Developing the Corporate Net-Zero Standard

Project Background

The Corporate Net-Zero Standard was initially launched by the SBTi in October 2021 to address the growing need for a common understanding of science-aligned net-zero targets in the corporate sector. Since then, there have been two minor revisions of the standard, V1.1 and V1.2. The SBTi is now undertaking a major revision, which will result in Version 2.0 of the Corporate Net-Zero Standard.

The SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standard V1.2 is the most recent and valid resource for companies to set net-zero aligned science-based targets.

About the Corporate Net-Zero Standard V2 Project

The development of the Corporate Net-Zero Standard Version 2.0 revision will be conducted according to the Standard Operating Procedure for the Development of SBTi Standards (SOP). The update is happening in line with the regular review cycle, as outlined in the SOP, which must happen every two to five years. The SBTi has also published a Project Feedback Form to enable stakeholders to submit feedback throughout the standard revision process.

The SBTi has four key goals for the review of the Corporate Net-Zero Standard:

  1. To align with the latest scientific thinking and best practice, such as from the IPCC and the UN Secretary General’s High Level Expert Group on the net zero emissions commitments of non-state entities (HLEG).

  2. To address challenges related to scope 3 target setting and implementation.

  3. To integrate continuous improvement and target delivery.

  4. To improve structure and enhance interoperability with other SBTi standards as well as other relevant external frameworks and standards.

As part of the revision of the standard, the SBTi is also conducting an assessment of the effectiveness of Environmental Attribute Certificates (EACs) in corporate climate targets. An open call for evidence on this topic took place in 2023, and the results of this assessment will feed into the Corporate Net-Zero Standard revision, in line with the SOP.

Deliverables of the Corporate Net-Zero Standard V2 Project

The deliverables of the SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standard V2 (excluding research-focussed deliverables) are:

Final deliverables:

  • Corporate Net-Zero Standard V2.0

  • Updated Corporate Target-Setting Tool(s)

  • Criteria assessment indicators

Interim deliverables:

  • Public Consultation Draft Standard

  • Public Consultation Feedback Report

  • Pilot Testing Feedback Report

  • Basis For Conclusions Report

The SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standard V2 project involves significant a number of inter-related research projects, including revision of target-setting emission pathways and methods, review of scope 3 target-setting framework, research to assess progress against targets at the end of the target cycle (initially focused on scope 1 and 2), and an assessment of the effectiveness of environmental attribute certificates in corporate climate targets.

Resources

Relevant resources can be found below:

Contact

For enquiries about the SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standard, email the team at [email protected].

Subscribe to the SBTi mailing list to receive our newsletters and stay up-to-date on the progress of the project.

Development of Version 1 of the Corporate 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.

Version 1 of the Corporate 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 included:

  • Consultation with the SBTi’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Groups, and a dedicated Net-Zero Expert Advisory Group

  • Two public consultations reaching over 500 stakeholders

  • 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

Expert advisory group

The Expert Advisory Group for the first version of the Net-Zero Standard were

Net-Zero Road Test

More than 80 companies road-tested the target validation criteria and guidance for the SBTi’s Net-Zero Standard V1 over six-weeks in 2021. This helped us ensure the net-zero criteria, guidance and target setting tools were 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- and long-term science-based targets which aim to reduce value-chain emissions in line with the science.

Companies that either already had SBTi-validated science-based targets aligned to 1.5°C or had committed to the SBTi's Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign were invited to take part in the road test. From the companies that applied, the SBTi selected companies aiming for diversity in region, sector and emissions profile.

Public consultation

Two public consultations were held.

The first public consultation on the draft SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Criteria V1 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 150 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

Development resources