Commitment Compliance Policy - what you need to know

2nd Nov 2022

Transparency and accountability are core to our work at the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and we are focused on continually improving, which is why we are releasing our new Commitment Compliance Policy today. It will come into force on January 31 2023, so companies have plenty of time to prepare.

Strengthening our mission

The SBTi’s goal is to tackle the climate crisis by driving ambitious corporate climate action. We do this by encouraging as many high-impact companies and financial institutions as possible to set science-based targets, because evidence shows that businesses with these targets cut more emissions and cut them faster than companies that don’t.

The majority of businesses that commit to set targets go on to set targets. Some do not. Previously these were simply removed from the website after the 24 month commitment time frame. From January 31 2023, all companies and financial institutions that fail to submit their targets for validation within 24 months will have their commitments marked as ‘Removed’ on the SBTi Target Dashboard. Another important change is that the new policy does not allow extensions to the commitment time frame to be made on a case by case basis.

Improved clarity for stakeholders

This change will mean it is much easier to see which companies and financial institutions are sticking to their commitments and going on to set science-based targets. It represents a significant step forward with regard to transparency and places the focus where it belongs - on validated targets rather than commitments.

What this means for companies

We want the majority of companies with commitments to go onto get validated science-based targets so that they can decarbonize in line with science. We recommend that all committed companies read the new policy carefully, but an overview of the changes and the potential impact on your business are below.

New policy highlights:

  • The policy will come into effect on 31 January 2023, so you have plenty of time to prepare.
  • All companies and financial institutions with commitments have 24 months to submit their targets for validation from the original commitment date, aligned with previous policy.
  • Once the policy is effective, if targets are not submitted within the 24 month commitment time frame, the commitment will be marked as ‘Removed’ on the SBTi Target Dashboard.
  • This does not apply to commitments that have already been removed from the Target Dashboard. The SBTi will honor its previous policy for these companies and they will remain removed from the Target Dashboard.

If you have any concerns or questions about the new policy or your company’s ability to submit a science-based target for validation, please contact our team to discuss as soon as possible.

Commitment status

What will happen

Commitment time frame ends before January 31 2023

Your commitment will be granted an extension to July 31 2023 and be marked as ‘Commitment Compliance Policy transitory grace period. Targets to be submitted by July 31 2023.’ in the Target Dashboard data download.

Your target must be submitted for validation before July 31 2023 or your commitment will be marked as ‘Commitment removed’ on the SBTi website.

You should complete any work to enable you to submit a target by the new deadline.

Commitment time frame ends after January 31 2023

Your commitment will be subject to the new policy. That means that:

  • If it is less than 24 months since you committed to set targets your commitment will remain active in the Target Dashboard.

  • Once your target is validated, the temperature alignment and target wording will be shown in the Target Dashboard

  • If you withdraw your commitment or do not submit a target within your commitment time frame, your commitment will be marked on the Target Dashboard as ‘Commitment removed’.

  • Expired commitments will be updated on the Target Dashboard on the first Thursday of the following month. Thus, a commitment that expired in February 2023 will be updated to ‘Commitment removed’ on March 2nd 2023

Concerned about your commitment or the new policy

Our team can answer questions or help your company to honor your commitment. Contact our team as soon as possible to discuss options.

We want all committed companies to go on to set targets, but companies that don’t feel able to fulfil their commitment can choose to opt out, in line with the previous policy.

You must contact us before January 31 2023 to be removed from the SBTi Target Dashboard.

Your commitment will be removed on January 31st. You will not be permitted to submit a new commitment, but may submit targets directly for validation without a commitment being published on the target dashboard.

The SBTi is committed to holding companies accountable for driving emissions reductions in line with science, and the new policy will do just that. We’re excited to roll it out next year and to continue driving improvements in corporate climate action and ambition.