The Journey towards Science-Based Targets in 8 steps18-02-2021
Bpost, Proximus, UCB & Cofinimmo’s Journeys towards Science-Based Targets
Earlier in December, CO2logic announced that they became an official partner of the Science-Based Target initiative. Science-Based Targets (SBTs) are in essence annual CO2 reduction targets for a specific organization, so that they are able to bring their relative share to the Paris Climate Agreement aiming to limit global warming well below 2°C. Watch the video below for the full story.
However, setting these targets is not always an easy task. To do so, the global climate goals need to be translated into targets that provide a clear and realistic path for companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, CO2logic is now helping companies in their journey towards setting these SBTs.
CO2logic’s new campaign: The Journey towards Science-Based Targets in 8 steps
Every week, CO2logic will be sharing one of the seven steps they help companies take in the journey towards setting SBTs. In the following video, you’ll see how Bpost, Proximus, UCB & Cofinimmo approached the first step: identifying their main environmental challenges. From Bpost's response to the huge surge in ecommerce to UCB's pharmaceuticals in the environment - every company has its specific environmental challenges that need to be pinpointed to be able to set the right targets.
STEP 1: Identify your main environmental challenges
STEP 2: activate what drives your environmental commitment
Once you’ve identified your company’s main environmental challenges, it’s important to focus on the drivers of your environmental commitment. Ask yourself the question: what drives our environmental commitment? This could be anything from a principle your company stands for, such as the “one single health” principle UCB follows, to an extensive and ambitious sustainability program like Bpost has, or your driver could even just be the fact that your company, like Proximus, makes its environmental commitments credible & understandable so that everyone can commit to them. Finding your company’s specific drivers will bring you one step closer to setting the right targets.
Step 3 is all about mobilizing the driving forces you’ve identified in the previous step. Whether they are your team members, clients, stakeholders or managers, it’s time to assess what you need to make sure their environmental commitment can be turned into credible climate action. For example, UCB figured out that to be able to mobilize their driving forces, they needed commitment from the board, a central budget and, especially, quantified targets to reduce their emissions - such as the SBTs they are now setting throughout this journey with CO2logic. Cofinimmo, on the other hand, mobilized the board of directors to incorporate the risks and opportunities linked to climate change into their strategy and has a head of ESG who works on economically feasible measures to enhance environmental performance.
As you can tell, there are plenty of ways to mobilize your driving forces - the most important thing is to keep your drivers committed and take concrete measures.
STEP 4: Address concerns raised by your teammates
Throughout the process of setting Science-Based Targets for your company and teams, several concerns may arise, such as: “How will we make sure our company is not blamed for greenwashing? How will we absorb future growth while sticking to these targets? Or how will we be able to analyze not only our own impact but that of our suppliers?”
As a company, it’s extremely important to address these concerns to be able to set effective science-based targets and to have everyone backing these targets 100%! During this fourth step in the journey towards SBTs, CO2logic can help strategize with you & provide the right answers to your teammates' concerns.
STEP 5: Assess your ability to further reduce CO2 emissions
Once your team members’ concerns have been addressed and all doubts have been resolved, your company will be ready to move on to Step 5. After thoroughly assessing your company’s maturity regarding GHG reduction efforts, step 5 is all about assessing your ability to further reduce CO2 emissions. By assessing this, you’ll figure out which knowledge and tools you’re still missing to be able to take the next steps. For companies like the ones interviewed in this video, committing to the SBT journey helps to discover these missing parts and increases their ability to understand and reduce their emissions in collaboration with CO2logic.
For example, during Step 5, UCB realized they already reported on their own emissions coming from energy consumptions, but the SBT journey pushed them to also discover their indirect emissions and thereby increase their ability to reduce more CO2 emissions. For bpost, on the other hand, step 5 was the moment in which they established the need for a global mapping and overview of their emissions to be able to improve their CO2 reduction. In summary, Step 5 in our SBT journey helps companies assess their current efforts and prepare to set the right targets & take the right climate actions.
STEP 6: Set your science-based targets and action plans
In step 6, it’s time to get down to setting your final targets and action plans. With the help of your CO2 advisor, you’ll be able to set realistic and impactful science-based targets, as well as concrete action plans to achieve them. It all boils down to taking the right measures to reduce your emissions as much as possible.
For example, UCB is hoping to make all operations under their control completely CO2 neutral by 2030. They’ll do so by reducing their emissions by 35% on the one hand, and by offsetting the remaining emissions through CO2logic’s climate projects on the other hand. Moreover, UCB has also committed to make sure 60% of the emissions through external partners is also covered by their own SBTs! Some other examples include bpost’s target to make 50% of their fleet electric by 2030, while cofinimmo commits to reducing the energy intensity of their portfolio by 30%.
Whichever SBTs you set, we’ll make sure your reduction targets are in line with the global climate goals, and we’ll help you offset the remaining emissions through certified climate projects with a real impact.
STEP 7: Communicate & support your teams
The Science-Based Targets journey doesn’t end once you’ve set your targets. On the contrary, now it’s time to start rolling them out. To be able to work towards your goals efficiently, it’s important to inform your team members and partners about the SBTs and the impact they have on their jobs. That way, each specific person involved with your company can play their role in reducing CO2 emissions and thus work towards reaching those SBTs.
To provide efficient communication, it’s essential to make sure everyone understands exactly what your SBTs encompass and what the action plan is. After that, it would be good to start a training programme or give an informative session for each specific department to see which actions they will need to take to contribute to the company’s climate goals. With everyone on board, you’ll be much more likely to reach your science-based targets faster!
STEP 8: Learn from other companies’ recommendations
The final thing left to do once you’ve set your action plan and informed your teams, is to learn from others! It’s always good to take a look at how other companies tackled their SBTs, and learn from their recommendations.
At the end of our journey towards science-based targets, we asked bpost, UCB, Proximus & Cofinimmo what they would recommend to other companies setting SBTs, so we could share these recommendations. Bpost advises companies to involve the whole company and make global overviews, while Proximus emphasizes the importance of correct guidance and directions to tackle climate action.
Hopefully these recommendations and videos help your organisation to get ready to take credible climate actions through smart science-based targets. Feel free to reach out to explore the possibilities of partnering with a personal CO2 advisor to help you throughout this journey.