Science-based targets

Set carbon reduction targets aligned with the requirements of the Science Based Targets initiative and help your company transition to a low carbon economy. 


Science-based targets have become the globally accepted standard for companies setting carbon reduction targets.  

Our team of independent experts will help your organisation set targets that are aligned with the latest climate science and meet the requirements of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. 

Why the Carbon Trust? 

The Carbon Trust is a global leader in science-based targets, having worked in this area with more than 75 companies worldwide in a variety of sectors including food & drink, transport, retail, utilities, manufacturing, finance and real estate. 

We are also members of the Technical Advisory Group of the Science Based Targets initiative.

What is a science-based target? 

Targets are considered science-based if they align with what the latest climate science says is necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement - to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. 

In order to reach net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, we need to see emissions reductions on a massive scale in the near term, which is why from 15 July 2022, the SBTi will only validate scope 1 and 2 targets aligned to 1.5°C, as well as introducing a number of other changes to its validation criteria.

Science-based targets briefing: answers to common questions

Video: the who, what and why of science-based targets

Carbon Trust's Guy Rickard explains the drivers behind science-based targets, and the who, what and why of this fast-growing corporate sustainability movement.   

Benefits of setting science-based targets 

  • Credibility and brand reputation - science-based targets have become the expectation for corporates taking climate action 
  • Drive innovation and competitive advantage – short and long-term pathways to emissions reduction will drive innovation and shape long term business strategy 
  • Increase resilience against upcoming regulation – reducing emissions in line with the science reduces exposure to future carbon emissions-related regulation 
  • Boost investor confidence – carbon reductions in line with the science is increasingly being considered by the financial institutions 
  • Engage internal and external stakeholders - create a 'buy-in’ from stakeholders that helps your organisation achieve and even exceed your targets 

How we can help 

We’ll help your organisation set carbon reduction targets (Scope 1, 2 and 3) that meet the requirements of the Science Based Targets initiative and can tailor our approach to meet your specific business needs 

Our experts will guide you through the whole process, including: 

  • Engaging with stakeholders to ensure buy-in across the organisation 
  • Modelling carbon reduction targets for scope 1 and 2 using methodologies such as the Sectoral Decarbonisation Approach or the Absolute Contraction Approach 
  • Completing a scope 3 footprint and modelling scope 3 targets in line with the Science Based Target initiative’s criteria and recommendations 
  • Developing an implementation plan to assess target feasibility for Scope 1,2 and scope 3 
  • Supporting you with submission to the Science Based Target initiative 
  • Advising on additional net-zero targets 

A guide to science-based targets

Insights on the need for science-based targets on carbon emissions, how to make the internal business case, and implications for your organisation.

Download your copy

Science-based targets guide cover

Find out more and speak to one of our experts

Get in touch to discuss the best solution for your business and how we can help you achieve your sustainability goals.