26 July 2018
Science Based Targets Initiative Reveals Trends on Decarbonization
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
story highlights

A YouGov survey of corporations participating in the Science Based Targets initiative finds that more than half of their products and services are expected to be “low carbon” by 2028.

A press release notes that businesses expect environmental factors to be among the most significant trends affecting growth in the coming five years.

12 July 2018: A survey of corporations by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) shows that private sector leaders expect more than half of their products and services to be “low carbon” in ten years. The survey, conducted by YouGov and spanning 37 countries, notes that nearly one in five executives expect 100% of their company’s products to be low carbon.

An SBTi press release notes that senior leadership at a range of companies is calling on others around the world to commit to set science-based targets (SBTs) in the lead-up to the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) to be held in San Francisco, US, in September 2018. The release notes that, to date, 420 companies have already set or committed to set SBTs, building momentum among non-state actors, particularly those in the private sector.

Companies set SBTs in part to cut their GHG emissions to bring them in line with the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

The SBTi release highlights that two thirds of survey respondents selected “environmental factors” as being one of the most significant trends that will affect growth in the coming five years. The selection eclipses “economic policy” (59%) and falls second only to “technological change” (88%). A UNFCCC press release emphasizes that companies setting SBTs do so in part to cut their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions so they are in line with the temperature goals set by the Paris Agreement on climate change.

SBTi is led by partners from CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), the UN Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and We Mean Business. The initiative aims to help companies align their strategies with the Paris Agreement. Benefits of setting SBTs include, among others, enhanced brand reputation, resilience against and readiness for regulation, increased innovation and bottom line savings. Nearly four fifths of companies said that brand reputation is one of the largest positive impacts. [SBTi Press Release] [UNFCCC Press Release] [SBTi Blog on Business Benefits of SBTs] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Companies Committing to SBTs]

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