Life as we know it depends on the world limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F). Exceeding this level of warming will bring increasingly severe and disruptive climate impacts.

Today, businesses took a big step forward in helping the world meet this temperature goal. The Science-Based Targets initiative announced that 114 companies, representing $932 billion in revenue and 476 million tonnes of annual CO2 emissions, committed to set a science-based target, meaning they will align their emissions-reduction goals with what climate studies say is necessary to keep warming below 2 degrees C. Of those, 10 companies have already set science-based targets, which will avoid 799 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of preventing the burning of 1.86 billion barrels of oil.1

These companies recognize that setting ambitious reduction targets is in their own best interest, and a key part of good corporate strategy.

A Look at Some of the Commitments

Ten companies have already set their science-based targets, which were reviewed and approved by a panel of climate experts. Some of the plans include:

  • General Mills commits to reduce absolute emissions 28 percent across its entire value chain, from farm to fork to landfill by 2025, using a 2010 base year.
  • NRG Energy commits to a 50 percent reduction of absolute emissions by 2030 from a 2014 base year (scopes 1, 2 & 3). The company also has a long-term target: a reduction of 90 percent absolute emissions by 2050 from 2014 levels (scopes 1, 2 & 3).
  • Enel commits to reduce CO2 emissions 25 percent per kilowatt hour (kWh) by 2020, from a 2007 base year. The target includes the decommissioning of 13 gigawatts (GW) of fossil power plants in Italy, and is a milestone in the long-term goal to operate in carbon neutrality by 2050.

Get Involved

Setting a science-based target is not only good for the climate, but for companies themselves. As we explained in an earlier blog post, setting a science-based target can help businesses improve their financial performance, drive innovation, prepare themselves for changing regulations and public policies, and more.

Visit our website for more information on how to join the initiative and set a science-based emissions target.

  1. Calculation methodology Assumptions and calculation approach for absolute targets: (1) assumed a fixed baseline emissions level equal to base year value; (2) assumed actual emissions levels will decrease linearly with time from the base year value to the target year value; (3) calculated reductions for any 1 company as the total of the annual differences based on (1) and (2). Assumptions and calculation approach for intensity targets: (1) assumed that production levels would increase each year between the base year and target year by a constant percentage amount. In order of descending preference and depending on data availability, this amount was the percentage value specified by a company, the IEA sector-specific growth projection, or the average real GDP growth rate increase over the past 50 years (3.8%, source); (2) assumed a fixed baseline intensity equal to base year intensity; (3) assumed that actual intensity levels will decline linearly over time from the base year value to the target year value; (4) calculated reductions for any one company as the total of the annual differences in emissions based on (2) and (3). Data sources: Data supplied in companies’ target evaluation forms, in addition to the sources noted above. Exclusions: Reduction calculations focus on SBTs and therefore only scope 1 and 2 emissions, unless scope 3 is explicitly part of the SBT. ↩︎