What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

Within the macro area of the ecological transition, it is important to mention the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. This plan of action was signed in September 2015 by the General Assembly of the United Nations and came into force on January 1st, 2016. This Agenda has identified 17 objectives and 169 targets, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), towards which members states aim to end extreme poverty, and create a fairer, environmentally sustainable world (United Nations). Participants are thus called upon to change their approach with a view to achieving the targets by 2030. To track global progress towards the SDGs, a set of 230 indicators was adopted on March 11, 2017, by the UN Statistical Commission. These indicators, as defined at that time, are intended to serve as the primary basis for monitoring global progress towards the SDGs.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN

The commitment to these goals involves not only member states and their citizens but also companies, which make the pursuit of sustainable development objectives part of their corporate objectives. That way, businesses acknowledge the importance of their activities and the impact they have on society, thus actively participating in the change of the latter itself. These objectives and targets rapidly became a universal language for all types of institutions, governments, businesses all around the world, sharing common sustainability values, guidelines and commitments, and fighting for the same aims and results. Indeed, they offer a holistic framework for entities to contribute to their realization over the next 10 years.

As soon as Tapio was launched, driven by the urge to take action and support the UN’s initiative, the founders Louis Collinet and Nathan Clarke decided to integrate two sustainable development goals in their strategy and action plan, the most relevant ones to them and their business. Indeed, by allowing companies and people to take ownership of their CO2 emissions to reach carbon neutrality in an easy, user friendly and automated way, Tapio’s carbon management software answers to SDG 9Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation as well as to SDG 13Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

You have no idea which SDG your company could commit to? Or as an individual you would like to deep dive into one or several goals in particular ? Go have a look on the UN’s website and let yourself guide by your personal interests or your company’s core values.

What are the Science Based Targets ?

In the Paris agreement adopted during the COP 21, 195 states committed themselves to fighting climate change by limiting the rise in temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century. To keep global temperature below this level, targets for reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG emissions) must be set by a multitude of actors. In particular, companies represent a  significant leverage considering global GHG emissions are influenced largely, directly or indirectly, by corporate activities. 

In fact, 1.000 companies among the world’s largest emitters are responsible for 20% of global GHG emissions.

(Science Based Targets initiative, 2016).

How can reduction objectives be set in each company in a fair and effective manner? Should some sectors or regions contribute more than others? This is where the Science Based Targets initiative1 (SBTi) comes in.

The SBTi aims to encourage and help companies to define reduction targets aligned with the latest scientific recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC or GIEC in french). In other words, the initiative promotes strategies in line with the level of decarbonisation required to maintain the increase in global temperatures to below 2°C or even below 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures. The purpose is to prevent the worst effects of climate change by showing companies how much and in what time frame they should reduce their GHG emissions.

Science Based Targets initiative is a key tool to prepare for and accelerate transition to a zero carbon economy.

(Science Based Targets webinar, 2020)

More than 1.000 companies worldwide are taking action against climate change by setting emission reduction targets through SBTi. Companies from all sectors and of any size are welcome to join the movement, as Spadel (BE), Dell Technologies (US), Deloitte (UK), or Renault Group (FR) did. SBTs benefit the planet and your company by, inter alia, boosting competitive advantage in the low-carbon economy.

Our all-in-one carbon strategy platform provides you the tools and guidance to reduce CO2 emissions, such as the ability to measure your progression towards your SBT(s).

1. Science Based Target initiative is a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), WWF, and the United Nations Global Compact and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.