Introduction to Science-Based Targets

Introduction to Science-Based Targets

Sam Hope

5 years: Carbon Markets

Why bother setting science-based targets? Why do you need to formalise them? Join Sam Hope as he explores the benefits.

Why bother setting science-based targets? Why do you need to formalise them? Join Sam Hope as he explores the benefits.

Speak to an expert

Speak to an expert today to access this and all of the content on our platform.

Introduction to Science-Based Targets

11 mins 7 secs

Overview

In general, a business should aim to save 5-10% of annual emissions across its operational and value-chain emissions. The first step any organisation should take is to measure its carbon footprint, which will create a baseline for the emissions of an organisation. The second step is to set science-based targets that demonstrate the intention to decarbonise operations in line with scientific consensus. The Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) offers frameworks, such as the Net-Zero Standard, which can guide companies on the path to net zero emissions. The benefits of this include increased bottom line savings.

Key learning objectives:

  • Outline how to set science-based targets

  • Identify the frameworks for science-based targets

  • Understand the benefits of science-based targets

Speak to an expert

Speak to an expert today to access this and all of the content on our platform.

Summary

How do you set science-based targets? 

The first step any organisation should take is to measure its carbon footprint, which will create a baseline for the emissions of an organisation. The second step is to set science-based targets that demonstrate the intention to decarbonise operations in line with scientific consensus. 

What frameworks are there for setting science-based targets? 

The primary science-based target setting organisation is one of the same name: the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). The SBTi is a privately-led and funded organisation which releases frameworks, such as the Net-Zero Standard, which can help guide companies on how to engage on the pathway to net zero. The Net-Zero Standard recommends setting near-term targets (for cutting down emissions at a rapid pace) and long-term targets (for harder-to-abate areas of an organisation, such as the use of company vehicles or scope 3 emissions).

What are the benefits of science-based targets? 

  • Consumers increasingly value brands that are taking action in regards to their sustainability. The SBTi found that “79% of corporate executives surveyed found a strengthened brand reputation to be one of the most significant business benefits for their company”.

  • Strong environmental policies provide investors with security for the future, especially with the net zero mandate in mind. Around half of executives report that their science-based target commitments have improved investors' trust in their business.

  • Setting science-based targets can also be a way for a business to reinforce its resilience against upcoming carbon emissions regulation. It allows companies to align themselves with the Paris agreement and to risk-manage their strategy earlier.

  • Setting science-based targets often drives corporates to rethink their products and services towards more circular lifecycles and low carbon products. The SBTi reports that two-thirds of executives say that setting science-based targets has driven innovation within their company.

  • Many of the businesses that set SBTs are observing bottom-line savings linked to their environmental commitments, despite a common belief that shifting business models towards sustainability induces a higher cost.

  • Getting a head start on the transition to a low carbon economy leads businesses to an undeniable competitive advantage on the market. Reduction of uncertainty, strengthened investor confidence, increased innovation and profitability as well as more forward-thinking and transparent communications are all factors that lead to a competitive edge.

Speak to an expert

Speak to an expert today to access this and all of the content on our platform.

Sam Hope

Sam Hope

Sam Hope is the Senior Carbon Advisor at Plannet Zero, a tech company dedicated to developing smart carbon footprinting software for SMEs. He joins from Redshaw Advisors, an advisory firm that will help organisations clearly understand the assignment of net zero.

There are no available videos from "Sam Hope"