18 Oct 2018

Science-based targets reveal pathway for low carbon future

Posted in: Reducing emissions

Science-based targets reveal pathway for low carbon future

Enviro-Mark Solutions experts showcase science-based targets at Climate Change & Business Conference 2018

Dr Ann Smith speaking at CCBC 2018Last week, “Professor Zero” Enviro-Mark Solutions CEO Dr Ann Smith, chaired a panel at the annual Climate Change and Business Conference, which explored the role of science-based targets in transforming “business as usual” and contributing to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Science-based targets are a way of ensuring what you are doing is in line with global reduction targets, and that you are making a meaningful contribution to a worldwide goal,” said Dr Smith.

“This has become ever more urgent in light of the most recent IPCC report, which outlined the potentially catastrophic difference in impact between a 1.5°C and 2°C increase in temperature.”

Panellist David Tong, WWF Senior Campaigner, outlined the history behind science-based targets, which enable organisations to frame their emissions reduction plan in line with the global decarbonisation pathway to limit global warming below 2°C.

Auckland International Airport Ltd Environment and Sustainability Manager, Helen Jenkins, and Contact Energy Head of Sustainability Manager, Kaapua Smith, outlined how science-based targets have informed their organisations impressive and innovative approach to emissions reductions.

But the majority of questions from the 200-strong audience were for panellist Stu McKenzie, Enviro-Mark Solutions Technical Manager, who outlined the practical steps for setting a science-based target. Stu identified five key steps in the process:

  1. Review your Emissions Inventory Report
  2. Perform Scope 3 screening using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol for guidance
  3. Run target calculations and review whether they are achievable
  4. Submit a commitment letter
  5. Once committed: develop, submit to Science Based Targets initiative and announce

For organisations wanting to get started, Stu recommends the Science-Based Targets website, where they can look up the published, validated company targets for aspirational goals and motivation for sector leadership.

Stu’s one quick tip for any organisation is to dust off your latest Emissions Inventory Report and make sure it is in line with the GHG Protocol. If you aren’t sure (or don’t have an inventory), experts like Enviro-Mark Solutions can help.

“The interest in science-based targets reflected the energy of conference delegates,” said Dr Smith. “In the context of the IPCC report, it was heartening to see how many people and organisations are committing to making a difference.”

Enviro-Mark Solutions provides custom support to help organisations set and achieve science-based emissions reduction targets. We are the first CDP-accredited science-based targets partner in Australia and New Zealand. For more information, contact us here.