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How to achieve stakeholder buy-in for Net Zero initiatives

30th May 2024

As your business aims to turn its Net Zero ambitions into reality, you may be considering investing in renewable energy sources, implementing the use of low-energy equipment, and even speaking to suppliers about their efforts.

However, before these ambitions can be materialised, obtaining approval from multiple stakeholders is important.

Transitioning to net zero is a key step for businesses, which requires commitment, industry-wide collaboration, and changes in business operations. Research from the TRA’s State of the Industry Survey 2023 revealed that while 46% of members are pursuing carbon reduction as part of their business strategy, only 12% have completed and approved a Net Zero strategy.

Becoming sustainability-driven and acting on climate change can benefit your business.

According to IMD, 44% of investors have reported that they won’t invest in companies with poor sustainability performance; this means with more customers and investors prioritising companies committed to Net Zero and the potential long-term cost savings from using renewable energy, TRA members need to stay ahead.

Understanding your key stakeholders

Investment decisions cannot be made in isolation. One of the first steps is to engage with the stakeholders involved in your company’s decision-making, particularly those responsible for purchasing and financial decisions; these stakeholders may include finance managers, energy managers, procurement officers, operations managers, sustainability officers, or even business owners.

By understanding each stakeholder’s priorities, you can address their concerns in your Net Zero proposal.

Involving your stakeholders on the journey to Net Zero

Once you understand your stakeholders’ priorities, it is important to involve them in your plan. Start by identifying the interests and concerns of internal stakeholders and demonstrate how your insights can translate into action and align your business case with each stakeholder’s interests.

Building your Net Zero proposal

After identifying key stakeholders’ priorities, you can start building your Net Zero proposal. Ensure your proposal includes clear milestones for the company to achieve, and addressing stakeholder concerns early will be beneficial as the transition to Net Zero may require long-term changes in business operations.

Your proposal should be aligned with the business values and goals, key dates, a timeline of events, how each milestone will be met, the responsibilities of each stakeholder, who would be responsible for overseeing each milestone, and updates on progress.

Although transitioning to Net Zero requires a level of cultural shift from the company, the journey extends beyond reducing energy consumption and using electric vehicles – in fact, Net Zero includes the wider stakeholder groups which could involve the entire value chain and those who may operate in other countries.

Effective communication is key to gaining buy-in; using clear, concise language and data to support your case can help stakeholders understand the proposal.

Support from stakeholders is key for implementing a net zero strategy that effectively lowers carbon emissions. Building awareness internally is also important, and employees should be equipped with relevant information to ensure clarity with the strategy.

The TRA is supporting its members on their net zero journey and the UK’s aim to achieve net zero by 2050. To stay updated on the latest news, sign up to the TRA e-newsletter and follow us on social media.

Has your business started to reduce its carbon emissions? If so, we’d love to hear about your progress and to share your ideas in future e-newsletters and on social media. Please send them to

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