Science-Based Target Development

Science-based targets (SBTs) are greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets that align with current climate science and the goals of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Clearly defined and backed by climate science, SBTs have grown in popularity over the past several years as a way for companies to demonstrate a solid commitment to reducing global emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

How we can help

The Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) is a corporate climate action NGO that defines and promotes best practice in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science. SBTi works in partnership with CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and We Mean Business Coalition commitments. Developing a science-based target that is validated by SBTi has become an industry standard.

Targets validated by SBTi are accepted by all major net-zero investor frameworks, shareholder activist groups, and many major corporate sustainability programs. SBTs are also aligned with emerging regulatory 1.5°C requirements, such as the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

SBTi identifies a five-step journey to setting a target. ADEC ESG helps you prepare and build confidence to begin this journey, as well as guide you through each step. Prior to beginning, it is essential that your company has completed a full scope 1, 2, and 3 inventory.

Services Provided Include:

Step 1: Commit

  • SBTi registration
  • Commitment letter development
  • SBT Feasibility and Resource Assessment
  • Early-stage discussion on decarbonization strategies

Step 2: Develop a Target

  • Target development aligned with SBTi criteria
  • Key stakeholder engagement

Step 3: Submit

  • Continuous SBTi criteria monitoring
  • SBT document preparation
  • Formal SBTi submission for validation

Step 4: Communicate

  • SBT communication strategy development

Step 5: Disclose

  • Sustainability report development
  • ESG disclosure management and optimization
  • Integrated ESG and financial reporting
  • Regulatory and compliance reporting

Client Case Studies

SBT Development for Global IT Company

ADEC ESG completed an SBTi Feasibility Assessment for a Fortune 100 information and communication technology company with offices across the globe. The assessment identified the magnitude of emissions which the company would be required to reduce, in line with Paris Agreement goals. Following the assessment, we discussed a number of potential decarbonization strategies with the client team, giving them confidence in their target and a launch pad from which their decarbonization program could begin take-off.

Client: Fortune 100 Information and Communication Technology Company 

Project Needs and Deliverables

  • Driven by customer requests
  • Pre-submission SBTi Feasibility Assessment

SBT Development for Leading Global Law Firm

ADEC ESG provided support to a global law firm as it prepared for its SBTi journey. Prior to committing to a target, it is helpful for prospective target-setters to understand the scale of GHG emission reductions that they will be committing to, as well as any potential challenges they may face. ADEC ESG’s years of SBT knowledge and expertise provided the client team with a solid foundation from which they are able to develop a target that is adapted specifically to their organization, aligned with the latest client science.

Client: Global Law Firm 

Project Needs and Deliverables

  • Driven by client requests and reputational competition
  • SBTi introduction and preparation

SBT Development for Energy Provider

SBTi’s power sector guidance, using the Sectoral Decarbonization Approach (SDA) method, specifically calls for targets that cover emissions from electricity generated (scope 1) and for all electricity that is purchased and sold (scope 3, category 3). The Power Sector SDA also provides guidance for setting optional targets for other scope 1, 2, and 3 emission sources, as applicable.

With these requirements in mind, ADEC ESG worked with our client to analyze its operations in a way that addressed the company’s key challenge: how to deliver power to customers in a way that was reliable, consistent, and helped reduce emissions. With renewable energy coming largely from intermittent sources such as solar and wind—and a number of regulatory restraints to consider—our focus was on how our client could best utilize the renewable resources it had available, how those resources currently impacted its scope 1 inventory, and how this data would inform net-zero strategy and planning.

Client: Global Energy Company 

Project Needs and Deliverables

  • Driven by primary shareholder request
  • SBTi Feasibility and Resource Assessment
  • Preliminary cost assessment

Key Personnel

For more information, contact our ESG Strategy & Implementation team:

Culley Thomas, MSc, MCP

Head of ESG Strategy & Implementation

Culley has more than 20 years of experience in greenhouse gas emissions inventory development, climate strategy identification and prioritization, performance monitoring, and related analyses. He has extensive experience in leading multi-sector teams in the design and execution of complex data-driven environmental, social, and governance projects.

Culley Thomas, MSc, MCP Head of ESG Strategy & Implementation

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