Who we are

The Science Based Targets initiative is a partnership between CDP, UN Global Compact, WRI and WWF, which helps companies determine how much they must cut emissions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

What is a science-based target?

Targets adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered “science-based” if they are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre- industrial temperatures, as described in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5).

Watch this 2 minute animated infographic to learn what corporate science-based emissions targets are and why they matter in the global effort to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.

What we do

The initiative aims to lift corporate ambition and help businesses pursue bolder solutions to climate change. It supports companies to set emission reduction targets in line with what the science says is necessary to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 2 degrees. This will send a clear signal to policymakers that industry is committed to playing its part in decarbonizing the economy and will inspire other companies to move to ensure their future resilience. Our aim is that by 2018, science-based target setting will become standard business practice and corporations will play a major role in closing the emissions gap left by country commitments.

Reduce barriers to the adoption of science-based targets

We develop tools, guidance and other communications materials that distill technical information around science-based target setting to make it more easily understood by corporate sustainability professionals and other stakeholders. We also facilitate learning opportunities on science-based targets and provide technical support on the target setting process within companies.

Learn more:

Sectoral Decarbonization Approach
Draft Science-Based Target Setting Manual
Join one of our webinars or events

Institutionalize the adoption of science-based targets

We embed science-based targets as a fundamental component of sustainability management practices. Through incorporation in the CDP questionnaire and scoring, it is becoming part of the yearly reporting practice of companies and the data infrastructure for institutional investors. The Science Based Targets initiative supports the integration of science-based target setting into existing climate leadership platforms including UN Caring for Climate, WWF Climate Savers and others.

Learn more:

CAIT Business
CDP Questionnaire and Scoring

Create a critical mass

We engage with large, energy intensive companies in countries with significant and growing emissions to raise the ambition of corporate target setting practices. We actively communicate the company’s GHG reduction commitments, as well as their successes in reducing emissions, and feature influential, high-profile companies that will promote adoption amongst their competitors.

Learn more:

Mind the Science Report and Interactive Website
Call to Action Campaign
Approved Targets

About the partners


CDP is an international not-for-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage, and share vital environmental information. These insights enable investors, companies, and governments to mitigate risks from the use of energy and natural resources, and to identify opportunities from taking a responsible approach to the environment. (www.cdp.net)

Masterbrand Logo_gradient_blue_RGB

The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. By doing so, business, as a primary driver of globalization, can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere. (www.unglobalcompact.org)


WRI focuses on the intersection of the environment and socio-economic development. We go beyond research to put ideas into action, working globally with governments, business, and civil society to build transformative solutions that protect the earth and improve people’s lives.(www.wri.org)



WWF is one of the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries.

WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. (wwf.panda.org)

Technical Advisory Group

Find out more about the members of our technical advisory group.


fb-3     tw2