New science-based targets policy: Increasing transparency and accountability
The science-based targets initiative (SBTi) is designed to help companies reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, demonstrate their commitment to creating a climate-secure world, and drive successful business operations. But if the UK is to align to a 1.5 °C trajectory, intervention is needed.
12 January 2023 | 3 min read
It’s clear that some organisations are stalling progress towards their climate pledges, triggering the science-based targets initiative to update their Commitment Compliance Policy.
As of 31st January 2023, organisations will face more rigorous requirements in validating their net zero targets and progress. It means companies will be held more accountable for acting on their net zero commitments.
Andrew Tasker, Associate Director – EIA & Sustainability, explores the new SBTi changes on the horizon and how they will affect companies committing to net zero.
Why is the science-based targets policy changing?
- To ensure companies are held accountable to their climate pledges
- To provide consistency in time frames
- To provide increased transparency
- To minimise greenwashing
The new changes in SBTi policy will bring about increased accountability to company’s pledges and delivering on their commitments and public promises. The time for action is now when committing to GHG emissions reductions and the SBTi’s more rigorous requirements should ensure quicker action and less greenwashing.
Associate Director - EIA & Sustainability
How and when is the science-based targets initiative changing?
From 31st January 2023*, the science-based targets initiative is enforcing a new Commitment Compliance Policy. This brings positive change in increasing transparency and accountability and, importantly, places emphasis on tangible validated targets over commitments.
These changes include:
- The new policy will no longer give companies more than 24 months to provide concrete plans to meet public climate pledges. It will not allow extensions to the commitment time frame to be made on a case-by-case basis.
- All companies and financial institutions with commitments will have 24 months to submit their targets for validation from the original commitment date.
- All companies that fail to submit their targets for validation within 24 months will no longer be removed from the website, they’ll be marked as ‘removed’.
- Companies will be expected to explain how they’ll manage risks using climate scenarios.
*Companies that face deadlines before 31 January 2023 can seek an extension to 31 July 2023