As the global climate crisis continues to worsen, companies around the world are recognizing the urgent need to take action to reduce their environmental impact, whether it is due to increasing government regulations or pressure from changing consumer patterns. In recent years, one key tool that has emerged as a crucial component of corporate sustainability strategies is the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
What are SBTi targets?
SBTi targets are ambitious goals that companies set for themselves to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the fight against climate change. These targets are science-based, meaning that they are set in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The SBTi helps companies set targets that are aligned with the most up-to-date scientific research on climate change and that will meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, which is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. By getting an approved target with the SBTi, companies can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and take concrete steps to reduce their environmental impact. The SBTi not only sets these targets for companies but also offers resources and assistance in taking active steps to achieve these targets.
Some examples of SBTi targets include setting a target to reduce a company's greenhouse gas emissions by a certain percentage or setting a target to use a certain percentage of renewable energy in the company's operations. These targets will typically be customised to fit the company's specific circumstances and what is achievable for them.
Why are SBTi targets so important for sustainability?
SBTi targets are crucial in supporting the global economy in its fight against climate change, as they help companies set clear goals and benchmarks for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. This can be a powerful motivator for action, as it provides a clear roadmap for companies to follow as they work to reduce their carbon footprint.
In addition, SBTi targets can also help companies stay ahead of the curve when it comes to regulatory compliance. More and more governments around the world are implementing policies to address climate change, such as the new CSRD sustainability reporting standards. Companies that have already set SBTi targets will be well-positioned to comply with these regulations and avoid potential penalties.
Most importantly, SBTi targets can help companies play a leading role in the fight against climate change. By setting ambitious targets for reducing their emissions, companies can help drive innovation and spur investment in new clean energy technologies. This, in turn, can help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and reduce the overall impact of climate change as much as possible.
Creating a larger sustainability strategy
However, to truly achieve a net-zero future, companies need to take a holistic approach to reduce their environmental impact. This requires a commitment to sustainability that goes beyond simply setting targets. In fact, SBTi has developed a Net-Zero Standard for companies, which is also the world’s first framework for long-term and science-based net-zero targets.
These targets require companies to focus on reducing carbon emissions within their own value chain, rather than external certifications or avoided emissions. As such, the Net-Zero Standard looks at action taken by a company to reduce emissions across Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3. The inclusion of Scopes 2 and 3, which includes a majority of a company’s emissions, will help in achieving significant decarbonisation to help reach the Net-Zero Standard.
Furthermore, achieving the Net-Zero Standard is not just about setting short-term goals, but also long-term, science-based targets. While short-term targets that reduce emissions as quickly and effectively as possible are necessary, there is also a need for long-term targets in order to achieve net zero by 2050.
In conclusion, SBTi targets are a vital tool for companies that are committed to sustainability. By setting ambitious, science-based goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, companies can contribute to a more sustainable future. However, it is important to remember that setting SBTi targets is just one part of a broader sustainability strategy.
Here at GRYN, we help you keep track of your company’s carbon emissions with our GRYN dashboard. With this data modelling, we help identify areas you can improve on and how you can take the next steps towards being more sustainable. If you would like to know what steps to take to achieve your net-zero strategy, book a demo with us today!