How do science-based targets drive change?
Crucially, businesses need to be transparent about the measures they are taking to make their operations sustainable. This could take the form of independent reviews or assessments, or by signing up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), an institution that has created a framework around reduction commitments for businesses, which is what we have decided to do.
In our case, signing up to science-based targets (SBTs) confirms our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the level of decarbonization required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Importantly, I believe such public commitments force businesses to take stock of the impact of their operations on multiple levels more openly. It forces us to look at greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, material use and waste generation. Such commitments appear costly at first sight. Businesses often hesitate as they believe they come with higher costs that will have to be passed on to customers and end consumers. The opposite is often the case. Over time, moving to net-zero operations does pay off.
To my mind, SBTs create a sense of urgency for businesses to tackle emissions across the entire supply chain. This includes the more complex Scope 3 emissions, which will require companies to work closely with their partners, suppliers and customers. It’s how businesses can achieve the necessary reductions in carbon emissions while also future-proofing growth. SBTs pave the way to be sustainable and stay competitive.