Lead the way to a low-carbon future
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 well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.
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
Who is eligible to join the SBTi?
We encourage companies from all sectors and of all company sizes to join the movement and commit to setting a 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 crucial role in ensuring the transition 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.
What are the benefits of joining the SBTi?
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
To determine if a target is science-based, our team of experts will review your submission, validate it against our science-based criteria and communicate their decision and detailed feedback.
After sending a commitment letter, companies have 24 months to submit their target and have it validated and published by the SBTi.
Targets submitted to the SBTi first go through an initial screening to ensure basic criteria are met. Once a target submission passes the initial screening, companies will be asked to sign the target validation service contract. Once signed, the SBTi will assess the submitted targets and communicate its decision within 30 business days of contract execution. Please note that the validation service closes each year from December into January, and therefore halts validation activities during this time.
If targets are not approved, companies should review the feedback and resubmit targets as soon as they are able. The standard validation service includes a second assessment for no additional charge within six months of the first assessment.
The target validation process costs USD 4950 (plus applicable VAT) which includes up to two target assessments (one partial and one complete or two complete validations), or USD 1,000 (+ applicable VAT) for SMEs.
Subsequent resubmissions cost USD 2490 (plus applicable VAT). Resubmissions include one target assessment.
Certain companies may be eligible to request a fee waiver if they need – find out if your company is eligible to request a fee waiver.
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
In 2017, we became the first company globally to set new, science-based targets in line with the 1.5 degree trajectory recommended in the Paris Climate Accord. Jason Tarry Tesco UK and ROI CEO