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Maud Wicart

Dec. 8, 2020

Key concepts

What are the Science Based Targets ?


In the Paris agreement adopted during the COP 21, 195 states committed themselves to fighting climate change by limiting the rise in temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century. To keep global temperature below this level, targets for reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG emissions) must be set by a multitude of actors. In particular, companies represent a  significant leverage considering global GHG emissions are influenced largely, directly or indirectly, by corporate activities. 


In fact, 1.000 companies among the world's largest emitters are responsible for 20% of global GHG emissions.

(Science Based Targets initiative, 2016).


How can reduction objectives be set in each company in a fair and effective manner? Should some sectors or regions contribute more than others? This is where the Science Based Targets initiative1 (SBTi) comes in.

The SBTi aims to encourage and help companies to define reduction targets aligned with the latest scientific recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC or GIEC in french). In other words, the initiative promotes strategies in line with the level of decarbonisation required to maintain the increase in global temperatures to below 2°C or even below 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures. The purpose is to prevent the worst effects of climate change by showing companies how much and in what time frame they should reduce their GHG emissions.


Science Based Targets initiative is a key tool to prepare for and accelerate transition to a zero carbon economy.

(Science Based Targets webinar, 2020)


More than 1.000 companies worldwide are taking action against climate change by setting emission reduction targets through SBTi. Companies from all sectors and of any size are welcome to join the movement, as Spadel (BE), Dell Technologies (US), Deloitte (UK), or Renault Group (FR) did. SBTs benefit the planet and your company by, inter alia, boosting competitive advantage in the low-carbon economy.


Our all-in-one carbon strategy platform provides you the tools and guidance to reduce CO2 emissions, such as the ability to measure your progression towards your SBT(s).


1. Science Based Target initiative is a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), WWF, and the United Nations Global Compact and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.

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