Other considerations for businesses
There are a few other things for businesses who plan to join the SBTi to keep in mind. These include:
- Near-term SBTs and optional net-zero reduction targets must be validated by the SBTi.
- Compliance with 1.5°C target is required from July 2022 for Scope 1 and 2 and recommended for Scope 3.
- Absolute reduction of your carbon footprint is required (dedicated sector pathways are available as well as intensity options for some emissions).
- The validation fee starts at $9,500 for large enterprises and $1,000 for small and medium businesses.
How does SBTi reporting work?
The annual disclosure of emissions as well as the company’s progress against its target is essential. Currently, there are no set rules on how or where companies need to disclose, but they should uphold these five principles: relevance, completeness, consistency, transparency, and accuracy. Targets should also be reviewed and recalculated every 5 years as applicable to ensure consistency with the latest climate science.
Some suggestions for disclosures include:
- CDP’s Climate Change Questionnaire
- Sustainability report (e.g., SASB, GRI, etc.)
- Your own website
- Annual corporate report
Will there be an SBTi reporting framework in the future?
However, the SBTi is currently working on a Progress Framework for SBT reporting. This will expand the scope of the current SBTs standard to include disclosure about performance against set targets. The reporting framework is expected to be completed by COP28 in 2023 and will provide businesses with clear guidance on how to measure, report, and verify their progress against their targets.
What are the benefits of setting a Science-Based Target?
By setting a science-based target, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to combating climate change to their stakeholders, while becoming a pioneer in their industry. Organizations who sign a commitment letter are recognized on climate leadership platforms such as the SBTi Companies Taking Action dashboard, UN Caring for Climate, the WMB Coalition, and others that feature businesses taking action. And those who commit to the 1.5°C target can also be recognized on the UN Global Compact website and the Business Ambition for 1.5°C. This could encourage other companies, customers, and suppliers to join in and push governments to take further action in the battle against global warming.
Additional benefits of setting SBTs according to an SBTi survey of 185 executives include:
- Reduced cost (29%)
- Increased resilience for regulatory change (35%)
- Boosted investor confidence (52%)
- Improved innovation and competitive advantage (63% and 55%)
- Strengthened brand reputation (79%)
What is the SBTN – Science Based Targets Network?
The Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) is a collaboration network connecting more than 45 NGOs and business associations to expand the work of the SBTi. Many of the same organizations that are behind the SBTi are also among the core founding partners of the SBTN. The network is focused on defining clear guidance for companies and cities to set SBTs for the planet, as well as advancing the adoption of SBTs within capital markets.
How can Trust Intelligence help companies achieve their science-based targets?
The process of setting science-based targets can feel daunting at first. But it doesn’t have to be. OneTrust is here to make climate action easy and support you along the entire journey. We equip you with all the necessary insights to make informed decisions about your SBTs and help you find the right approach for your business. The OneTrust ESG & Sustainability Cloud can help you set emissions reduction targets that are in line with the current SBT criteria and easily identify your organization’s emission hotspots. And our extended network of reduction and offset partners will help you take sector-specific reduction measures.
The ESG & Sustainability Cloud is part of Trust Intelligence Platform™ from OneTrust that delivers visibility across four trust domain areas (Privacy & Data Governance, GRC & Security Assurance, Ethics & Compliance, and ESG & Sustainability), giving organizations a centralized understanding of business trust.
Download The Guide for Setting Corporate Climate Goals for pragmatic tips on including climate targets in your ESG strategy.
You may also be interested in downloading the infographic Key Elements of the SBTi Net-Zero Standard and the Science Behind It