Setting climate targets in accordance with scientific guidelines is an important aspect of a company's sustainability work.
The Science Based Targets initiative brings together the world's companies through the ability to set ambitious climate targets in line with what science says is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Since its inception in 2015, more than 1,500 companies have committed to reducing their emissions through the initiative, and over 800 have had their targets approved.
The process of setting Science Based Targets may initially seem complicated, but can be broken down into four steps:
Map value chain emissions
Before the work to develop a science based target can begin, all emissions across the value chain of the company must be mapped, i.e. both emissions from their own operations, the supply chain, and from when products or services are used by the customer. The mapping shall meet the requirements of the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard, as well as the criteria of the Science Based Targets initiative.
Select level of ambition and develop target
Once the mapping is complete, the development of the target itself can begin. Based on the selected level of ambition (1.5°C or well below 2 °C) and calculation method, different target scenarios can be developed. Knowing how to follow up on the target will also be important, so that relevant KPIs can be developed to track performance and progress towards the target.
Estimate the emission reduction potential and develop an action plan
Setting a target also requires an action plan on how to achieve it. Therefore, the emission reduction potential of different actions should be evaluated and an action plan for the achievement of the target should be developed.
Follow up and report
Progress towards goal achievement shall be evaluated annually during the target period and progress shall be externally communicated. A tool for updating your emission inventory can be helpful.
Do you need support?
Within RISE, we have first-hand experience in developing climate targets in accordance with Science Based Target's rules and requirements, and we can also support companies at all stages in the process of developing an effective climate strategy: emission mapping, reduction potential calculation, emission scenarios, goals and action plans. Contact us and we will tailor an arrangement that suits your company!
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