SBTi gains charitable status and as it works on standards for 6 ‘high impact’ sectors

Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has been awarded charitable status by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, allowing it to form an independent Validation Council for assessing target validations.

While it was previously a collaborative initiative between CDP, We Mean Business Coalition, World Resources Institute (WRI), World Wide Fund for Nature and the UN Global Compact, the organisation is now independent and working alongside its partners.

In the coming weeks, it will call for Validation Council members  – along with Terms of Reference for the Council and requirements for Council Members – who will work to ensure independence in decision-making.

The newly acquired charitable status also means that Ikea Foundation’s £14.1 million funding pledge can be put towards developing standards and strengthening the SBTi infrastructure, matching the £14.1 million from the SBTi’s other principal funder, the Bezos Earth Fund, which has enabled the charity’s significant upscaling since 2021.

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Due to a significant rise in demand for corporate decarbonisation standards and target validation services, the number of companies and financial institutions setting greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and having them validated by the SBTi doubled from 2,079 in 2022 to 4,204 in 2023.

In turn, the organisation has begun a major scale-up operation to develop a broader range of credible emissions reduction standards and increase capacity for validating companies’ targets, while aiding companies and financial institutions in retaining high levels of service.

This includes the incorporation of a subsidiary company to house its target validation services, with all profits donated to the charity, developing the SBTi Financial Institutions Net-Zero Standard will be developed in tandem, and prioritising the development of sector-specific standards for six high-impact sectors: oil and gas, electric utilities, automotive, chemicals, insurance and apparel.

SBTi also plans to pilot a hybrid model for developing sector-specific standards, partnering with external organisations and pooling expertise, in favour of accelerating the number of sector-specific standards developed in 2025 and beyond.

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