We have launched the new MRS Climate Pledge (replacing the MRS Net Zero Pledge) inline with recommendations of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) designed to encourage businesses to take positive actions towards achieving net zero in the shortest timeframe feasible. 

Our new Pledge focuses on four key areas: tracking, reduction, transparency and collaboration. It also features a helpful Climate Action list to help guide your organisation on the key steps to take meaningful steps in reducing carbon emissions. 

>> Download a copy of the new MRS Climate Pledge

>> The new Climate Pledge webinar - what it is and how to implement it

Following a strategy session in October 2023, the MRS Sustainability Council decided to revise the ‘Net Zero’ Pledge in order to better reflect the evolved global understanding of net zero. In particular, that there is now a distinction drawn between two concepts - carbon neutral and net zero - which were somewhat conflated in the previous Net Zero Pledge:

  • ‘Carbon neutral’ can be achieved by an organisation reducing emissions somewhat, and then offsetting the rest. This behavioural shift was the MRS’ original intention.
  • ‘Net Zero’ has come to be understood differently. It is now widely accepted that true Net Zero means 90% reduction in Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions before carbon removal/offset – an outcome too challenging for most MRS Company Partners to achieve by 2026.

The Council therefore decided to reflect global best practice in a new Pledge for 2024 that should encourage greater levels of positive behavioural change rather than putting off potential signees with unachievable goals. Existing signees are being migrated to the new Pledge.  

The new MRS Climate Pledge - key changes  

Since the launch of the original MRS Net Zero Pledge in 2021, we have developed a better understanding of absolute ‘net zero’ and how such targets may be defined and achieved, in line with the recommendations of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Based on feedback from consultants, we have also gained more awareness of the areas where organisations can make the most impact. With this revised MRS Climate Pledge, we hope to inspire, support, and accelerate both individual and collective actions aligned to a net zero pathway. 

We recognise that capacity and resources will vary across our industry, and we are not mandating a singular goal for all signatories. Progress will be measured through an Annual Pledge Tracking Survey where signatories must provide demonstrable evidence of their achievements in each area of the pledge, relative to previous years. 

The primary aim of this pledge is to encourage businesses to take positive climate action, towards ultimately achieving net zero in the shortest time frame feasible.

The Climate Pledge is also designed as a valuable first step that organisations can take on their climate reporting journey. Whilst at present it is only the large corporates which see statutory requirements to report on climate impact, it is likely that these requirements will expand in future to include more organisations. Additionally, stakeholders for our industry (such as clients and investors) are beginning to expect climate reporting (using CDP or other voluntary frameworks) and the adoption of Science Based Targets for reduction.  The MRS wholeheartedly supports those steps and has aimed to craft this new Climate Action Pledge so that it will help to prepare organisations in our sector to adapt to these changing expectations. 

>> See the list of signatories of the MRS Climate Pledge.

The first sustainability step for the research sector is the MRS Climate Pledge, designed for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices.  The Climate Pledge asks CEOs to make four commitments towards ensuring their organisations are sustainable by 2026. Signees of the Pledge are required to be an Accredited Company Partner.

MRS Net Zero Pledge – the previous pledge 

“We believe that human driven climate change is now a problem which can no longer be ignored. We believe our businesses, and the insight industry in general, have a key role to play in the transformations of business and society that are needed to create a sustainable future.

We commit to:

  1. Making our businesses net zero by 2026
  2. Tracking and publishing our carbon emissions, working to reduce and offset those emissions and publishing these figures annually in the Industry Report
  3. Collaborating across our sector and beyond, to share learnings and best practice to achieve the above goals
  4. Supporting and encouraging conversations and call outs by our employees, partners and clients about environmental concerns and viewpoints

We believe we have a role in using our extensive understanding of consumer behaviour in advocating and supporting clients with their sustainability agenda. We also commit to educating ourselves and our employees to positively impact the planet.” 

The MRS Net Zero Pledge tracking survey results

In July 2023, we surveyed the 90+ MRS Net Zero Pledge signees to find out how they were faring in terms of measuring a baseline for their current emissions – and breaking these down into the three scopes where respondees had them. Pledgees report varying degrees of progress towards measuring and reducing carbon emissions. For those who shared their 2022 results with MRS, the majority (54%) do not have the mechanisms and reporting infrastructure available to regularly report their CO2e emissions. However the future looks brighter with 67% looking to have an SBTi net zero target in the next 12 months as well as 42% aiming to become B-Corp as well.

See the MRS Net Zero Pledge tracking report

Carbon Calculator

The Pledge does not mandate the process you choose to measure your carbon footprint. Although if you would like help MRS has partnered with Compare Your Footprint to offer their carbon footprint calculation software. All MRS Company Partners are eligible to a 20% discount on the software (MRS makes no financial gain in this arrangement). Find out more here.


Government procurement recognition

In November 2021, Crown Commercial Services (CCS) launched a new Research and Insight Marketplace Dynamic Procurement System (DPS) for the procuring of research and insight across the public sector. The new Research and Insight DPS will include the MRS Climate Pledge as one of the options for supplies to demonstrate their social value and carbon neutral plans. By including the Pledge in this way CCS raises the profile of the Pledge among the 200+ suppliers who are expected to register on the new DPS plus the public sector commissioners who procure from it.

Although the selection questionnaire itself does not mention MRS pledge as an option (due to the procurement policy regulations CCS are unable to do this) CCS have informed all suppliers and interested parties that they are welcome to offer the MRS Climate Pledge as an option and that the CCS team will accept it as a compliant answer.

If you would like to sign the Climate Pledge on behalf of your organisation please email

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