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SBTi Announces Major Revision of Corporate Net-Zero Standard, Outlines Objectives and Timeline

SBTi Announces Major Revision of Corporate Net-Zero Standard, Outlines Objectives and Timeline

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The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has released the Terms of Reference of the major revision to the Corporate Net-Zero Standard outlining the objectives, scope, deliverables, provisional timeline, and opportunities for engagement during the standard revision process.

The development of the Corporate Net-Zero Standard Version 2.0 will be conducted according to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Development of SBTi Standards. The update is happening in line with the regular review cycle, as outlined in the SOP, which must happen every two to five years. The SBTi has also published a Project Feedback Form to enable stakeholders to submit feedback throughout the standard revision process.

The SBTi has four key goals for the review of the Corporate Net-Zero Standard: 1) to align with the latest scientific thinking and best practice, such as from the IPCC and the UN Secretary General’s High Level Expert Group on the net zero emissions commitments of non-state entities (HLEG), 2) to address challenges related to scope 3 target setting and implementation, 3) to integrate continuous improvement and target delivery, and 4) to improve structure and enhance interoperability with other SBTi standards as well as other relevant external frameworks and standards.

As part of the revision of the standard, the SBTi is also conducting an assessment of the effectiveness of Environmental Attribute Certificates (EACs) in corporate climate targets. An open call for evidence on this topic took place in 2023, and the results of this assessment will feed into the Corporate Net-Zero Standard revision, in line with the SOP.

It should be noted that the SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standard V1.2 continues to be the most recent and valid resource for companies to set net-zero aligned science-based targets.

No decisions have been made with regards to the revision of this standard. Any decisions on changes to the standard, will be made after a rigorous process of research, consultation, pilot testing, approval by the Technical Council and adoption by the SBTi Board of Trustees.

Related Article: SBTi to Expand Use of Environmental Certificates for Scope 3 Emissions Abatement in Net-Zero Standard Revision

The key next steps for the project are outlined in the table below, along with details on how stakeholders can engage throughout the process. These are expected timings and may be subject to change. Any significant changes to this indicative timeline will be communicated on the Developing the SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standard webpage.

PublicationsExpected timelineStakeholder input
Call for Evidence into the Effectiveness of Environmental Attribute Certificates (EACs)The SBTi to release all evidence received as part of the open call.N.B. The SBTi will not provide any analysis of the evidence at this stage.Q2 2024Stakeholders are invited to read the evidence.
Scope 3 discussion paperThe SBTi to release a discussion paper setting out SBTi’s initial thinking on potential changes being explored around scope 3 target setting, including underlying principles and concepts.The discussion paper will be informative by nature and will not propose draft requirements or criteria.July 2024Stakeholders are invited to submit feedback via the Project Feedback Form.
Assessment of Evidence on the Effectiveness of Environmental Attribute Certificates (EACs) in Corporate Climate Targets – Part 1: Carbon CreditsA report will be published presenting SBTi’s assessment of the evidence received on the effectiveness of carbon credits in corporate climate targets.The SBTi will also publish an independent third-party systematic review of this topic based on peer-reviewed literature.Potential changes to the standard as a result of this process will be assessed through a feasibility study.Assessment of other EAC instruments will be published at a later stage.July 2024Stakeholders are invited to submit feedback via the Project Feedback Form.
Draft Corporate Net-Zero Standard V2 Public ConsultationAs laid out in the SOP, the draft standard will be released for public consultation. The feedback received will be made public and reviewed by the SBTi Technical Department to inform the development of the standard.Q4 2024All interested parties will have the opportunity to provide input in a transparent and open process.

All interested parties can submit feedback throughout the process via the Project Feedback Form

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