The Cycle of Change: Fond Farewells and New Beginnings

16th May 2022

Each new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. As the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) enters its new phase of evolution, we are saying a fond farewell to two incredible colleagues who have given a momentous amount to the SBTi from the very beginning: two of our co-founders, Cynthia Cummis and Heidi Huusko. They have been integral to the success of the SBTi to date and leave incredible legacies, along with a highly ambitious team that they have built from the ground up.

Cynthia played a critical role in designing the SBTi and its core functions. Her expertise in GHG accounting and designing and managing voluntary corporate climate programs has been instrumental in the success of the SBTi. Cynthia’s major contributions include leading the development of the target validation criteria and process and the conceptualization and development of the SBTi’s financial sector framework. Her contributions were also essential in establishing the SBTi as a robust and credible benchmark for corporate climate action.

The Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign - which paved the way for an unprecedented increase in ambition - could not have been realized without Heidi’s dedication. Her wisdom and unfaltering support were instrumental to initiating and guiding this vital campaign, as well as helping to shape the overall initiative and building crucial relationships with our partners.

As co-founders, Cynthia and Heidi - along with Pedro Faria and Alberto Carrillo Pineda - built the foundations on which the SBTi stands today. The SBTi now stands strong atop these solid foundations, as demonstrated in our recent Progress Report. We are ready to further their work and our core mission: driving ambitious climate action from companies and financial institutions. In light of this and in recognition of his incredible contributions, I am pleased to announce that Alberto is assuming the role of Chief Technical Officer. In this role, Alberto will lead the SBTi’s Technical department which develops and maintains the SBTi framework, including standards, guidance, target-setting methods and tools.. There is no one else who could lead this team the way that Alberto can. His knowledge, level-headed approach and commitment will support this team to continue to deliver excellence in the months and years to come.

With myself, Alberto and the rest of the Executive Leadership Team at the helm, we are ready to continue building and evolving our initiative, with the next priorities being to roll out new technical governance, guarantee SBTi exponential growth as a global standard setter and complete technical guidelines and standards for key sectors of the global economy.

Increasing corporate climate ambition

Departure of beloved colleagues is a bittersweet moment. Like all farewells, it is sad to say goodbye, but it is also exciting - Cynthia and Heidi are both setting out on new adventures, and will continue to shape our future on this planet through their passionate and knowledgeable work in the climate space. We have overwhelming gratitude for the many years they contributed to the SBTi, and wish them bon voyage as they steer in their new directions and we continue to sail onwards - no longer on the same ship, but certainly side-by-side in the same waters.

As we turn the page onto this new beginning, we are looking forward to the next phase of the SBTi as we move from a successful start-up to scale-up and consolidate ourselves to continue to ramp up corporate climate ambition. We will be making an announcement soon about enhanced governance for SBTi.

With an incredibly talented team, the SBTi is well positioned for the next stage in our growth. We will soon start recruiting new senior leadership positions. To find out more and apply for the vacancies, visit the recruitment page on our website. Keep an eye on our newsletter, Twitter and LinkedIn for opportunities to join our fantastic, global team and support the SBTi’s mission.