In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that global warming must not exceed 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Business has a vital role to play in driving down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and building a resilient, zero-emissions economy grounded in science. 

Science-based targets show companies how much and how quickly businesses need to reduce their GHG emissions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, leading them on a clear path towards decarbonization. By guiding companies in science-based target setting, SBTi enables them to tackle climate change while seizing the benefits and boosting their competitiveness in the transition to a net-zero economy. 

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi):

  • Defines and promotes best practices in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science.
  • Provides target setting methods and guidance to companies to set science-based targets in line with the latest climate science.
  • Includes a team of experts to provide companies with independent assessment and validation of targets.
  • Serves as the lead partner of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, an urgent call to action from a global coalition of UN agencies, business and industry leaders that mobilizes companies to set net-zero science-based targets in line with a 1.5 degrees C future.

Over 1,200 companies worldwide are leading the transition to a net-zero economy by setting emissions reduction targets grounded in climate science through the SBTi. As of February 2020, over 590 companies have had science-based targets approved with the SBTi. As of 2019, companies who signed up to the SBTi had operational emissions totaling over 750 million tons of carbon dioxide — more than the annual emissions of France and Spain put together. Their combined market capitalization was over $10.8 trillion. Given the scale of their emissions and capital, emissions reduction and climate action in these companies can lead to significant changes in global emissions.

SBTi is working to define a science-based standard for net-zero target setting, to ensure that companies’ targets translate into action that is consistent with achieving a net-zero world by no later than 2050.

Publications from the Science Based Targets initiative