Science-Based Targets - extending our outreach...

14 Nov 2018
Kate Alcock, Climate and Resources Manager

When SBC partnered with WWF NZ and Enviro-Mark earlier this year, we wanted to help businesses to set meaningful emission reduction targets by building their understanding and capability.

In April, over 120 people attended our introductory session on the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and 40 people came to a workshop in Auckland in May.

The programme shows how businesses need to reduce their emissions to contribute to global efforts to keep warming under 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Targets should be set for 5-15 years ahead, and they encourage setting a long-term target to 2050.

Today we took the knowledge to Wellington-based businesses. Ronja Lidenhammar at Enviro-Mark Solutions took us through the technical requirements and the different methodologies for target setting.

Sam Bridgman from NZ Post and Kaapua Smith from Contact shared their first-hand experiences of working through target setting process - and the things they wished they’d known before they started!

The audience seemed to be in two camps: those who are just starting and who need to make the business case - including appealing to the motivations of individuals in the senior leadership team and boards. And those who have the buy in - but wanted to ask more specific technical questions about the SBTi criteria and process.

What both had in common was understanding the need for enduring targets and meaningful activity. SBTi provides robust, non-political trajectories for what emissions pathways need to look like. So if individuals disagree on whether a target is too weak or not ambitious enough - it all comes back to the science.

And with the recent IPCC report showing we need net zero emissions by 2050 to stabilise the global temperature rise to within 1.5 degrees, the science will again show what individual businesses can do to get us there. The new methodology is being developed.

Enviro-Mark themselves have just become the second NZ company to have their target officially approved by SBTi. And we know of several more who can make their announcements in the next few months. Great work!

Kate Alcock, Climate and Resources Manager, Sustainable Business Council