Science Based Targets are becoming the standard for business greenhouse gas targets, but getting to the stage of having your specific targets approved can be a maze. Setting a SBT shows stakeholders you are thinking about the future of the company, and have a plan to get there sustainably.
For setting a target, companies require a robust baseline, reliable ongoing data collection and calculation, and informative data analytics and visualisations. Get the most reliable and up-to-date data by using Ecometrica Sustainability, and support you can rely on from our experts.
Increase your CDP Climate disclosure score with approved Science Based Targets and support from Ecometrica.
Choosing the right method and approach for setting Science Based Targets depends on a lot of factors.
The Sector-based approach gives different sectors of the economy a different path depending on that sector’s decarbonisation route and time frames. However, not all sectors have had a pathway developed for them.
The Absolute-based approach requires all sectors of the economy to decarbonise equally. Developing a target using the absolute based approach allows for simpler communication and recalculation down the line as the science develops.
Lastly, the Economic-based approach uses a company’s gross profit as a share of global GDP to set an emission budget pathway from global decarbonisation as a whole. This approach can be harder to communicate but takes into account the changing makeup of the global economy.
Absolute or Intensity
While choosing between intensity and absolute targets does not change the ambition of the target set, it can go a long way in helping you understand, communicate, and track your target.
Intensity targets can be easier to talk about internally, and often cause less friction when trying to get internal buy-in. Choosing the correct metric to set intensity targets from will depend on the sector, but a Key Performance Indicator that the business is already tracking works well.
With absolute targets, external communication is simplified in statements and reports. Tracking absolute targets on an ongoing basis can be easier as there isn’t another metric that needs to be calculated.
Deciding which Scopes are included in which targets needs careful consideration. For Scope 1 & 2, it is often simple enough to calculate a new target, but for Scope 3 there are some challenges.
If only a fraction of your footprint is Scope 3 then it can be excluded, but calculating Scope 3 in the first place may not be trivial. Ecometrica Sustainability has the largest database of emission factors and assumptions to provide you with the best starting point for calculating your Scope 3 emissions.
Using proxy data may be all that is needed to either discount Scope 3, or know which Scope 3 categories need to be included. But getting primary data from suppliers will be the aim to get transparent calculations and trust in your target tracking.