The impact of the Science-Based Target initiative launched in 2015 reveals wide-ranging action from large companies to become climate neutral.
Today corporates striving to become sustainable have tough criteria to gain approval from the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTI). Those companies which have succeeded to improve their climate imprint according ti the Science-Based Targets criteria, will now drive $18bn of investment in climate change mitigation measures, boosting renewable electricity generation by up to 90TWh a year in the process, according to a new analysis of corporate climate action from the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi).
The SBTi was launched in 2015, providing an independent mechanism to validate whether companies emissions reduction targets were in line with the Paris Agreement goal to keep global temperature rises to 'well below' 2C. Targets are assessed by an independent panel of experts to ensure they are ambitious enough.
The SBTi tightened its rules in line with the landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the risks of exceeding 1.5C of warming so that all companies with new targets validated under the scheme must now publish goals in line with a 1.5C trajectory.
According to the report out today, 285 companies now have their targets approved by the SBTi, including 76 with goals deemed to be compatible with less than 1.5C of warming. Together they account for emissions totalling 752 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent - greater than the carbon output of France and Spain combined.
If all the approved companies meet their targets, 265 million metric tonnes of emissions would be eliminated, equivalent to closing 68 coal-fired power plants, the report calculated.
More than 90 per cent of the companies have also set emissions reduction targets for their supply chains, SBTi added.
The combination of emissions goals for suppliers and multi-billion dollar investment programmes in support of the approved targets suggests the initiative is delivering on its aim of catalysing the development of low carbon technologies and business models.
The report also found that more than 20 per cent of large companies in fashion, biotechnology, food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications have set Science-Based Targets, indicating that they are becoming standard business practice in some sectors of the economy.