The Science Based Targets initiative have recently announced a new path for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to get their targets verified. This is very exciting news facilitating smaller organisations to set science-based targets. Previously, SMEs, organisations with less than 500 employees may not have had the resources to do so.

Why set science-based targets?

The UK Parliament passed a motion declaring a Climate Emergency in April 2019. In the same week as the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Government also voted to declare a Climate Emergency and to take dramatic mitigating action without delay.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has concluded that we have just 11 years to act before climate change is irreversible.

The report outlined the difference between a 1.5 and 2 degree increase in global temperatures, which would be catastrophic. The 2 degrees increase in temperatures could pose up to 3 times as much threat to; humans and ecosystems, the economy and infrastructure than a 1.5-degree increase.

Science-based targets allow organisations to set targets in line with these scientific findings. This not only future proofs businesses against risks associated with climate change but is also cost-effective helping improve operational efficiency.

In addition, larger companies are requesting climate change targets from companies in their supply chain.

Consequently, setting science- based targets is beneficial for maintaining clients, company reputation and winning new business.

What is the Science Based Targets initiative?

Science Based Targets initiative is a 'collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.’

The initiative verifies targets and publishes them helping to promote them and encourage others to follow suit. The initiative provides tools and guidance to organisations wishing to reduce their environmental impact.

What changes have been made for SMEs wanting to join the initiative?

SMEs (companies with fewer than 500 full time employees) can now reap the benefits of a quicker path to achieving verified science-based targets. The following adjustments have been made in their favour:

-Discounted cost – SMEs now only pay $1,000 US dollars to have their science-based targets verified.

-SMEs can bypass the initial step of committing to the target and the target validation process.

-Flexibility setting targets. SMEs can choose to set targets in line with staying well-below 2°C of warming, or below 1.5°C.

-SMEs don’t have to set a scope 3 emissions target and only need to commit to reducing scope 3 emissions in general.

Next steps

Calculate your organisation’s carbon footprint. You can do this using Compare Your Footprint an online tool that will help you report on your organisation’s emissions and benchmark them against others in the same industry. All you need to do is plug in your data and algorithms will work out the resulting emissions from your operations.

Now you have your carbon footprint it’s time to set science-based targets. Green Element can do this for you.

Get in touch today to find out more.

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