CDP 2016 - what you need to know about science-based targets
Are you preparing your CDP submission but are unsure about what ‘science-based targets’ actually means to your organisation? When changes occur there is always a bit of confusion about the impact: read on to quickly get up to speed on the latest CDP initiative.
Starting this year, CDP’s Climate Change Questionnaire will incentivise companies to set science-based targets and achieve the next level of performance in emissions reductions.
What are science-based targets?
Meeting the challenges that climate change presents is crucial but it is not an easy task. The world’s leading climate scientists and governments agree that emissions need to be substantially lower in 2050 than they were in 2010. The global average temperature needs to stay below 2°C. That’s where science-based targets come into play. Science-based target setting methods disaggregate the remaining global carbon budget and assign companies their fair share of emissions reductions. They allow companies to work toward this goal by aligning corporate GHG reductions with global emissions budgets generated by climate models.
How adopting science-based targets can benefit your organisation?
The bottom line is that by adopting a science-based approach, you can be confident that your GHG emission reduction targets are:
- Ambitious and meaningful, which can generate more motivation to achieve them.
- A clear way to show your company’s leadership on, and commitment to, tackling dangerous climate change
- Beneficial to your organisation as they prepare you for expected increases in carbon regulation – acting early can reduce risk and save both time and money.
What’s next? Apply for an Official Evaluation
Once you have a clear idea of what science-based targets are and how they can benefit your organisation, you can have your targets officially evaluated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI). CDP, partnering with the UN Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), has created the SBTI to achieve the goal of lowering emissions. This is not compulsory, but you are strongly encouraged to have your targets evaluated by the SBTI. CDP considers targets approved by the Initiative to reflect best practices in science-based target setting. If you are considering applying for this official evaluation, remember that the deadline to submit your science-based targets to the SBTI is April 2016.
IMS Consulting has also produced, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, a briefing on science-based targets, where you can find the key findings of our research on target setting for carbon emissions reduction. You can download it for free here.
Still unsure about science-based targets?