The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), one of the leading organizations focused on aligning corporate environmental sustainability actions with global climate change mitigation goals, has announced a series of actions as part of its ‘major scale-up exercise’, including plans to develop sector standards for climate objectives for various high-impact sectors.
The organization said its scale-up process aims to meet rising demand for business decarbonization standards and target validation services, with the SBTi revealing that the number of companies with validated science-based climate targets has increased in the past year doubled, to 4,204 in total. at the end of 2023, compared to 2,079 in 2022.
Founded in 2015, SBTi was established as a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), with the aim of setting a science-based environmental target set. as standard business practice. The organizations’ key functions include defining and promoting best practices in emissions reductions and net-zero targets consistent with climate science, providing technical assistance to companies setting science-based targets, and providing independent assessment and validation of their emission reduction targets to companies. .
In September 2023, the SBTi announced the split of its standardization and validation activities into separate entities, as well as a series of governance changes, including the integration of the organization into the United Kingdom and the establishment of itself as independent of the founding organizations, along with plans to increase targeted validation capacity to meet significant demand growth.
The organization said it has now established a subsidiary to house its target validation services, and the SBTi has been granted charity status in Britain, allowing it to receive committed funding of $18 million from the IKEA Foundation, with the pledged and funds received match. from its other main funder, the Bezos Earth Fund.
Going forward, the SBTi said it is prioritizing the development of sector-specific standards for high-impact sectors including oil and gas, electric utilities, automotive, chemicals, insurance and clothing, and will pilot a hybrid model, in collaboration with external organizations. , for the development of sector-specific standards, highlighting the potential to accelerate the number of sectors with developed standards from 2025.
The SBTi also said it will review its net zero standard for businesses this year for possible updates in 2025, and will also develop a Net Zero standard for financial institutions.
Luiz Amaral, CEO of the SBTi, said:
“We would like to express our gratitude to the IKEA Foundation, the Bezos Earth Fund and all our funders for their valuable contributions, supporting the SBTi in pursuing its mission and building and scaling our organization. We committed to preparing the SBTi for the next phase of growth and we are delivering on that, once again doubling the number of validated companies in one year while establishing our independence and strengthening our governance.”