Statement on the end of the Commitment Compliance Policy grace period

31st Jul 2023

On January 31 2023, a new Commitment Compliance Policy came into effect at the SBTi. Companies and financial institutions have 24 months from committing to set science-based targets to then setting targets. Previously, any organizations which failed to submit targets within the allotted time frame were simply removed from the Target Dashboard. The new policy means they are marked as "Commitment Removed" on the Dashboard.

There was a six month grace period to allow companies with commitments made before the new policy to comply and submit their science-based targets for validation. That grace period ended on 31 July. Commitments made during the grace period that received validated targets before July 31 are listed as "Targets Set". Commitments will continue to be listed as “Active” if targets have been submitted within the commitment time frame but are still awaiting target approval. However, those companies that did not submit targets by July 31 will have their commitment listed as "Commitment Removed".

From August 3, therefore, a number of commitments on the Target Dashboard will be marked as "Commitment Removed". The companies will continue to be marked in this way until they submit and have approved targets for validation.*

The majority of businesses that commit to setting science-based targets successfully go on to do so. The new policy makes it clear where companies have committed to set targets but then failed to comply. Not only does this increase transparency and accountability around commitments and eventual validation, it acts as a major disincentive for companies to make commitments without taking action.

The SBTi does not comment on individual companies with commitments or targets, however we encourage any and all companies that are removed to re-engage with the process to set science-based targets for validation as soon as possible. Urgent corporate climate action is required to limit the worst effects of climate change and the SBTi remains on hand to validate the ambitious, robust targets needed to achieve that.

Companies’ commitments statuses are indicated for transparency purposes, which is essential for a standard-setter.

We do understand, however, that the climate target setting journey is something new and acknowledge that internal timelines might vary for different companies. Regardless of the status of the commitment, a target can still be submitted and approved - it is by no means the end of the story for any company. We will continue to work with all companies and welcome them to set these targets when they are ready.

It just shows how transparent and rigorous science-based targets are. The SBTi’s role is to set the standards in line with the science.

*As per the Commitment Compliance Policy page 8, commitments made under Business Ambition for 1.5°C Campaign under option 2 are due 31 January 2024. See page 3 and 8 of the Commitment Compliance Policy for further detail.

For financial institutions, an extension is granted until April 2024 or six months from the publication of the Financial Institution Net-Zero Standard - whichever is later.