In an era where environmental responsibility is paramount, establishing robust emissions reduction targets is a critical stride towards sustainable businesses. We delve into the intricacies of creating effective targets, aligning with global standards, and fostering transparency in your organisation's commitment to climate action.
Key Components of Emissions Reduction Targets:
1. Base Year and Target Year
Targets should incorporate a base year and a target year. The base year serves as the reference point against which greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions are measured, while the target year signifies when the set goals are expected to be achieved.
The year in which the target will be met should be set between 5 to 10 years from the base year with efforts to compound the reduction rates over time. This provides a realistic yet ambitious timeframe for achieving substantial reductions.
3. Aggressive Reductions
Targets should be aggressive, surpassing business-as-usual standards in the organisation's sector. A useful benchmark is aligning with the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) criteria which requires specific annual emissions reductions for various scopes.
4. Absolute Reduction
Targets should stipulate a clearly defined, absolute GHG reduction over a specified period, for example, 25% reduction over 10 years. This ensures a quantifiable and measurable commitment to emission reductions.
5. Global Operations Coverage
Targets should cover emissions generated across all countries in which the organisation operates, emphasising a global approach to reducing the carbon footprint. It transcends regional boundaries to address the full scope of environmental impact.
6. Scope Inclusion
Comprehensive targets address all three emission scopes. This includes: 1. direct emissions, 2. indirect emissions from energy consumption, and at least a part of 3. indirect emissions from the value chain, to provide a holistic approach.
7. Public Declaration
Publicly declared targets should incorporate all the aforementioned information, providing a clear and concise commitment. For instance, "8Billionminds ltd commits to a 20% absolute reduction of scope 1., 2., and 3. global emissions by 2030 from 2025 levels."
Crafting Your Emissions Reduction Strategy:
8. Understand Your Organisational Context
It is valuable to understand your industry, operational scale, and available resources. Tailor your targets to align with the unique aspects of your organisation and the role it plays in the industry and society at large.
9. Engage Stakeholders
Involve key stakeholders in the target-setting process. Consider feedback from employees, customers, and investors to ensure a well-rounded approach and garner support. Having management/ownership involved at various levels promotes a more holistic approach to develop a realistic, achievable, and sustainable strategy.
10. Regular Review and Adjustment
Establish a systematic review process to monitor progress and adjust targets if necessary. Embrace flexibility to adapt to evolving industry standards and emerging technologies.
Crafting emissions reduction targets is a pivotal step for organisations committed to mitigating climate change. By incorporating these key components and aligning with international criteria, your organisation can make a meaningful contribution to a sustainable and resilient future.