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The Concepts of the SBTi Target Setting Tool
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Blog...The Concepts of the SBTi Target Setting Tool

The Concepts of the SBTi Target Setting Tool

Green News
Technology
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In this article, we’ll explain what the SBTi target setting tool is, why it’s important, examples of companies which have already used it, and how your company can use the SBTi target setting tool as well.
Green News
2024-04-15T00:00:00.000Z
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Companies are starting to realise both the intrinsic and extrinsic benefits of reducing emissions and cultivating a more sustainable business, and luckily – the SBTi target setting tool can help companies to accomplish this goal.

The SBTi, also known as the Science Based Targets Initiative – started back in 2014 with the goal of helping companies to slash their emissions via the use of science based data and numerical targets. 

Ultimately, the SBTi target setting tool can help companies to submit their science based targets to the SBTi with ease.

In this article, we’ll explain what the SBTi target setting tool is, why it’s important, examples of companies which have already used it, and how your company can use the SBTi target setting tool as well.

What is the SBTi and how does it work?

The SBTi, otherwise known as the Science Based Targets Initiative, is an effort in conjunction with other global initiatives to protect the planet in the midst of climate change by helping to promote science-based emission reductions.

This is done by offering a wide variety of resources in addition to guidance, as all SBTi targets must be approved by the SBTi themselves and remain in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Essentially, the main goal of the SBTi is to encourage global emission reductions through the use of science-based criteria as opposed to creating aimless targets without numerical objectives. The point of this is to make emission reductions more methodical and approachable for all companies looking to reduce emissions, work towards net-zero, or carbon neutrality.
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what are science based targets?

The SBTi is partnered with several well-known global entities which helps to boost their credibility, such as:

As a result, there are numerous benefits to working with the SBTi – such as curating greater trust with current and future investors, improved brand reputation and stakeholder engagement, and avoiding the need to comply with environmental regulations in a hurry as the SBTi helps your company stay one-step ahead.

Ultimately, the SBTi is a way to draw greater attention to the importance of using science in line with efforts to reduce emissions and deter climate change.

forest treesforest trees

What is the SBTi Target Setting Tool?

The SBTi target setting tool is a resource used to help companies set their emission reduction targets and to ensure these objectives are made with science and the goals of the Paris Agreement in mind.

Think of when you’ve needed help developing a fitness or meal plan – usually, you’ll seek to recruit the expertise of a third party in order to ensure your goals are met. The same concept applies for the SBTi target setting tool.
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The SBTi target setting tool was developed in conjunction with experts in climate science such as via the resources provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Some of the features of the SBTi target setting tool include:

  • Data Input – Companies will be able to input their scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions data into the SBTi target setting too.
  • Data Analysis – After data input is complete, companies will be able to receive a data analyzation which will reveal a baseline of emissions and which reduction targets are most appropriate for the current time period. This helps companies to reduce their emissions in “pieces” and prevents the concept of the SBTi or emission reductions as a whole from appearing overwhelming. 
  • Advice on Methodologies for Target Setting – The SBTi target setting tool allows users to view different scenarios depending on their industry and emission reduction approach of choice. This allows companies to have personalised reduction strategies curated for them – contingent on various factors such as company size and the resources available to their sector. 
  • Personalised Guidance – Companies using the SBTi target setting tool can seek specialised  recommendations when reducing their emissions with science in mind. This can also help to inspire other companies in their sector to move forward with science-based emission reductions. 
  • Verification – The SBTi target setting tool will validate a company’s proposed emission reduction strategy, which ultimately helps to ensure the plan is rigorous enough to be in line with the SBTi and the Paris Agreement.

Overall, the SBTi Target Setting Tool is meant to help manifest greater emission reductions – especially for companies hesitant on where to start and seeking guidance to ensure their plans are robust enough to prove effective in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

It is important to note that the SBTi target setting tool not only helps companies to establish their emission reduction targets, but also to track their progress along the way and ensure any adjustments are made in a timely manner.

laptop and iphone with notepadlaptop and iphone with notepad

What are the concepts of the SBTi Target Setting Tool and why are they important?

There are several concepts and values demonstrated via the SBTi targeting setting tool, such as using science, ambition, and practicality in addition to technological concepts. 

Some of the concepts of the SBTi target setting tool include:

  • Use of Science – The SBTi target setting tool prides itself in using climate science to develop methodologies in line with various global climate goals and the Paris Agreement.
  • Ambition – One of the main reasons the SBTi is passionate about the use of climate science is due to the belief it can help companies to develop more rigorous climate strategies.
  • Accuracy – The SBTi target setting tool values numerically clear and verifiable emission reduction targets. This allows climate change goals to remain both ambitious and attainable.

In addition to this, the use of science also reveals the SBTi target setting tool’s preference on transparency – something which helps to boost stakeholder engagement and encourage continuous improvement in emission reductions and developing sustainable initiatives.

However, one of the main concepts of the SBTi target setting tool is the technical component – which can be broken down into the following phases: screening, developing a carbon budget, visualizing potential emission scenarios, and an allocation approach.

The technical concepts of the SBTi target setting tool are imperative to understand seeing as our current policies will still result in a 2.7 – 3.1˚C global surface temperature, and the SBTi target setting tool works to prevent that from happening.

Technical Concepts of the SBTi Target Setting Tool

This concept of the SBTi target setting tool focuses on the goal to align the use of science and current methods with a 1.5°C pathway.

Step 1: Screen possible scenarios with linear reduction strategies between 2020 and 2035

Step 2: Determining the carbon budget, which will reveal the amount of carbon that can be produced before we exceed temperature thresholds

Step 3: Visualises an emissions scenario which serves as a way for companies to distribute their “allotted amount” of carbon emissions to be produced over a certain period of time.

Step 4: Companies can view the carbon budget of other companies in their same region, sector, or even view global comparisons for greater insight. 

The concepts of the SBTi target setting tool demonstrate the value the SBTi strives to present – which is the benefit in using science to practically develop emissions reduction strategies and ultimately create a more sustainable world.  

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What are some examples of industries that have used the SBTi Target Setting Tool?

There are several examples of sectors which have already made use of the SBTi target setting tool, such as businesses in the agricultural sector and those in the financial industry. 

Here are two of the biggest industries that make use of the SBTi target setting tool:

Forest, Land and Agriculture (FLAG)

FLAG, otherwise referring to any companies in the forest, land, or agriculture sector which have made use of the SBTi target setting tool – have helped to reduce 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions due to land and farming practices. 

Entities which qualify as being apart of FLAG will utilise the SBTi target setting tool under the following circumstances:

  1. Use near-term science-based targets – This requires emission reduction targets within the next 5 to 10 years which are in line with exceeding 1.5°C temperature increase.
  2. Improve FLAG methods – Those who fall under FLAG should make use of cultivating natural ecosystems and practicing climate smart farming tactics.
  3. Use long-term science-based targets: FLAG companies must also set long-term science based targets in line with the  SBTi Net-Zero Standard program.
  4. Set zero deforestation targets before 2025 – This must be done according to the  Accountability Framework initiative (AFi). 
  5. Reduce fossil emissions – Those in the FLAG industry must seek to reduce emissions via science-based targets in addition to energy and industry based targets.

Financial Institutions

Seeing as companies across the United States continue to be financially impacted by the repercussions of natural disasters, such as by not being able to pay their taxes on time – it has never been more paramount or influential for banks around the world to hop on board the net-zero bandwagon.

Some banks which have committed to the SBTi and may utilse the SBTi target setting tool include:

  • Standard Chartered
  • Eurazeo
  • Amalgamated Bank
  • Bank. J. Safra Sarasin

The SBTi target setting tool can be used by multivarious industries, but has proven especially popular and effective in the financial and agricultural sectors.

wheat field blue skywheat field blue sky

How can your company submit a target to be validated under the SBTi target setting tool?

It is important to remember that submitting a target to the SBTi is a step-by-step process that requires careful thought and attention – such as needing to review the criteria beforehand, providing documentation upon submissions, and awaiting validation. 

Creating a target to be validated by the SBTi under the SBTi target setting tool requires the following steps:

  1. Data Input – This is where your base year and target year are entered in order to create a tangible trajectory for you business and its proposed emission reduction goal. In addition to this, scope 1 and scope 2 emissions will be entered.
  2. Outputs – This helps to demonstrate the targets in both numerical and visual formats to ensure the user fully understands the scope of their proposed plan.
  3. Ensure Emission Rate is Linear – The emission reduction target must equate to a minimum 2.5% annual, linear reduction rate starting from the base year to the target year. 

Once this crucial information has been input and verified by the entity requesting approval of their science-based reduction target via the SBTi – it can be submitted for verification. 

Ultimately, the SBTi target setting tool serves as an indispensable resource for companies looking to have their emission reduction targets validated by the SBTi – which in turn can inspire greater action towards fighting climate change and create the unified front we need to be successful.

What About Greenly?

If reading this article about the SBTi target setting tool has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

It can be challenging to determine how the SBTi targeting setting tool can help your business to reduce emissions, but don’t worry – Greenly is here to help. Click here to schedule a demo to see how Greenly can help you find ways to improve energy efficiency and decrease the dependency on fossil fuels in your own company. 

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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