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Science Based Target Setting

Set robust science-based targets to strengthen your commitment to managing climate-related issues and align your strategy with the goal of the Paris Agreement.

Set a credible
science-based target

Science-based targets (SBTs) have become the global standard for credible target setting. Aligning business objectives with scientific evidence on the planet’s ability to tolerate environmental impacts, they provide companies with a clearly defined pathway to future-proof growth by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their GHG emissions.

We help you set robust science-based targets to strengthen your commitment to managing climate-related issues and align your strategy with the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep global temperature increases to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. The combination of our extensive experience and data modelling expertise provides the fast-track solution to credible science-based target setting.

Overcoming the challenges of setting an SBT:


SBTs have two deadlines: a long-term deadline of 2050 and an interim deadline that is usually five years from the submission of the target.

Companies need to estimate the emissions reductions from existing carbon-cutting projects to understand what further action is needed to meet the SBTs. The environmental accounting can be challenging, as there are often a range of emissions-reduction projects that may be taking place in different regions, with different carbon intensities of the energy grid, and with different types of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Understanding the prevented carbon emissions alongside the financial investment for each project in the asset pool is an essential first step.


SBTs must include emissions from operations and electricity purchases (GHG Protocol Scopes 1 and 2). Scope 3 supply chain emissions must also be included if they account for more than 40% of total emissions, which is often the case.

For many companies, this is a challenge because detailed supplier data is not always readily available. Supply chain data modelling tools can be used to quickly and accurately estimate Scope 3 emissions.


Selecting the right methodology and understanding the nuances of Scope 3 targets can be complex.

SBT methods vary by sector, and some calculate targets as a percentage reduction in absolute terms, while others provide results in relative terms, such as emissions intensity per unit of revenue. Getting the right technical advice and having access to specialized tools to estimate supply chain emissions can make the process faster and more efficient.

Capturing the benefits of SBTs

Align your strategy with the low-carbon transition

Frame the low-carbon challenge

Setting an SBT helps companies understand the challenge of aligning business activities with the transition to a low-carbon economy, as they are increasingly held responsible by customers and other stakeholders for emissions from supply chain activities and product use. By holistically understanding what is needed to align with the low-carbon transition, companies can identify new business models and other innovative solutions.

Link carbon strategy and business strategy

SBTs enable companies to engage internal teams with a common data-driven goal and integrate their carbon reduction strategy alongside other business objectives. Some companies are applying internal carbon prices to highlight the progress of different teams and inform the business case for low-carbon investment.

Identify cost savings

Setting SBTs can help companies achieve substantial cost saving benefits through improved business efficiency and reduced energy consumption.

Demonstrate genuine progress to customers and investors

By setting an SBT, companies can publically demonstrate that they are taking their environmental responsibilities seriously. Companies can communicate to customers, investors and other stakeholders that they are ready to compete and succeed as a business in a low-carbon world.

The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI) expects to launch the first science-based global standard for corporate net-zero targets in November 2021.

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