© Fahroni
Science Based Targets initiative
Working with global businesses to set scientifically validated goals to cut their emissions

WWF is a founding partner of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a global body established in 2015 that enables companies and financial institutions to set ambitious emissions reductions targets in line with the latest climate science. It is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and WWF.

The SBTi drives ambitious climate action in the private sector, boosting businesses competitiveness in the transition to a net-zero economy. The initiative defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and validates the targets of companies and financial institutions.

Science-based targets show companies and financial institutions how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

© Jason Houston / WWF-US
Why is it important?

Climate change is a threat to people, nature, and our economy - and we need to urgently cut global greenhouse gas emissions so we can avoid the worst impacts of a warming world on our society. Leading climate scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have emphasised the importance of limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, but the world is currently on track to be significantly warmer.

Businesses are responsible (directly and indirectly), for the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions. They have a crucial role to play in our efforts to reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C.

In addition to the benefits that tackling climate change brings to people, nature and the economy, companies that set science-based targets can take advantage of benefits such as:

  • expanded opportunities for innovation
  • increased competitiveness
  • an improved reputation among customers and investors
  • the ability to get ahead of the curve of future climate legislation

By cutting emissions from their operations and throughout their value chains, companies who set science-based targets are driving the adoption of renewable energy and funding the solutions of the future.

© Simon Rawles / WWF-UK
What WWF is doing

As a founding partner of the SBTi, WWF works to engage and support companies in the development of their science-based targets to present to the SBTi for official validation, develop technical knowledge and communicate the benefits of setting a science-based target.

We work with companies through our network of national offices around the world. Businesses can find out more by contacting their local WWF office or get involved by committing to set a target through the SBTi.

WWF is also involved with developing science-based decarbonisation pathways for specific sectors, including:

Forest, land and agriculture: Agriculture, forestry and other land use emissions represent nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. While many companies now report their emissions publicly, few account for land-based emissions or include them in their reduction targets due to the lack of available guidance and methods - until now.

The SBTi's sector development project, the Forest, Land and Agriculture (FLAG) Science Based Target Setting Guidance, led by WWF, aims to address this gap. It is the world’s first standard method for companies to set science-based targets that include land-based emission reductions and removals. Companies setting FLAG science-based targets should submit a no-deforestation commitment with a target date no later than 2025, with a recommended cut-off year of 2020.

Ground transportation: In consultation with experts and project supporters, WWF coordinated a year-long project to develop a set of technical resources to support corporate science-based target setting for transport activities.


​General information and technical queries: info@sciencebasedtargets.org

© SBTi
SBTi Net-Zero Standard

The SBTi’s Corporate Net-Zero Standard is the world’s only framework for corporate net-zero target setting in line with climate science. It provides a common, robust, science-based understanding of net-zero, and gives business leaders clarity and confidence that their near- and long-term decarbonization targets are aligned with a 1.5°C future.

By setting near-and long-term targets, companies will accelerate decarbonization efforts at the depth and pace needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate crisis by halving halving emissions before 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions before 2050.

Commit to setting a net-zero target