Forest, Land and Agriculture (FLAG)

Guidance for land-intensive sectors

Why take action?

The forest, land and agriculture sector is one of the industries at highest risk from the impact of climate change. But it is also a significant source of emissions. It represents nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions - the largest emitting sector after energy.

To keep 1.5°C within reach, tackle food crisis risks and enable the transformation to a global net-zero future, cutting land related emissions is paramount.

Many companies with land-intensive operations have committed or set targets through the SBTi. Many are also reporting their GHG emissions publicly. However, few account for land-based emissions or removals in their targets or disclosures. A key barrier has been the lack of available guidance and methods - until now.

A new methodology

The Forest, Land and Agriculture Science Based Target Setting Guidance is the world’s first standard for companies in land-intensive sectors to set science-based targets that include land-based emissions reductions and removals.

The SBTi FLAG Guidance offers a common, robust, science-based understanding on how much and how quickly a company needs to cut its land-related emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Key requirements of the SBTi FLAG Guidance

  1. Set near-term FLAG science-based targets: 5-10 year emission reduction targets in line with limiting warming to 1.5°C.
  2. Account for removals in near-term FLAG science-based targets: GHG removals include things like improving forest management practices, and enhancing soil carbon sequestration on working lands. Read more on how the FLAG pathways address carbon removals here.
  3. Set long-term FLAG science-based targets: Companies in the forest, land and agriculture sectors will reduce at least 72% of emissions by no later than 2050. They should use the SBTi Net-Zero Standard to set long-term FLAG science-based targets.
  4. Zero deforestation targets must be set for no later than 2025: In line with the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi). Read more on how this guidance accounts for land-use change emissions here.
  5. Set science-based targets for fossil emissions: Businesses with land-based emissions are required to set FLAG science-based targets AND science-based targets, since all companies produce fossil emissions.

WATCH: Introducing the FLAG guidance - Martha Stevenson

Commit to set FLAG science-based targets now.

The next few years are critical in the fight against climate change. The SBTi FLAG Guidance gives companies the opportunity to cut emissions and enhance sinks at the pace required to keep the 1.5°C goal within reach.

Take the lead and commit to setting FLAG science-based targets today.

Join the FLAG mailing list for updates and be the first to know when the SBTi opens the booking system for companies to submit FLAG science-based targets for approval.


The project was completed in September 2022.

Browse more sector guidance

If your sector is not listed here, you can still set a science-based target using our methods and resources. Consult the step-by-step guide to get started.

Sector Status
Aluminium Scoping Phase View
Apparel and footwear Finalized View
Aviation In Development View
Buildings In Development View
Chemicals In Development View
Cement Finalized View
Financial institutions Finalized View
Forest, Land and Agriculture (FLAG) Finalized View
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Finalized View
Maritime Finalized View
Oil and Gas In Development View
Power Finalized View
Steel Finalized View
Transport In Development View