Home Sustainability and Eco Friendly initiative news SBTi to single out firms for missing key climate target submission deadline

SBTi to single out firms for missing key climate target submission deadline

SBTi to single out firms for missing key climate target submission deadline

The Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is gearing up to single out a raft of firms that have failed to follow up climate pledges with official emissions reduction goals for approval by its reviewers.

To date, 59 companies worldwide are singled out on the SBTi’s register as having had their commitments removed for failing to submit follow targets for validation within two years of making a public commitment through the group. They are expected to be joined by many more this evening, after a grace period for a new compliance policy came to a close.

So far, nine UK companies, including woodland carbon credit provider Forest Carbon, market intelligence firm Mintel, semiconductor company Arm Holdings, bus manufacturer Switch Mobility, and agri-business Branston have their climate commitments formally listed as “removed” on the SBTi’s public target dashboard.

US pork giant Smithfield Foods, Chilean air operator LATAM Airlines Group, Chinese clean energy giant Trina Solar, and Northern Ireland bus and rail service provider Translink are also singled out as having failed to submit climate goals within the SBTi’s two-year deadline.

In a compliance policy announced earlier this year,  thee SBTi pledged to highlight which organisations had failed to follow up on their initial public climate goal commitment with formal targets for official validation by the initiative. Previously, organisations that failed to submit targets within a 24-month window were simply removed from the project dashboard.

But the new policy means firms that fail to submit targets for consideration will be named on the platform, increasing the reputational pressure on businesses to make good on their initial promise to submit new emissions targets. 

While the compliance policy came into effect on January 31, firms with commitments set to expire before 31 January were given a six-month grace period to adjust to the new rule. That grace period lapsed at the end of last month, and the SBTi has said it intends to add to its list of companies whose commitments had been removed later today.

The move comes as the SBTI faces pressure to play a more active role in highlighting those companies that fail to follow up on their public climate commitments with independently-verified targets that should help to drive decarbonisation action.

In a statement published on its website earlier this week, the standards body said the new policy was designed to “make it clear where companies have committed to set targets but then failed to comply”.

“Not only does this increase transparency and accountability around commitments and eventual validation, it acts as a major disincentive for companies to make commitments without taking action,” the organisation said.

SBTi said that it would reclassify any companies that belatedly submit targets for consideration.  “The companies will continue to be marked in this way until they submit and have approved targets for validation,” it said.

It also urged all businesses to set ambitious net zero goals. “The SBTi does not comment on individual companies with commitments or targets, however we encourage any and all companies that are removed to re-engage with the process to set science-based targets for validation as soon as possible,” it said. “Urgent corporate climate action is required to limit the worst effects of climate change and the SBTi remains on hand to validate the ambitious, robust targets needed to achieve that.”

This article was updated 16:00 on 3 August to clarify the SBTi has not yet updated its dashboard.

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