Science based targets and target setting
Leading organisations are now setting carbon reduction targets aligned with the latest climate science. Many businesses, charities and public bodies have set carbon targets but in most cases these are short-term (5 year) timeframe – and not connected to climate science.
We can help you set appropriate targets for your organisation. Scientific emissions trajectories can be used to set long-term ambitions for carbon reduction as well as targets for shorter time horizons, such as 2025 or 2030.
What is a science based target?
A carbon emissions target is defined as ‘science-based’ if it is in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep the global temperature increase below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures. A science-based target is a powerful tool that allows businesses to align themselves with the commitments made under the Paris Agreement.
Science based targets insight document
Setting a science-based target offers a range of benefits:
- Demonstrates a leadership position in the market
- Aligns your business’ strategy with global commitments under the Paris Agreement and future regulation
- Provides short and long-term pathways to emissions reduction that unlocks innovation and competitive advantage
- Engages internal and external stakeholders, creating a ‘buy-in’ that helps drive the achievement of the target
Video: the who, what and why of Science-based Targets
Carbon Trust senior sustainability consultant Guy Rickard explains the drivers behind the corporate trend for Science-Based Targets, and the who, what and why of this fast-growing corporate sustainability movement.
View the video on the BusinessGreen website
We have helped over a dozen global companies from a variety of sectors to set science-based targets, including BT, Carlsberg, Landsec and Mahindra Sanyo.
The Carbon Trust’s expertise and collaborative approach enabled us to cut through the complexities of science-based targets and develop reduction targets tailored to our operations. This analysis will form an essential part of Landsec’s sustainability strategy going forward.
Caroline Hill, Head of Sustainability, Landsec
We worked with Carlsberg Group, one of the world's largest brewery companies, to measure the end-to-end carbon footprint of its full value chain, set science-based targets and develop a roadmap to meet targets.
Carlsberg Group case study
We worked with Landsec to develop a methodology and Scope 3 model that enabled the company to measure carbon emissions across its entire value chain.
Landsec case study
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Contact us for more information on how we can help your organisation set science-based targets
Advice and support to help businesses, charities and public bodies deliver reductions in carbon and energy costs with a strong business case for implementation, senior engagement, robust timescales, and responsibilities for taking action.
Our low carbon strategy and corporate sustainability strategy advice covers:
Engage your suppliers
Engage suppliers and set standards for procuring sustainable, resource-efficient materials, products and services
Improve operational efficiency
Set and achieve stretching targets, supported by governance structure, operational procedures and a 'sustainability culture'
Grow revenues and reach new markets
Grow revenues by enhancing the sustainability of your products/services, tapping into emerging markets and creating new routes to market
Engage both internal and external stakeholders, including customers, suppliers and external bodies. Increased buy-in leads to the targets being more easily achieved
We can also support you to develop a renewable energy strategy (PDF).
This can all be supported by independent validation through third party certification and assurance.
For public sector organisations our CPD accredited carbon management process helps you design a cost-effective strategy and produce a five to ten year plan to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. Read more on our services for public sector sustainability.
The Carbon Trust helped us develop a plan we could present to the Board. The advice we received has been a useful combination of simple steps and long-term measures which, together, will achieve tangible cost and carbon savings.
Alexandra Hammond, Sustainability Manager, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
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Contact us for more information on strategic advice:
Environmental reporting and disclosure
Third party endorsement of environmental claims
We help organisations turn good environmental performance into competitive advantage by leveraging their ability to convincingly ‘communicate the value of sustainability’ to customers and stakeholders. This includes substantiation or endorsement of environmental claims, from comparative product footprinting to development of ‘net positive’ methodologies, and demonstrating the value that this brings to your organisation. This can help you make more informed purchasing decisions which in turn can help protect and grow market share, revenues and profits whilst reducing impact on the environment.
Climate change reporting & Climate-related Financial Disclosures
If you are a large company or public sector organisation, you will likely report on your carbon emissions and climate change impact. Accurate and transparent reporting will be critical to your reputation, compliance obligations, and the effectiveness of your carbon and energy cost reduction plans.
Many organisations are also now reporting on their climate change opportunities and risks, following the best practice guidance recommended by the G20 Financial Stability Board’s Task Force for Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Reporting: our approach
- review your sustainability reporting in the light of current and future regulatory requirements as well as your corporate objectives.
- assess your reporting needs and objectives, and conduct a 'data fitness check' to define a clear set of requirements regarding reporting scope and data quality/completeness.
- build a bespoke target setting model to align and integrate the data sets on carbon emissions, economic activity and climate scenarios.
- support you in translating the complexity of science based targets into a credible compelling and accessible narrative for your stakeholders.
Our assessment can include:
- Workshop with relevant business managers to
- Discuss various reporting requirements and regimes
- Understand reporting objectives
- Understand current scope and completeness/quality of reporting
- Data review
- Recommendations for closing any reporting gaps and achieving broader business objectives
If required, this can be supplemented by in-depth data assessments and developing submission-quality sustainability reports.
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Contact us for more information on environmental reporting and disclosure for your organisation:
Why work with us?
We have the experience, expertise and deliver results.
The Carbon Trust has a dedicated team of experts who will help your find the right methodology that fits your business needs and opportunities. Our experts will help your find the right methodology that fits your organisation's needs and opportunities.
Since 2001, we have worked with 75% of FTSE 100 companies and more than 3,000 public sector organisations in the UK and overseas - and helped our customers to cut 60MtCO2 from their carbon footprints and make over £5.5 billion in energy savings.
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Contact us to find out how we can help you enhance your organisation’s economic and environmental performance: