Conflict of interest policy
The SBTi’s conflict of interest policy is designed to ensure objectivity and independence regarding the validation of company targets.
Our target validation process has checks and balances in place to ensure the integrity of targets and adherence to the current SBTi criteria. To ensure objectivity, targets are assigned a lead reviewer and a peer reviewer. Peer-reviewers are usually hosted by a different partner organization. Recommendations from the lead reviewer and peer reviewer are then discussed and agreed by the SBTi target validation team, with representation from staff hosted by CDP, WRI and WWF.
Our conflict of interest policy ensures that no SBTi partners or staff who may individually have a financial relationship with the company involved are part of the validation process for that specific company's target.
Corporate funding agreements between SBTi and companies funding specific projects ensure that all decision making related to the project is taken independently by the SBTi. All corporate funders of sector projects are disclosed on the specific sector pages along with any other companies participating in the project.
Any SBTi partner organization with a conflict of interest (COI) will be excluded from the assessment process. When all partners have a COI, the results of the validation must be unanimous. The validation must also be approved by the SBTi Technical Director. This ensures an independent, credible, and objective target validation process.
What is considered a COI?
Any situation in which the impartiality and independence of a SBTi team member is at risk is considered a COI. More specifically, COIs include but are not limited to the following:
- A situation in which any member of a partner organization is paid any amount to provide advisory services to a company on their target.
- A situation in which a company provides significant funding to any of the SBTi partner organizations (e.g. through a partnership, service offering, donation). No SBTi partner organization shall accept funding where an objective of such funding is to influence any science-based target validation decisions. This applies equally to grants, contracts, sponsorship, sales of services, or any other income
- Any attempt by a partner of the SBTi, that is excluded from a target validation due to a COI, to amend responses or influence validation results, or assist any other party in doing so for personal gain will be regarded as gross misconduct and dealt with on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the policies of the relevant SBTi partners.
- December 2nd 2022: Policy updated
- February 22nd 2022: Policy published