Navigating the Path to Net Zero: EDCI's New ESG Metrics
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November 3, 2023
min read

Navigating the Path to Net Zero: EDCI's New ESG Metrics

The path to net zero requires meticulous navigation. EDCI's new metrics hand investors the tools to chart and track emission

The ESG Data Convergence Initiative (EDCI) recently announced three new additions to its metrics list as part of the 2024 reporting cycle. The three optional metrics are all in the newly created Net Zero category:

  • Strategy: Does the portfolio company have a decarbonization strategy or plan?
  • Target: Does the portfolio company have a short-term (i.e., 5 to 10 years) greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target?
  • Ambition: Does the portfolio company have a long-term net zero goal?

Imagine you are on a long road trip to a new destination. The journey will likely take days, but you have only a vague idea of where you are headed. Without a map or GPS to guide you, it would be incredibly difficult to reach your final destination.  

This analogy represents the challenge investors face on the road to net zero emissions. The destination is clear - achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. But the path to get there remains uncertain without a detailed plan or system to track progress.

The ESG Data Convergence Initiative (EDCI) recently unveiled new metrics that hand investors a map and enable them to collect waypoints on the net zero journey. This blog will explore EDCI's new net zero metrics and how they steer investors and portfolio companies onto the right decarbonization pathway.

Charting the Course with Decarbonization Strategies

The first new metric asks whether a portfolio company has a decarbonization strategy with board oversight. A decarbonization strategy lays out a timebound plan to pivot business operations toward net zero emissions.  

Think of this initial strategy as planning your route by marking key stops or sites you want to see along the way. While the final destination of net zero remains fixed, companies can take various routes based on their unique business model and assets.

By requiring this metric, EDCI enables investors to prompt portfolio companies to start charting their path. Investors can further guide the process by including decarbonization strategy development in 100-day or value creation plans.

Having board oversight ensures high-level buy-in and accountability. With a detailed map marked by leadership, companies can embark on the net zero journey with purpose and direction.

Tracking Progress with Emissions Reduction Targets

The second new metric asks if portfolio companies have set a short-term emissions reduction target, ideally aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

Once you have a route planned, it is essential to track progress along the way. Companies set short-term targets to benchmark emissions reductions against a set timeline, usually 5-10 years.

These targets act like checkpoints or tracked mileage to measure advancement on the path to net zero. Investors can now use EDCI's framework to monitor if portfolio companies are hitting key waypoints that indicate they are on track.

While each company's route may look different, aligning targets with climate science ensures the end goal stays the same - reaching net zero by 2050.

Eyes on the Horizon with Long-Term Ambition

The third metric asks whether portfolio companies have established a long-term net zero goal, such as achieving net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.

While short-term targets act as near milestones, a long-term net zero ambition keeps the final destination clearly mapped. A net zero goal also signals that a company is committed to staying the course for the long haul.

EDCI's metric enables investors to track portfolio company ambition. Investors can engage laggards and encourage them to set a net zero goal within the next two years.

With decarbonization strategies, short-term targets, and long-term ambition, companies have a detailed roadmap to reach net zero. Investors are empowered to act as navigators, keeping portfolio companies on course to the ultimate destination.


The path to net zero requires meticulous navigation. EDCI's new metrics hand investors the tools to chart and track emission reductions on the journey.

By prompting portfolio companies to develop strategies, set targets, and establish ambitious goals, investors can lead the way down the decarbonization highway.

There will certainly be twists, turns, and roadblocks ahead. But maintaining focus on the final destination will be key to reaching the grail of net zero. EDCI's metrics enable investors to act as guides, leading portfolio companies decisively down the right path.