Developing the Net-Zero Standard
In 2019, the SBTi initiated an inclusive, stakeholder-informed process to develop a framework to enable companies to set robust and credible net-zero targets in line with a 1.5°C future.
The Net-Zero Standard was developed through a balanced, transparent, and inclusive stakeholder process. The SBTi proactively engaged with interested individuals and organizations, providing a range of updates and ways to input into the process. This includes:
- Consultation with the SBTi’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Groups, and a dedicated Net Zero Expert Advisory Group
- Two public consultations reaching over 500 people
- A road-test and pilot involving over 80 companies
- Ad-hoc information and consultation sessions including webinars and workshops
- Regular updates on the SBTi website
- A net-zero newsletter
The SBTi initiated a scoping phase of work in 2019 to develop a framework to enable companies to set robust and credible net-zero targets in line with a 1.5°C future. The standard development process formally began after publication of the Foundations for net-zero target setting in the corporate sector paper in September 2020. At this point, the SBTi convened a dedicated Net-Zero Expert Advisory Group (EAG), which was to be the main consensus building body for the project.
The SBTi then began developing detailed criteria and guidance in regular consultation with the EAG, as well as the SBTi’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group. The SBTi requested feedback from stakeholders to improve the standard through two public consultations and a company road test. The standard was launched on 28 October 2021.
We are currently conducting research to inform our approach to activities that aim to accelerate climate action beyond a company’s value-chain. The Expert Advisory Group will be scrutinizing this research and will be involved in the decisions SBTi makes in this area:
- The SBTi is conducting further research to inform the “net” of net-zero (the compensation and neutralisation criteria) elements of the Net-Zero Standard. As part of the process of developing the Net-Zero Standard, SBTi is working with the advisory firm SYSTEMIQ to explore how we might encourage companies to go beyond their science-based targets to mitigate emissions outside their value chains.
- The SBTi recognizes there is an urgent need to scale up finance in the near-term to support climate mitigation, and is undertaking research to understand what role it should play in incentivizing and enabling these investments. In the coming months, the SBTi will use the results of this work to consider various models through consultation with the Expert Advisory Group and other stakeholders and decide on ac course of action in early 2022. Please see the Beyond Value Chain Mitigation FAQ for more information.
Expert advisory group
The Expert Advisory Group involves a range of representatives from science, business, academia and civil society:
Alexia Kelly, Netflix
Ankita Kumari, Survival International
Anthony Hobley, WEF
Candace Vinke, Verra
Carsten Warnecke, New Climate Institute
Chris Bayliss, Aluminium Stewardship Initiative
Cynthia McHale, Climate Action 100+
Daniel Salter, Amazon
Derik Broekhoff, Stockholm Environment Institute
Doreen Stabinsky, College of the Atlantic
Emily Hickson, B Team
Eveline Speelman, Energy Transitions Commission
Faustine Delasalle, Energy Transitions Commission
Gary Cook, Stand.Earth
Gilles Dufrasne, Carbon Market Watch
Giulio Berruti, BSR
Helen Wiggs Marshall, ShareAction
Jen Austin, High-Level Champions
Jessica Andrews, Net-Zero Asset Owners Alliance
John Revess, WBCSD
Karol Gobczynski, Ikea
Luca de Giovanetti, WBCSD
Michael Hugman, CIFF
Mischa Reppman, Swiss Re
Nafkote Dabi, Oxfam
Owen Hewlett, Gold Standard
Pedro Martins Barata, EDF
Ramiro Fernández, High-Level Champions / Fundacion Avina
Rasmus Valanko, We Mean Business
Richard Batten, JLL
Roy Vissers, DSM
Salla Sulasuo, DSM
Stephan Singer, Climate Action Network
Thomas Lingard, Unilever
Tom Hale, Oxford University
Valentina Lira, Viña Concha y Toro
Net-Zero Road Test
Between 15 July 2021 and 31 August 2021, over 80 companies road-tested the target validation criteria and guidance for the SBTi’s Net-Zero Standard. This helped us ensure the net-zero criteria, guidance and target setting tools are robust, clear and practical. It also helped identify challenges for adoption and implementation of the Standard across industries.
The road test focused on criteria and methods for setting near-term and long-term science-based targets which aim to reduce value-chain emissions in line with the science.
Companies were invited to take part in the road test in May 2021. Companies that either already had science-based targets aligned to 1.5°C validated by the SBTi or had committed to the SBTi's Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign were invited via email. From the group of companies that applied, the SBTi then selected companies aiming for diversity in region, sector and emissions profile. The SBTi invited all road test companies to take part in the pilot validation, but were only able to validate seven companies on a first-come, first-served basis due to resource constraints. Thus, participation in the pilot validation is not a reflection on the performance of any other company in the road test.
- ab inbev
- A.P. Moller-Maersk
- ABOUT YOU AG & Co. KG
- ACCIONA Energía
- ACCIONA S.A
- Baluarte Cultura
- Bayer AG
- Bloomberg LP
- BMW Group
- Boston Consulting Group
- Capgemini SE
- Colgate Palmolive Company
- CVS Health
- Dentsu International
- Deutsche Telekom AG
- EDF Group
- EDP Energias de Portugal
- Emira Property Fund
- Enel S.p.A.
- FLSmidth A/S
- Holcim Ltd.
- International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG)
- Kesko Corporation
- Magyar Telekom Plc.
- Mahindra Lifespace Developers Limited
- McCain Foods
- Multiplex Construction Europe
- Outokumpu Oy
- Pfizer Inc.
- Pilgrim's UK
- Ralph Lauren Corporation
- Rolls-Royce plc
- Slaughter and May
- Sopra Steria Group
- Swire Properties Limited
- Swiss Re
- Telenor ASA
- Veritas Technologies
- Wipro Ltd
- WSP Global Inc.
Two public consultations were held.
The first public consultation on the draft SBTi Net-Zero Criteria was conducted between January and March 2021. Over 400 respondents contributed their views, helping to further refine the Net-Zero Criteria.
The Net-Zero Pre-Launch Public Consultation was open for comment from 20 September until 6 October 2021. More than 168 participants helped to refine our resources before the launch Net-Zero Standard on 28 October 2021. The consultation aimed to:
Collect input from external stakeholders on the clarity of the Net-Zero Standard materials
Understand and build support for the SBTi’s future direction
Identify areas of improvement
Developed by the SBTi in 2020, this paper aimed to provide a conceptual foundation for setting and assessing corporate net-zero targets based on robust climate science. It explored the scientific literature that informs how the global economy can reach a state of net-zero emissions within the biophysical limits of the planet and in line with societal climate and sustainability goals.
Pre-Launch Public Consultation Webinar:
- SBTi Net-Zero Standard Criteria Draft for Public Consultation
- Key Questions that were put to Public Consultation
- Net-Zero Criteria Draft for Public Consultation Feedback Report
- Net-Zero Criteria Draft for Public Consultation Feedback Report - Summary
Over 80 companies road-tested the Net-Zero Standard between 15 July and 31 August 2021.
- SBTi Net-Zero Criteria for Road Test
- SBTi Net-Zero Road Test Welcome Pack
- SBTi Net-Zero Corporate Manual for Road Test
- How-To Guide for the SBTi's Net-Zero Standard for Road Test
- Road Test Launch Webinar Slides
Road Test Workshop Slides:
- Road Test Feedback Report: This report details the feedback from the Net-Zero Standard road test survey which the SBTi used to refine criteria and guidance in advance of the launch of the Net-Zero Standard.
- Pre-Launch Public Consultation Feedback Report: This report details the feedback from the pre-launch public consultation survey which the SBTi used to refine criteria and guidance in advance of the launch of the Net-Zero Standard.
- Business Ambition for 1.5°C: Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions
- Towards a Science-Based Approach to Climate Neutrality in the Corporate Sector by the Science Based Targets initiative and CDP (September 2019)
- UN Global Compact Academy E-learning Course on Science-Based Targets