International Standard
IWA 42:2022
Net zero guidelines
Reference number
IWA 42:2022
Edition 1
International Standard
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IWA 42:2022
Published (Edition 1, 2022)

IWA 42:2022

IWA 42:2022
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This document provides guiding principles and recommendations to enable a common, global approach to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions through alignment of voluntary initiatives and adoption of standards, policies and national and international regulation.

This document provides guidance on what governance organizations and other organizations can do to effectively contribute to global efforts to limit warming to 1,5 °C by achieving net zero no later than 2050. It provides guidance on a common and equitable contribution and recognizes the capability of individual organizations in contributing to achieving global net zero. This document, when used in combination with applicable science-based pathways, provides guidance for organizations seeking to set robust climate strategies.

This document provides common terms and definitions, guidance and specific recommendations on:

  • net zero guiding principles for all organizations;
  • incorporating net zero into strategies and policies;
  • what net zero means at different levels and for different types of organization;
  • setting and aligning interim and long-term targets based on equity, latest scientific knowledge, evidence, research and agreed good practice;
  • actions to take to achieve these targets;
  • greenhouse gas emission reductions within the value chain;
  • nature protection and restoration;
  • avoided emissions and other climate contributions beyond the value chain;
  • removals;
  • offsets;
  • credits;
  • claims;
  • monitoring, measuring and use of appropriate and consistent indicators;
  • equity, empowerment, fair share and wider impact;
  • transparent reporting and effective communication.

This document is intended to align territorial approaches to achieving net zero (e.g. by nations, regions, cities) and value chain approaches by organizations.

This document is intended to enable and support all organizations, including governance organizations developing policies, frameworks, standards or other initiatives on net zero for use by others.

This document is intended to complement voluntary initiatives and facilitate alignment, so that any organization looking to make or support a net zero claim takes a similar approach regardless of the initiative it is associated with.

NOTE 1  A single target for organizations of net zero for all greenhouse gas emissions, as soon as possible or by 2050 at the latest, is used in this document to provide a common, understandable and ambitious target, in line with scientific consensus on the global effort needed to limit warming to 1,5 °C with no or limited temperature overshoot. This organizational target aligns with the target stated in the Race to Zero Criteria.

NOTE 2  Governance organizations include:

  • national and sub-national (e.g. regional, local, municipal) governments, as appropriate;
  • regulators;
  • voluntary initiatives;
  • intergovernmental bodies;
  • international and national non-governmental organizations.

NOTE 3  This document does not provide guidance on carbon neutrality for organizations or for products and services. Information on carbon neutrality for organizations will be provided in ISO 14068 [under development].

General information

  •  : Published
     : 2022-11
    : International Standard published [60.60]
  •  : 1
     : 37
  • ISO/TC 207/SC 7
  • RSS updates
Climate action

This standard contributes to

  • Achieve climate neutrality: Carbon neutral and net zero emissions; 

To support global climate action, ISO offers the Net Zero Guidelines for free download and online browsing:


What is an IWA?
The different types of ISO publications.

Sustainable Development Goals

This standard contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goal

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