SBTi – Science Based Targets setting

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) guides your company in the reduction of GHG emissions. By SBTi target setting, you benefit from the future viability of your company and lower your business’ impact on climate change.

Establish climate action based on sound science

We support you in your decarbonization journey and the submission of science-based targets for your company.

What is the Science Based Targets initiative SBTi?

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a partnership between CDP, WRI, UN Global Compact, and WWF, aiming to define corporate emission reduction goals. These emission targets are in line with the much-publicized 1.5 degrees Celsius Paris Agreement. Science-based targets are an important part of your climate or Net Zero strategy – regardless of industry or sector. Over the past years, the SBTi has launched several guidelines on how to align climate actions to achieve Net Zero as well as special criteria for financial institutions and other sectors. Several standards have already been published, including the forestry, land use, and agriculture (FLAG) standard, other sector-specific guidance, as well as Net Zero guidelines. Further guidelines are currently under development.

Why science-based targets are important for business

The Science Based Target initiative provides you with different guidelines on how to reduce your Scope 1 2 3 emissions step-by-step. Science-based targets are important for your business for the following reasons:

Science-based targets have a monetary component. On the one hand, rising CO2 prices are putting companies under more and more pressure. On the other hand, climate risks are considered financial risks. If climate change is not mitigated, the risks increase. A Net Zero target is not only important for our environment, it is also a business necessity.

The EU is aiming for Net Zero by 2050 as part of the EU Green Deal. As a result, decarbonization and climate action are being called for in more and more regulatory frameworks and policy decisions such as the EU Taxonomy or the CSRD. This is why the transition to a low-carbon economy is a fact, signaled not only by the 195 signatories of the 2015 Paris Agreement but also by an exponentially growing number of companies worldwide.

The SBTi sets standards that are being adopted by all industries and organizations of all sizes. This is due to the generic approach of the standard and the availability of another standard for SMEs with a streamlined validation process. Another reason for the growing popularity of the SBTi are the increasing requirements of suppliers and their clients. It can be observed that the pressure of having science-based targets is being passed on along the value chain.

An SBTi-compliant emission target is found in many corporate strategies for sustainable development. More than 300 of the world’s largest businesses in practically all major industries are already acting in accordance with the SBTi’s mission. Science-based targets signal a company’s commitment to climate action and the responsibility it takes in reducing emissions caused by its business activities. Due to companies increasing their engagement and cooperation with their supply chain, validated emission targets are a strong signal for one’s suppliers and clients.

The sustainability of companies is increasingly critically scrutinized, not only by suppliers. Various stakeholders are exerting pressure on companies – especially about their carbon footprint and their ambitions to push their CO2 reduction. Scientific approaches prove your sustainability performance. By committing to and developing validated science-based targets, you position yourself as a green company and a leader in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The SBTi methodology is an important tool for sustainable business models. The guidelines of the Science Based Targets initiative help your company to systematically progress towards Net Zero emissions. It can thus be an essential part of a decarbonization strategy and climate action measurements. And the following also applies to your Net Zero strategy: it is easier to start early than to catch up.

At denkstatt we have also joined the Science Based Targets initiative and developed our own science-based targets.

Read more about denkstatt’s SBTi commitment here:

Our SBTi and decarbonization experts will assist you with the practical application of developing your reduction targets and their submission.

Setting a target for emission reduction

The SBTi provides tools and a large body of guidance documents on how you can develop and submit your targets. This includes information about the criteria to adhere to when developing targets and what to consider. After your submission, the validation of these targets lies with the SBTi, which will conduct a critical review. When your company’s ambitions and targets are considered acceptable, your company with its targets and ambition level will be listed on the SBTi’s web page alongside all others that have committed themselves to approved targets or already achieved them. To exploit the full potential, we recommend a systematic approach when developing a science-based target aligned with the SBTi guidelines.

Join the SBTi movement and you'll be in great company.

Our SBTi Target setting services

Our denkstatt experts accompany you on this journey – according to your needs and in line with your decarbonization strategy. With the following services, we help you to align your climate action with the SBTi’s criteria:

SBTi preparation and decision-making

Not sure if it makes sense for you? Our experts support you with coaching and individual training so you can decide whether a science-based target should be set for your company.

Climate strategy in alignment with SBTi

Our consultants are specialized in science-based target setting, elaboration, and improving decarbonization strategies. We offer you an embedding target development, submission, and sparring during validation, as an element of a larger climate strategy for your company. This allows the alignment of your level of ambition with achievable and planned reductions.

Stand-alone support for SBTi

Of course, we also support you without an additional climate strategy. This includes science-based target development, support during submission, and sparring during validation. This variant is suitable if you already have a profound climate strategy that you want to expand by joining the SBTi.

Generally, science-based targets are only one of many elements of a climate strategy. This is why we encourage companies, ESG managers, and CSR departments to develop climate strategies, where science-based targets are developed alongside the calculation of a corporate carbon footprint and the identification of emission reduction measures.


Learn more about how denkstatt can help you with your climate strategy.

Reach out to our expert to find a solution that suits your company!

Constantin Saleta

Senior Manager Sustainability Services

Read more >


Frequently asked questions on SBTi

SBTi is the abbreviation for the Science Based Target Initiative. Several organizations have joined forces and developed guidelines to help companies reduce their greenhouse gas emissions based on science.

The SBTi guidelines help companies reduce GHG emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. In this way, science-based targets are intended to contribute to keeping average global warming below the two-degree limit.

Science-based targets are not required but are highly recommended as it helps your company to save money, increase competitiveness and become more attractive to investors and other stakeholders.

A science-based target not only has a positive impact on the environment but can also significantly increase the competitiveness and reputation of your company. You can boost your resilience in terms of upcoming regulations and follow a concrete emission target commitment.

Each company must go through a multi-step process to have science-based targets that are validated by the SBTi.

A corporate carbon footprint in line with the GHG Protocol is a prerequisite for setting science-based targets. This includes the calculation of all scope categories and consideration of subsidiaries etc.

A corporate carbon footprint must be made publicly available every year and the science-based target needs to be communicated by the company.

The SBTi has already developed and continues to develop more guidance documents and respective criteria for different sectors. Examples are the standard for financial institutions or the FLAG standard.

Currently, the standard does not imply any consequences. Nevertheless, the initiative is already working on a measurement, reporting, and verification standard planned to be published in 2024. Apart from the SBTi process, companies are hold accountable to take their targets seriously via transparency. Disclosing your carbon footprint and progress-against-targets on a yearly basis makes your climate performance transparent towards your stakeholders.

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