What is the Science Based Targets Initiative and how can you use it to help reduce your emissions?

Science-based targets initiative (SBTi) are specific, measurable goals that organizations set to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with the latest climate science and the global effort to limit global warming. These targets are designed to ensure that emission reduction efforts are consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

In the context of emission reduction, science-based targets go beyond traditional, arbitrary reduction goals. Instead, they are developed by considering the carbon budget, which represents the total amount of emissions that can be released into the atmosphere while staying within a certain temperature threshold. This involves assessing the current emissions trajectory, the organization's contribution to global emissions, and the sectoral and regional emission reduction pathways needed to meet global climate goals.

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Steps for establishing science-based targets

The organization calculates its current greenhouse gas emissions across its operations, including direct emissions (Scope 1) from its own activities, indirect emissions (Scope 2) from purchased electricity, and often indirect emissions (Scope 3) from its supply chain and other sources.

The organization determines its emissions reduction pathway that aligns with the overall climate goals. This involves setting a target that aims to limit global warming to a specific level, usually well below 2 degrees Celsius or 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The organization assesses the sectoral and regional emission reduction efforts necessary to achieve the chosen temperature goal. This ensures that the organization's target is in line with broader global efforts and is fair considering its industry and geographic context.

Based on the above analysis, the organization sets a specific emissions reduction target. This target could be a percentage reduction in emissions over a certain time frame, such as reducing emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to a baseline year.

Organizations committing to science-based targets provide regular progress reports on their emissions reductions. These reports are often verified by third-party experts to ensure transparency and credibility.

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The benefits of Science Based Targets

By adopting science-based targets, organizations take a more responsible and proactive approach to mitigating climate change. These targets not only contribute to the global effort to limit temperature rise but also enhance an organization's sustainability, resilience, and reputation. As more companies and entities adopt science-based targets, the overall momentum for effective emission reduction increases.

Net zero targets and science based targets
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Net Zero Targets and Science-based Targets - What's the difference? YouTube