SBTN opens for initial screening of corporate nature-based targets

Published 10:20 on January 19, 2023  /  Last updated at 10:20 on January 19, 2023  /  Biodiversity  /  No Comments

The Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) has begun accepting applications from companies wanting their nature-based targets validated by the group, expected to drive private-sector biodiversity ambition.

The Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) has begun accepting applications from companies wanting their nature-based targets validated by the group, expected to drive private-sector biodiversity ambition.

The initial version of Science-based Targets (SBTs) can be used immediately for interested companies from March this year, although applications must be submitted by Feb. 3, SBTN said this week.

“As SBTN will simultaneously launch the underlying process for companies to submit their targets for review and approval … the target validation process itself will initially only be available to a small group of companies in order to gain learnings and optimise accordingly, prior to a full target validation process roll out later in the year,” SBTN said.

Giving companies the option to develop and pursue high-quality scientific targets for their impact on nature is expected to help drive biodiversity and ecosystem crisis awareness across business and also boost demand for nature credits.

Under this initial process, companies will be expected to assess their impact on nature and develop priorities for addressing that, as well as set specific targets for freshwater and/or land. During the pilot period they will also be expected to begin developing action plans to meet those targets.

Other nature targets, such as for oceans, will be available later along with a detailed methodology for developing action plans and tracking achievements, according to SBTN.

Around March the group will announce the names of companies that have been selected to participate in the pilot, though it said it might be willing to consider one or two “silent partners” if that proves necessary to carry out the process.

“SBTN is using this initial target validation group to pilot the target submission and validation process. The observations and learnings from the initial target validation companies’ work on assessing and prioritising their impacts on nature (Steps 1 & 2) and setting targets on freshwater and/or land (Step 3) will be used to inform SBTN’s plans to scale,” SBTN said.

“The V1 methods themselves will remain the same, but the validation process may be adjusted depending on results of the pilot by the initial target validation group.”

In regards to biodiversity, science-based targets will address it on the ecosystem and species level, according to SBTN, with the current options for land and freshwater primarily addressing the drivers of biodiversity loss as described in the Kunming-Montreal framework agreed last month.

Although anyone can apply to participate from the outset, initial participants will be selected based on criteria around readiness, how representative a company is in terms of sector, the geography of the target, or value chain, as well as their impact on nature.

SBTN has identified 10 “company archetypes” for setting SBTs and that will likely be prioritised for the pilot validation phase: food and beverage manufacturers, agriculture producers, apparel and footwear, mining firms, utilities, construction and infrastructure companies, other consumer goods manufacturers, forest products, pharma/chemicals/cosmetics, and general retailers or conglomerates.

“We anticipate there will be motivated companies outside of the initial target validation group that will want to begin SBTs for nature. Companies not included in the initial target validation group are encouraged to prepare their targets as soon as V1 is publicly available in March 2023,” the SBTN website says.

“SBTN will open up the validation process for any company to submit targets after distilling lessons from the validation pilot. Tentative timing is Q1 2024.”

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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