A record number of firms are committing to and adopting science-based climate targets, according to a recent report released by the Science-Based Objectives Initiative (SBTi), the global organization that encourages firms to set science-based emissions reduction targets.
SBTi said in its 2021 Progress Report ‘Scaling Urgent Corporate Climate Action Worldwide’ that the organization has entered a period of exponential growth, with SBTi companies now accounting for more than a third of global market capitalization, totaling US$38 trillion, up from 20% in 2020.
At the end of 2021, the number of SBTi companies had more than doubled to 2,253, with 1,082 having approved targets and 1,171 committing to setting science-based targets. These companies operate in 70 countries and 15 industries, with a monthly growth rate of 110 new companies in 2021, up from 31 in 2020.
Almost 500 companies have declared or committed to setting science-based targets between January and March 2022.
The Net-Zero Standard has hastened the transition to 1.5 degree aligned targets as the new standard for corporations. According to the research, nearly 80% of the 587 new targets allowed in 2021 were aligned with a 1.5-degree trajectory.
The initiative celebrated a round of new, net-zero certified targets in April 2022, with the total number of enterprises committed to the Net-Zero Standard topping 1,000.
The SBTi’s update also stated that the global initiative will only accept target submissions aligned with 1.5 degrees Celsius beginning in July 2022, encouraging businesses to go further and faster with their emissions reductions.
In the hopes of prompting companies to speed up decarbonization, the organization announced changes to its policy in March, stating that it will no longer accept pledges or validate targets from fossil fuels companies.
Previous pledges made by fossil fuel firms were removed when the announcement came out in March. Companies with direct involvement in the exploration, extraction, or production of oil, natural gas, coal, or other fossil fuels are all among the list of companies affected.