Aligning your sustainability goals with climate science is a powerful tool for driving competitive advantage in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Carbon Smart helps progressive companies develop, validate and communicate Science-Based Targets in a tailored and measured manner.
What are Science-Based Targets?
Science-Based Targets (SBTs) are long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction targets consistent with the level of decarbonisation required to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. SBTs are grounded on an objective, scientific evaluation of what actions are needed, rather than what is achievable, by any individual organisations.
Why set Science-Based Targets
SBTs are a way of accepting your fair share of responsibility in helping the world tackle climate change and transition to a more sustainable economy. Developing SBTs can also drive competitive advantage by:
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What does the IPCC's Special Report mean for SBTs?
A number of significant climate change impacts could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5oC compared to 2oC, or more. What does this mean for companies who have already aligned themselves with a 2oC Science Based Target? And what does this mean for companies yet to set a Science Based Target?
Becoming SBT ready
Organisations find themselves at different stages of their sustainability journey. Key SBT-setting is achieving alignment between the level of ambition your stakeholders are willing to accept, and the target-setting capabilities you already have in place.
Our research shows that there are four types of companies, characterised by their levels of ‘SBT readiness’.
SBT Starter companies have recognised the potential benefits of taking climate action, but are yet to take action for purposes other than compliance. These companies should develop a robust and replicable approach to carbon data management, using reporting instruments such as CDP to highlight to stakeholders the potential risks and opportunities to the company of climate action.
SBT Aspirational companies have significant levels of buy-in from internal and external stakeholders to take concerted climate action, but currently lack a comprehensive understanding of their own climate impacts. These companies should improve their SBT capabilities by developing a robust and replicable approach to carbon reporting, aligned with common international standards and covering emissions Scopes 1, 2 and 3.
SBT Capable companies have a comprehensive understanding of their own climate impacts, but lack significant levels of buy-in from internal and/or external stakeholder groups to take concerted climate action. These companies should develop buy-in to the SBT-setting process through addressing stakeholders’ concerns in a targeted manner, and by reporting to stakeholders the potential risks and opportunities to the company of climate action through instruments such as CDP.
SBT Ready companies have a comprehensive understanding of their own climate impacts and have significant levels of buy-in from internal and external stakeholders to take concerted climate action. These companies should begin developing, validating and communicating stretching yet realistic SBTs
Through our target-setting screening service, we assess your company’s alignment between ambition and capabilities (your ‘SBT readiness’). We then help you take targeted action to improve your SBT readiness in a tailored manner.
If you’re in doubt as to whether SBTs are suitable for your organisation, contact our Strategy & Reporting team today.
Ready to develop Science-Based Targets?
How can we help?
We deploy expert teams to make SBTs drive competitive advantage and tackle climate change
Setting and achieving an SBTs requires a managed approach to data collection and analysis, a strategic approach to stakeholder engagement, and a realistic approach to emissions reduction planning – in other words, setting and achieving an SBT requires a Smart Approach. At Carbon Smart we deploy an expert team from across our strategy, reporting, supply chain and energy services to make SBTs drive your competitive advantage.
CONSIDERING THE WHOLE VALUE CHAIN
Closing the Scope 3 reporting gap
Why is capturing Scope 2 data challenging?
Science based targets: a journey of discovery
How hard can it be?
Setting targets for action on climate change has been both best practice and a dark art for some years. Businesses, with light pressure from NGOs and investors, have acknowledged for some time that targets need to be stretching and industry needs to take a leading role, but the question has remained - how do we know if, collectively, we are trying hard enough?
We work closely with organisations from across all sectors. These include organisations with substantial direct (Scope 1) and Scope 2 emissions, as well as those for where the majority of emissions occur indirectly across their value chain (Scope 3).
If you believe you are ready to develop SBTs for your organisation, contact our Strategy & Reporting team today.
Head of environmental reporting