What are Science-Based Targets?
This is a big subject and you can find lots of detail here. However, in summary, the science based targets initiative (SBTi) is a framework and process to help companies set carbon emissions reduction targets that will, in turn, limit global warming to 2 degrees based on climate science (hence the science bit!). A company will set the target first and then work out an action plan to meet the target. So the target is based on what is required to limit global warming rather than what the target the company chooses. Therefore it is quite different from the way a company usually would set a financial target, for example. The target, or goals, are then are submitted to the Science Based Targets organisation to get them validated (approved). For example, I recently read that the chemical company DSM have has theirs approved, representing the first in their sector in Europe to do so.
An important aspect of the methodology is that, for many companies, the process forces them to initiate actions and reductions upstream of the company (e.g. their supply chain) and also downstream of them (to the customer and the product use phase). So it is is not just about the manufacturing sites reducing the impact, it is about their suppliers and their customers.
There has been an important announcement in the past few months from the SBTi. Following, an IPPC special report, the temperature rise limit of 2 degrees celsius has been reduced to 1.5 degrees and so, as of October 2019, a new targets will need to need to be consistent with the more demanding 1.5 degree rise. If you want to know more please contact me.