29 Nov 2018

Building expertise on science-based targets

Posted in: Reducing emissions

Building expertise on science-based targets

The recent report from the IPCC laid bare the urgency of limiting global warming to under 2° Celsius and sharply bending the curve of global emissions towards significant reductions within the next twelve years through to 2030.

Achieving these reductions will involve a committed, collective effort to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions and transition to a robust low carbon economy. Science-based targets (SBTs) offer one effective option, helping organisations set targets that are in line with achieving the global carbon reduction target based on climate science. Setting an SBT ensures an organisation is making a real and meaningful contribution to our atmosphere.

Interest in SBTs is growing, says Enviro-Mark Solutions Technical Advisor Ronja Lidenhammar, as New Zealand companies seek ways to reduce their emissions while realising business and cost efficiencies.

Ronja explaining science-based targets at our November workshop

Ronja explaining science-based target setting during the Wellington workshop

Leading Wellington-based CEOs, CFOs, Operations and Sustainability professionals attended a science-based targets workshop on 14 November, co-presented by Enviro-Mark Solutions, WWF and Business NZ. NZ Post and Contact Energy were on hand to provide real-life examples of their target development and submission.

Engagement in the room was high, says Ronja, as attendees investigated how to set an SBT, and how to engage senior management and the Board in the process. Her top tips?

“Break the process down into milestones”, she says.

“You need a robust inventory to start, and to review your Scope 3 emissions. Run some target calculations, then review. Its critical to get senior management buy-in, so use your data to tell your story, and to demonstrate both the challenges and the many benefits of an SBT”.

Sam Bridgman explaining NZ Post's science-based targets

Sam Bridgman of NZ Post providing insights to target development

Sustainability professionals from across New Zealand and Australia delved more deeply into the technical aspects of setting an SBT, in a webinar co-hosted by Enviro-Mark Solutions and international leaders in climate disclosure CDP on 27 November.

Enviro-Mark Solutions was recently named as the first and only CDP-accredited science-based targets provider in New Zealand and Australia, and the webinar was an opportunity to learn from our shared expertise.

Enviro-Mark Solutions Senior Technical Advisor, Stewart (Stu) McKenzie, presented alongside CDP Technical Manager Nicole Labutong. Stu went through the steps to set a science-based target, while Nicole outlined the process of submitting a target to the Science-Based Targets initiative for verification.

Stu’s main advice for organisations wanting to set an achievable science-based target is map your target in five-year chunks of time.

“Try lining up your planned reduction opportunities against the same timeline and see if this will achieve your targets”, he says.

“You’ll need to anticipate some of the emerging or over-the-horizon technologies and have a bit of faith that these will be feasible, or you might want to anticipate several, on the assumption that some might not come into fruition”.

Read more about science-based targets here.

For more information on science-based targets contact an Enviro-Mark Solutions expert on 0800 ENMARK or info@enviro-mark.com