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Revise your targets

As climate science continues to mature, and in the event of a significant change to your business, there may be a need to update your targets.

  • Evolving climate science: As climate science evolves, organizations should account for this in their targets. The purpose of a net zero target is to ensure your company is decarbonizing at a rate that will help the world avoid the most significant impacts of climate change. As of now, as per the IPCC, this means targeting emissions that will not allow the planet to warm beyond 1.5° C from pre-industrial levels. As climate science and reporting standards evolve, targets may need to be revised accordingly

  • Significant business changes compromising targets: Shifts in your business (e.g. new market expansion, merger and acquisition activities) may cause significant changes in your operations, supply chain or project life cycles, prompting the need to revise your target

As per SBTi net zero, targets must be reviewed, and if necessary, recalculated and revalidated, at a minimum every five years. For companies with targets approved in 2020 or before, targets must be reviewed and revalidated, if necessary, by 2025.

Additionally, SBTi highlights the following as conditions that could require target revisions:

  • Scope 3 emissions become 40% or more of aggregated scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (this criterion only applies to short-term SBTs)

  • Emissions of exclusions in the inventory or target boundary change significantly

  • Significant changes in company structure and activities (e.g. acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, sourcing or outsourcing, shifts in goods or service offerings)

  • Significant adjustments to the baseline year inventory or changes in data to set targets such as growth projections (e.g. discovery of significant errors or several cumulative errors that are collectively significant)

A similar process to the initial targets setting process described in 2.1 and 2.2 should be followed, using both top-down and bottom-up approaches. Previously conducted analysis and more comprehensive and updated data should be leveraged to improve the accuracy of internal analysis. For SBTi, companies with an approved target that requires recalculation must follow the most recent applicable criteria at the time of resubmission. These revised targets will then be subject to the SBTi validation process.