What are science-based targets?

What are ‘science-based targets’?

Science-based targets provide a clearly-defined pathway for companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, helping prevent the worst impacts of climate change and future-proof business growth.

Targets are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.


How can companies set a science-based target?

The private sector must play a fundamental role in reducing GHG emissions. Embedding science-based targets in sustainability management is crucial.

Setting a science-based target is a five-step process:

  • Commit: submit a letter establishing your intent to set a science-based target
  • Develop: work on an emissions reduction target in line with the SBTi’s criteria
  • Submit: present your target to the SBTi for official validation
  • Communicate: announce your target and inform your stakeholders
  • Disclose: report company-wide emissions and track target progress annually
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Who is eligible to set targets with the SBTi?

We encourage companies and from all sectors, including financial institutions, and of all sizes to develop science-based target. We acknowledge differences between business areas, which is why we are developing sector-specific pathways.

The SBTi is especially keen to welcome companies in the highest-emitting sectors, who play a pivotal role in ensuring the transformation to a zero-carbon economy.

The SBTi does not currently assess targets for cities, local governments, public sector institutions, educational institutions or non-profit organizations.

Cities can register their interest in setting targets through the Science Based Targets Network.

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What are the benefits of setting science-based targets?

Reducing GHG emissions in line with climate science is good for the planet and for companies.

Science-based target setting makes business sense – it future-proofs growth, saves money, provides resilience against regulation, boosts investor confidence, spurs innovation and competitiveness – while also demonstrating concrete sustainability commitments to increasingly-conscious consumers.

Companies going through the target validation process benefit from detailed feedback and support from the SBTi’s technical experts. Businesses who sign the SBTi commitment letter are immediately recognized as “Committed” on our website, as well as the CDP, UN Global Compact and We Mean Business websites.

Frequently asked questions

EDP is joining the global movement of companies committed to aligning their business with the most ambitious target of the Paris Agreement to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels. António Castro head of EDP’s Corporate Sustainability Department

Join the world’s biggest companies by cutting your GHG emissions

Commit Submit a letter establishing your intent to set a science-based target
Develop Work on an emissions reduction target in line with the SBTi’s criteria
Submit Present your target to the SBTi for official validation
Communicate Announce your target and inform your stakeholders
Disclose Report company-wide emissions and progress against targets on an annual basis