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SBTi Responds to Bloomberg’s Coverage of Scope 3 Emissions Reporting Issues

SBTi Responds to Bloomberg’s Coverage of Scope 3 Emissions Reporting Issues

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On May 24th, 2024, a Bloomberg journalist contacted the SBTi with a series of questions in preparation for an article which it published on May 29th, 2024.

Below is the response to Bloomberg from the SBTi CEO on May 28th, 2024:

“The revision of the Corporate Net-Zero Standard could be the most consequential voluntary standard of the decade.

That’s why it’s essential that the process follows the SBTi’s Standard Operating Procedure for the Development of Standards, which incorporates research, drafting, public consultation and formal approval processes by our governance bodies. As we have repeatedly stated, no SBTi standards have changed, and they will only do so after having been through this thorough process.

I will not indulge gossip that appears to be fuelled by a gross misunderstanding of the SBTi’s standard setting process or by sensationalistic untruths, and which has the effect of undermining the work of the entire institution. Indeed, I have repeatedly applied pressure on delivering to ambitious timelines – this is urgent work, and the review of our scope 3 approach cannot wait.

The SBTi will not shy away from the hard questions, but we will not be overrun by them either. SBTi governance is designed to have different perspectives represented and such diversity is welcomed. All voices will be heard in our consultation process, including and importantly those from the Global South which have been largely absent or ignored in this debate. We are focused on the work, not on hearsay, and will be judged by the quality and impact of our standards.”

In addition, the SBTi wishes to make the following clarifications in response to the Bloomberg published article.


The SBTi’s governance structure is clear. After public consultation, the Technical Council will receive the draft standard for review and approval, and it will then go to the Board of Trustees for consideration and adoption. No one person or group has sole decision-making authority over the content of a standard as decisions within these bodies are arrived at through deliberation and consensus or majority voting.

As is the case in any other organization, including a standard setting organization, it is entirely appropriate for the Board of Trustees to set a strategic steer; indeed, that is their role. This was made clear in the Board’s update of April 19th 2024. No standards have been changed, and no changes can or will be made until the approved Standard Operating Procedure for the Development of Standards has been completed. To suggest otherwise, or to attempt to pre-empt the outcome of this process, is simply wrong.

Revision of the Corporate Net-Zero Standard

As part of the Technical Department’s workplan, approved in late 2023, the revision of this Standard set out:

  1. to align with latest thinking and best practices,
  2. to address challenges to scope 3 target setting and implementation, including potential roles of Environmental Attribute Certificates (EACs) under the right guardrails,
  3. to integrate continuous improvement concepts and
  4. to improve interoperability with other SBTi standards and relevant external frameworks and standards.

Over 400 individual pieces of evidence were submitted in response to the SBTi Call for Evidence issued in September 2023 and which closed in November 2023. This required the SBTi to assess them and as a result an adjustment had to be made to the items of deliverables and the timelines for delivering them. The SBTi is in the process of assessing this evidence and producing a results report on emission reduction credits which is to be published in the middle of the year, together with an independent systematic review of scientific literature. This research and review have not been completed and therefore there are no findings yet. Even when published, research findings are not the Standard but the first phase of standard development.

Also expected for release in July 2024, the SBTi will publish a discussion paper setting out the preliminary view on the evolution of the SBTi’s conceptual framework for scope 3 target setting. This discussion paper will cover multiple elements of scope 3 target setting.

All these separate elements of research will feed into the considerations of the drafting of the revised Corporate Net-Zero Standard.

The drafted standard will be subject to public consultation which is expected to occur by the end of 2024. The SBTi encourages all stakeholders, duty bearers and interested parties to feed into this consultation process. The SBTi will not be deterred or distracted from the important work underway to revise our flagship Corporate Net-Zero Standard. Once we release the revised Standard, we will be happy to be judged on its efficacy and relevance. Not before then.

Related Article: SBTi Updates Criteria to Boost Financial Institutions’ Climate Goals to 1.5°C Ambition


The SBTi takes any allegation of physical or other intimidation involving any staff member, stakeholder, or collaborator extremely seriously, and has relevant policies and procedures in place to address any such allegations. As a growing organization with staff working remotely across multiple locations, we also provide an Employee Assistance Program for staff, which includes a provision for counselling.

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