a chemical engineer who specializes in the development of realistic ‘Net Zero by 2050’ programs for business and industrial executives and managers.