SBTi secures $37M USD to scale-up exponential growth

3rd Nov 2021

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the global body enabling businesses to set emissions reduction targets in line with science, has been awarded three grants totaling $37 million USD from Bezos Earth Fund, IKEA Foundation and Laudes Foundation.

The funding will enable the SBTi to accelerate the exponential growth in the number of companies setting science-based emissions reductions targets focused on immediate, ambitious and robust action to halve global emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero before 2050.

More than 2000 companies are already committed to the SBTi, and companies with science-based targets are on track to halve emissions between 2020-2030 - exactly the pace and scale required by climate science.

Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Managing Director and Co-Founder of the SBTi, said: “Since our inception in 2015, science-based targets have evolved from a nascent concept into a movement now covering 20% of the global economy. However, to keep a fighting chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C, the rate of adoption needs to grow exponentially.

“We are extremely grateful for the generous support from our funders. This demonstration of support has the power to create a butterfly effect in the real economy - by incentivizing the investment required from corporates to decarbonize business models through the adoption and implementation of 1.5°C-aligned climate targets.”

Bezos Earth Fund and IKEA Foundation have each awarded the SBTi $18 million over three years to help the SBTi deliver on its recently announced strategy to make 1.5°C the central ambition in the target setting framework, and deliver new strategy and operational models to further increase the robustness and impact of the initiative.

Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation, says: “I am excited that the Bezos Earth Fund has joined the IKEA Foundation to support the Science Based Target initiative with an £18 million grant to enable it to scale up its work to guide companies towards a zero-carbon economy. Our support will take SBTi to the next level, expanding the reach of a consistent and harmonised methodology to set targets for emissions reductions - not only for large corporations, but also over time for smaller companies and the financial sector.”

Andrew Steer, President and CEO of Bezos Earth Fund said: “The SBTi will ensure that decarbonization targets, including net-zero targets, are consistent with what the science requires and are implemented in a transparent manner. The Bezos Earth Fund is proud to support this bold and very necessary effort.”

Laudes Foundation has provided $1 million. This grant will support the SBTi to develop science-based target setting methodologies, tools, and guidance for business in the built environment and other stakeholders, to help companies understand and implement the level of climate ambition required to meet the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.

James Drinkwater, Head of Built Environment at Laudes Foundation, said: “SBTi has set a pathway for businesses to align themselves with the science on climate change. Laudes Foundation is delighted to support SBTi’s leadership in tackling the total climate impact of the built environment.”

The SBTi unveiled the Net-Zero Standard in October. This is the world’s first science-based certification of companies’ net-zero targets in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping planetary warming to 1.5°C.

Furthermore, the role of finance in corporate decarbonization is vital for the world to reach net-zero emissions. The SBTi is therefore leading efforts to define and develop metrics around what net-zero looks like for financial institutions to decarbonize the real economy and is launching its Net-Zero Foundations for Financial Institutions: Draft for Public Consultation today (Wednesday 3 November 2021).

The initiative is now calling on organizations across all geographies and sectors to commit to science-based net-zero by returning the signed commitment letter to [email protected]. To reserve a spot on the waitlist for Net-Zero Target validation, companies should use the Net-Zero Target Validation booking system.