Including efforts to reduce or prevent emission of greenhouse gases.
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Building on the momentum of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) is a collaboration of 45+ global non-profits and mission-driven organizations working together to develop guidance to set science-based targets for all of Earth’s systems. Science Based Targets has created a five-step target-setting framework that helps you to assess; interpret and prioritise; measure, set, and disclose; act upon; and track your science-based goals. They have also created sector-specific guidance and target monitoring for companies and financial institutions.
At present, Science Based Targets helps companies to develop their goals based on the latest science: SBTi specifically focuses on GHG emission reduction goals, and SBTN specifically focuses on nature positive goals, with target-setting guidance for land, biodiversity, and freshwater. Their respective websites provide comprehensive resources, cases, and support for taking credible action.
The Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) Corporate Net-Zero Standard includes the guidance, criteria, and recommendations companies need to set science-based net-zero targets consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. The framework consists of four parts: 1) setting near-term interim science-based targets for rapid, deep emissions cuts, 2) setting long-term science-based targets that align with reaching net-zero at the global or sector level by 2050 or sooner, 3) neutralizing residual emissions, and 4) taking action to mitigate emissions beyond the value chain. This resource also includes specific sector guidance for setting science based targets, as well as guidance for updating and communicating targets. It should be noted that SBTi has reduced their restrictions related to acceptable carbon removal practices, including offsetting, but the document highlights that only the final 5-10% of emissions may be neutralized this way in order to qualify as net-zero.
A wave of companies are committing to “net zero," but what does being a net zero business mean in practice? The Science Based Targets initiative has released their definition and framework for reaching net zero, and it includes allowances for up to 10% of a company's emissions profile to be removed as offsets. If you are looking for clear and appropriate criteria for "net zero" best practices that will advance you beyond this, this resource from Watershed explains how net zero differentiates from "carbon neutral" and will help you to understand the actions that are required for your company to become a genuine "net zero company."
This report from the Energy Transitions Commissions (ETC) assesses progress since COP26 and outlines the priority areas for accelerated action at - and beyond - COP27. The report provides a good summary of the achievements of COP26, the status of our climate budget, the credibility and quality of global climate-related commitments, and the steps required to close the 'gap' in climate-related ambition, implementation, and financing within both sectors and countries. This resource is a good starting point for executives, boards, and junior sustainability change agents that want to get up to speed on the priority areas for accelerated progress on climate action.
This briefing paper from the Energy Transitions Commision (ETC) will help you to understand that carbon removals must play a role in climate change mitigation strategies in addition to rapid decarbonisation, starting today.
The paper provides a comprehensive description of how ambitious development of cardon dioxide removal (CDR) solutions - combined with ambitious decarbonisation - could prevent 'overshoot' of the 1.5°C carbon budget by 2050. It covers climate targets and the implications for carbon budgets; emissions reduction scenarios and the size of the overshoot gap; types of CDR and their feasible scale by 2050; the risks involved for each type of CDR and how to manage them; an examination of who should pay for removals, and how; and the actions needed in the 2020s to ensure subsequent removals occur at the necessary pace and scale.
Natural climate solutions have been recognised as key levers in mitigating the negative impacts of climate change, with ~12% of global impacts from GHG emissions coming from land use and land-use changes (LULUC). To support you in calculating, accounting for, and reporting on LULUC-generated GHG emissions, the Accounting for Natural Climate Solutions Guidance from Quantis delivers a robust methodology to embed land-related emissions in corporate and product footprints, which can be used for setting science-based climate targets. Additionally, the supporting Annex document provides detailed information on the scope of the proposed methodology, including technical instructions, context, debated challenges, and limitations, as well as references.
This article is useful for organisations establishing a carbon pricing program. It answers specific, common questions and provides practical advice that will help you to align your carbon pricing program with the motivations, goals, structure, and culture of your organisation.
The Evolution of Corporate Climate Commitments: The Role of Carbon Credits in Achieving Net Zero, Carbon Neutrality, and SBTi Targets
New and increasingly sophisticated carbon reduction targets have emerged as organizations look to aggressively reduce their emissions. This resource from 3Degrees will help you to understand the difference between three increasingly commonly climate-related targets: carbon neutrality, science-based targets, and net zero emissions. The guide also highlights solutions for addressing unabated or residual emissions.
First launched in 2019 by the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Climate Action Pathways set out sectoral visions for achieving a 1.5° C resilient world in 2050. Pathways are a living document, and will provide you with an up-to-date road map of the interim actions and key impacts needed by 2021, 2025, 2030 and 2040 to achieve the 2050 vision.
The Pathways are divided into executive summaries and action tables that cover thematic areas linked to climate change, such as energy, industry, land use, transport, and water, as well as cross-cutting themes like resilience. The summaries provide a vision of the future, summarising the needs - and milestones - for system transformation and progress to date, whereas the action tables highlight specific time-bound actions that businesses (and other relevant stakeholders) can take to deliver on 2050 vision.
The IEA's World Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050 is essential reading for businesses directly and indirectly involved in the energy industry. This guidance will help you to understand what is needed from companies, governments, investors, and citizens to fully decarbonise the energy sector and set emissions in line with the 1.5° C target. The guide outlines what a cost-effective and economically productive pathway could look like, and explores key uncertainties, such as the roles that bioenergy, carbon capture, and behavioural changes will play in reaching net zero.
Nature-based carbon offsets - also known as natural climate solutions (NCS) - can be an effective part of a company's mitigation efforts. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin, or how to exercise due diligence to ensure that the solutions you support are credible. This brief provides introductory guidance for institutional investors on the use of NCS in corporate climate strategies. It can help you to better understand the role of natural NCS for pursuing net-zero emissions, and how to better evaluate the quality of nature-based carbon credits.
The Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) are a global benchmark that provide a credible and rigorous means of identifying high-integrity carbon credits. The CCPs were created by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) to help standardise the quality of carbon credits sold on the voluntary market, and were developed through global cooperation from hundreds of key stakeholders and organisations throughout the voluntary carbon market. These 10 principles can help your company to better assess the quality of carbon credits and to ensure that your purchases are having real and verifiable impact on the climate.
The ICVCM has also created a guidebook that features a summary for decision-makers, which presents their assessment framework; their recommended assessment procedure; and an overview of the CCPs and their implementation through the assessment framework.
This white paper from Compensate is a good starting point for better understanding the voluntary carbon market and the steps required to achieve greater impact with carbon capture projects. It explains the current state of the market and highlights the most common flaws in carbon capture projects. It also introduces Compensate's project evaluation criteria, and explains how to apply it in practice.
We need to dramatically reduce emissions to get to true net-zero globally, but businesses are paying for the right to do wrong through carbon offsets. This quick read from the Climate Ad Project will help you to understand how offsets are abused as part of net-zero pledges to project a good public image while avoiding meaningful emissions reductions.
Carbon180 has created a simple matrix to highlight the difference between high-accountability and low-accountability actions related to measuring, monitoring, reporting, and verifying (MMRV) the results of carbon removal projects. This is a good starting point for senior leaders that are exploring carbon offsetting as part of their organisation's mitigation strategy and want to build accountability and trust with carbon removal project developers.
Insetting refers to a company offsetting its emissions through projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester carbon within its own value chain. It is an opportunity for businesses to link emissions and carbon sequestration to their sourcing landscapes. This guide from the International Platform for Insetting shares insights and provides recommendations that will help you to transform your supply chain for a resilient, regenerative, net zero carbon future that values and protects nature. The guide was created specifically for insetting practitioners and stakeholders that want to learn more about the concept, and it highlights lessons and opportunities for realising the full potential of insetting.
Shopify spent the past year exploring and growing the carbon removal market, and they created this playbook to share their journey and learning outcomes. This guide provides experiential insights, tangible steps, tools, and templates that will help you to fund the right types of climate solutions; be flexible with purchases to maximise impact; and identify the most promising carbon removal companies. If your company wants to contribute to a net zero future through carbon removal but is leery of costly mistakes, we recommend this as early essential reading.
Sink or swim: How Indigenous and community lands can make or break nationally determined contributions
This paper, authored by researchers from World Resources Institute and Climate Focus, examines the role of Indigenous peoples and local communities' (IPLC) lands as carbon sinks and the impact they can have in support of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) towards reducing global emissions. It explains the contributions of IPLC lands to reducing climate change; their current role in countries' current NDCs; key policy and governance gaps to achieving greater mitigation potential from IPLC lands; and recommendations for governments and international donors. This paper can help you to better understand the positive impact you can have in reducing emissions by supporting national projects that protect and grow IPLC lands.
This guide from Drawdown Labs was created to "democratize" climate action by helping all employees concerned about climate change to take concrete action in the workplace. It identifies ways for employees to assess whether or not their company is taking adequate steps to address climate change; examines job functions that have untapped potential for driving action; explains how one can work with their colleagues to amplify and hasten impact; and uses the Drawdown-Aligned Business Framework to highlight key leverage points and specific actions that all business must utilize and deliver upon. This is a good introduction for any employee who is interested in and motivated to support climate action, but whose title and accountabilities may not be immediately and obviously relevant.
This groundbreaking report by the Climate Safe Lending Network (CSLN), The Outdoor Policy Outfit (TOPO), and BankFWD highlights the substantial climate impact of companies' banking practices, and explains how - for many large businesses - corporate cash and investments are generating more emissions than all operations and supply chain activities combined. This resource explains how cash can be linked to corporate climate efforts, and can help you to understand what steps your company can take towards decarbonising your financial supply chain and portfolio.
This UN report sets out five key principles and ten key recommendations that can help board members to develop and implement credible and comprehensive net-zero commitments. This resource provides a holistic set of meaningful actions that companies can take, as well as key questions directors should ask.
This guide produced by the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance, WBCSD, and BCG is designed to help companies select and procure high-quality carbon credits on the voluntary carbon market. It focuses specifically on natural climate solution (NCS) credits, which are intended to support carbon reduction while also providing co-benefits for communities and biodiversity. Going step-by-step, the guide outlines how to integrate NCS carbon credits into your climate strategy. This includes setting procurement criteria, finding sources, purchasing, and reporting credible claims. The guidance will be most useful to sustainability and procurement teams.
This guide by the International Federation of Accountant (IFAC) and We Mean Business Coalitions (WMBC) can help ensure your organisation’s GHG accounting is timely, robust, and reliable. It covers eight practical steps your CFO and finance team can take to collect, manage, and disclose GHG data according to the latest international standards.
Engaging Supply Chains on the Decarbonization Journey: A Guide to Developing and Achieving Scope 3 Supplier Engagement Targets
This guide by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) will help address your value chain sustainability impacts by setting supplier engagement targets. It explains how to select suppliers, set and implement targets, and track progress. The guidance will be most useful to sustainability and supply chain management teams that are exploring or already working to reduce their organization’s Scope 3 emissions.
Guidance on Avoided Emissions: Helping business drive innovations and scale solutions towards Net Zero
There is a growing recognition of the need to scale climate solutions (e.g., products, services, technologies) in order to produce necessary system-wide change. In response, private sector sustainability claims are surging. Unfortunately, many of these claims are not credible. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and a host of multi-stakeholder collaborators have created this guide to help you to credibly account for avoided GHG emission stemming from your climate change-related solutions. The guide outlines a rigorous methodology for assessing these avoided emissions so that strategic decisions related to climate investments are better informed. It covers five areas: defining avoided emissions; leveraging avoided emissions; ensuring the contribution is legitimate; assessing avoided emissions; and reporting avoided emissions. These insights will be most useful to sustainability professionals, but will also have implications for other departments including finance, development, and communications.
Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Resilience: A Guideline for Project Developers
This report from the World Bank aims to help you make the case for investments in Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) for climate resilience. It provides a decision framework to cost-effectively quantify the benefits and costs of NBS. The frameworks includes a common set of six analytical steps and four guiding principles to help you value the benefits of NBS related to disaster risk, food production, tourism, recreation, biodiversity, health, and water quality. It also provides eight case studies to illustrate how these assessments works in practice. The framework will be useful to a number of departments that may be involved in developing NBS projects including sustainability, finance, strategy, R&D, and operations.
This article from MIT Sloan will help you to understand whether or not the carbon offsets you purchase are actually cutting emissions. It outlines a simple four point framework that assesses if the offset is Additional, Verifiable, Immediate, and Durable (AVID+). Each point must be met for an offset to be credible. When these minimum requirements are met, offset purchasers should also look for projects with additional societal benefits (the “plus” of AVID+). This framework will be most useful to sustainability teams and anyone else involved in purchasing carbon offsets.
This visualisation from NASA shows atmospheric carbon emissions and sequestration across the globe over a one year period. It includes emission sources from fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning, land ecosystems, and the ocean. It also shows the areas of land and ocean that are sequestering carbon. This resource provides compelling visuals that can be shared with business leaders and anyone else who would benefit from better understanding the scale of our human impact on the carbon cycle.
Recent questions about the credibility of voluntary carbon credits threatens their potential to fill financing gaps for climate mitigation. In response, the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity initiative (VCMI) has worked with existing standard-setters to create a code of practice that brings clarity to what a high quality credit looks like.
The Claims Code can help businesses make credible use of carbon credits in their climate commitments. The Code provides a practical, detailed, 4-step process: 1) Comply with the Foundational Criteria, 2) select a VCMI Claim to make, 3) meet the required carbon credit use and quality thresholds, and 4) obtain third-party assurance following the VCMI Monitoring, Reporting & Assurance (MRA) Framework. The guidance will be most useful to sustainability teams or anyone involved in purchasing credits from the voluntary carbon markets.