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Environmental Defense Fund

Accelerating Industry's Pathways to Net Zero

EDF+Business and its parent organization, the Environmental Defense Fund, sought to turn corporate climate pledges into concrete climate action. To do so, they needed to create a tool that organized an incredible breadth of resources, roadmaps, and strategies that companies could use to reach net zero emissions—and they needed to do so on an accelerated timeline to launch at Climate Week 2023. Together, we created the Net Zero Action Accelerator tool, an accessible website that helps sustainability experts and implementation strategists chart their organizations’ paths to net zero.

Research & Discovery

Building a Blueprint for Deeper Engagement

Building a tool to help businesses reach net zero emissions from scratch on a tight deadline required close collaboration and discovery with the EDF+Business team. Within EDF+Business, the Net Zero Value Chains team works on fostering corporate partnerships and strategy to address businesses’ impact on climate, health, land, and water. To learn more about their processes and about the organization’s vision for a tool that could help any business advance toward net zero, Constructive conducted interviews with leadership at EDF+Business to understand how to attract the right audiences, engage stakeholders, and build lasting relationships with corporate decision makers.

Research & Strategy

A Roadmap for an Approachable, Impactful Tool

Working closely with the EDF+Business team, Constructive’s strategists immersed ourselves into the systems and environmental scopes needed to accelerate net zero. Our biggest takeaways included understanding that the tool needed to be highly accessible, actionable, and customizable. The site would need to reflect the tone of sites that decision makers at corporations use everyday, and it would need to guide them through decarbonization steps. Our strategy phase resulted in providing EDF+Business with guiding themes for their new website to meet those needs.

Research & Strategy

Creating Customizable Pathways to Accelerate Climate Action

In our strategy phase, we also charted the foundation of the Net Zero Action Accelerator Tool: user pathways. A pathway comprises a series of Action Steps designed to guide visitors through a process they can adopt to advance toward net zero. These pathways, which users could chart themselves, help visitors easily identify the steps needed to move their organizations toward net zero emissions. Each pathway is determined by a user’s needs and provides actionable steps users can take to reach their net zero goals.

User Experience

Creating a User-Friendly Resource for Decision Makers

The EDF+Business’s Net Zero Action Accelerator tool needed to balance the complexity of catering to user’s unique needs with the clarity and comprehensibility necessary for building ongoing relationships with decision makers. Ease of use was especially critical since so much of the power of the tool hinged on users’ repeated interactions with the Net Zero Action Accelerator as they guide their businesses’ toward net zero emissions. Working in close collaboration with the EDF+Business team, our designers, UX experts, and developers built a clear taxonomy for a website that would cleanly help users develop actionable, customizable paths for their organizations.

Website Design

The Intersection of a Familiar Brand and an Innovative Tool

In order to earn the trust of business leaders and sustainability implementation specialists, the website needed to convey credibility and trustworthiness. With clean design, strategic minimalism, and visual cues that evoke the Environmental Defense Fund parent brand, the Net Zero Action Accelerator was designed with decision makers in mind. These principles are seen in the accelerator’s hero video, which anchors the homepage. Juxtaposing individual impacts, like parents gardening with children, with systemic impacts—overhead shots of crop systems—the looping video shows how a tool with such profound potential can help improve climate outcomes for individuals and industries alike.

The Net Zero Action Accelerator design demonstrates how a tool with such profound potential can help improve climate outcomes for individuals and industries alike.

Iterative Design

User Testing to Build a Dynamic, Useful Tool

In the creation of the Net Zero Action Accelerator, we placed a strong emphasis on learning from the tool’s No. 1 stakeholder: users themselves. Organizing a website based on assumptions fails to take a user’s actual experience with the site into account. So, together with the EDF+Business team, we built a beta version that we could soft launch months ahead of the public launch to help us organize a website based on real experiences rather than assumptions. Each step of the multi-tiered user testing process provided insight into how users interact with the tool. Those insights helped our UX strategists and our developers creatively iterate the Net Zero Action Accelerator to maximize engagement and minimize drop off ahead of the tool’s public launch for NYC Climate Week.

Pathway Applications

Putting Net Zero on the Map, No Matter the Path

The crux of the Net Zero Action Accelerator is the breadth of customizable filters to help users find the right pathways for their decarbonization needs. The pathways greet users by asking them to identify their goals, and from there, the filters lead users to pathways that guide decision makers through the action steps and resources.

Pathway Applications

Custom Objectives and Success Metrics to Reach Climate Goals

With 25 of pathway pages, each providing between three and seven action steps and corresponding resources, users are given customized tools to move their organization toward net zero. Each action step has guidance text and resources that users can add and save to their dashboards as they chart their path to net zero.

Brand Applications

Resources to Chart a Clear Path to Net Zero

For years, the climate and industry experts at EDF+Business have built an expansive library of resources and tools to help guide organizations on their decarbonization journeys. Now, the resources hub of the Net Zero Action Accelerator makes those vital tools easily accessible and approachable with content like articles, trainings, videos, documents, and more.

Our Client's Experience

“We needed to organize a huge amount of information into an accessible tool on an accelerated timeline. From website strategy and project management to design and user experience, the Constructive team’s expertise was critical for creating this engaging, impactful website. The team’s talent, thoughtfulness, and kindness made them feel like an extension of my team.”

Ellen Shenette, Net Zero Accelerator Director
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