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Benchmarking the Membership Sector's Progress to Net Zero

CAFA's Net Zero Tracker benchmarks where organisations currently are in their net zero journey, identify the barriers to implementing climate action and pinpoint what support you and your members need moving forward. 

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The urgency of climate action is undeniable. Organisations worldwide must address the climate

emergency and foster sustainability internally, across their supply chains, and with their customers.


Membership organisations — including trade and industry associations and professional bodies

play a critical role in this effort.

With mounting pressure from employees, members, policymakers, and supply chains, the demand for proactive climate leadership from membership organisations has never been greater. While, integrating sustainability into business strategies and reducing emissions is essential, the greatest impact comes from championing and supporting members to take action.


In recognition of this urgency, Climate Action for Associations (CAFA) has launched the Net Zero Tracker.

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Our tracker is designed to:

1. Monitor and evaluate the progress of the membership sector's universal stance on net zero and sustainability

2Gauge the level of adoption and implementation of net zero and sustainability strategies by membership organisations

3Identify barriers and obstacles hindering efforts faced by membership organisations, paving the way for further targeted support and resources

4Provide evidence to advocate further and amplify the message of the role of the membership sector in relation to climate action, inspiring collaboration, action, and progress towards net zero emissions and sustainability

5Empower membership organisations that are uncertain about the importance of taking action.


Download the full CAFA Net Zero Tracker report below.




41% of membership organisations have started on their net zero journey, but have no formal plans in place.

79% of membership organisations

are encouraging their members to take climate action...

...but only 5% are mandating climate action and reporting as part of their membership.

36% of membership organisations have undertaken research on the impact that their profession and/or industry has on the environment?



30% of responses from CEO‘s/Managing Directors/General Managers.

The heavy representation of CEOs, Managing Directors, and General Managers among survey respondents sends a promising signal: the need to address climate change is firmly on the radar of senior leadership.

This implies strong support from the top for climate action initiatives within membership organisations. With leaders setting the tone, it's more likely that meaningful change will be embraced and enacted throughout the organisation. However, the senior leadership acknowledgment and support indicated in the survey are not being translated into meaningful and formal action.


CAFA conducted research to gauge the state of climate action within membership organisations. We surveyed a range of membership organisations via a survey platform which distributed a questionnaire via a diverse range of channels like email newsletters, social media, and website announcements. The survey featured structured questions for quantitative data and open-ended questions for qualitative insights.


Once the data was collected, it was cleaned and analysed to uncover trends and differences across respondent segments. The findings were then synthesised to draw meaningful conclusions and insights, considering their implications for membership organisations' climate change efforts.


Trade associations are a vital part of the UK economy, representing their sector to the

Government, driving standards and sharing best practice.


Since our formation in 1997, the Trade Association Forum has been the

‘association of associations’ – encouraging the development and sharing of best

practice among UK trade associations and promoting the role of effective trade associations

to government, industry and the wider public.

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Our certified emissions measurement, reporting & reduction programme, has been developed specifically for  membership organisations.

We'll take your membership organisation on a programme of emissions calculation, reporting, action planning & target setting. We will also identify cost savings for you along the way.

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