One of the most popular topics in sustainability science is the reduction of CO2 emissions, or the ambition of carbon neutrality on the part of organizations. But you have to pay attention to the announcements of emissions reductions, since the objectives are easy to state but difficult to implement, analyze, evaluate and verify.
There is an organization that allows companies to have significant and measurable emission reduction objectives based on climate science. A Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) is a partnership of different international organizations and there are already almost 2,500 companies from all over the world and various sectors that have committed to reducing emissions with SBTi.
In a rigorous validation process - less than half of them have their targets approved by the initiative - SBTi requires companies to set targets through direct actions within their operations and there are three categories for the reduction of emissions by organizations.
Firstly, direct emissions, such as from its offices, infrastructure or vehicles. Then indirect emissions, which are the result of the energy the company buys to operate. The third area has to do with the emissions for which the company is responsible in its value chain: capital goods, the use of marketed products and transportation and distribution.
Companies have greater control over first and second scope emissions, while third scope emissions are the most difficult to measure and reduce, even though they usually account for the majority of their carbon footprint.
The data revealed by SBTi is a good starting point for understanding and comparing the companies, but it is not yet possible to use the same criteria for evaluating them, since the details of each company's commitments vary.
But the information also shows that the organizations that have set targets with SBTi are well on their way to achieving them and those that have their targets validated by the initiative will reduce their emissions by 25% between 2015 and 2019.
The pursuit of this emissions reduction has implied, and will continue to imply, significant changes in organizations' management models, but it brings many benefits for their future survival, in an implementation process that has at its core the communication.