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The Science of Climate Change

Climate change is no longer a distant threat or just a possibility, it is now a reality for all of us. In this pathway, Kevin Trenberth, a renowned climatologist, delves into the science behind climate change. He first introduces the climate system, its main components and forces.

Tackling the Plastic Crisis

Plastic pollution is by far the biggest threat to our oceans and this remains an incredibly tough problem to solve. Plastic credits could potentially serve as one of the much needed solutions for this crisis.

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The Scale of the Net Zero Challenge

The price of meeting net zero is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years. Regardless of this cost, we need to reach net zero before climate change does irreversible damage to the environment and the economy.

ESG, Sustainability and Impact Jargon Buster

ESG, sustainability, impact… they all just mean green, right? Not quite. Despite being used often interchangeably, there are distinct differences between these terms.

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Featured Pathways

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The Science of Climate Change

Climate change is no longer a distant threat or just a possibility, it is now a reality for all of us. In this pathway, Kevin Trenberth, a renowned climatologist, delves into the science behind climate change. He first introduces the climate system, its main components and forces.

Tackling the Plastic Crisis

Plastic pollution is by far the biggest threat to our oceans and this remains an incredibly tough problem to solve. Plastic credits could potentially serve as one of the much needed solutions for this crisis.

More pathways

Book a demo

Pricing

Ready to get started?

Plans & Membership

Our Platform

Expert led content

+1,000 expert presented, on-demand video modules

Learning analytics

Keep track of learning progress with our comprehensive data

Interactive learning

Engage with our video hotspots and knowledge check-ins

Testing & certification

Gain CPD / CPE credits and professional certification

Managed learning

Build, scale and manage your organisation’s learning

Integrations

Connect Sustainability Unlocked to your current platform

Featured Content

More featured content

The Scale of the Net Zero Challenge

The price of meeting net zero is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years. Regardless of this cost, we need to reach net zero before climate change does irreversible damage to the environment and the economy.

ESG, Sustainability and Impact Jargon Buster

ESG, sustainability, impact… they all just mean green, right? Not quite. Despite being used often interchangeably, there are distinct differences between these terms.

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Introduction to Science-Based Targets

Introduction to Science-Based Targets

Sam Hope

5 years: Carbon Markets

Why bother setting science-based targets? Why do you need to formalise them? Join Sam Hope as he explores the benefits.

Why bother setting science-based targets? Why do you need to formalise them? Join Sam Hope as he explores the benefits.

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Introduction to Science-Based Targets

11 mins 7 secs

Key learning objectives:

  • Outline how to set science-based targets

  • Identify the frameworks for science-based targets

  • Understand the benefits of science-based targets

Overview:

In general, a business should aim to save 5-10% of annual emissions across its operational and value-chain emissions. The first step any organisation should take is to measure its carbon footprint, which will create a baseline for the emissions of an organisation. The second step is to set science-based targets that demonstrate the intention to decarbonise operations in line with scientific consensus. The Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) offers frameworks, such as the Net-Zero Standard, which can guide companies on the path to net zero emissions. The benefits of this include increased bottom line savings.

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Summary

How do you set science-based targets? 

The first step any organisation should take is to measure its carbon footprint, which will create a baseline for the emissions of an organisation. The second step is to set science-based targets that demonstrate the intention to decarbonise operations in line with scientific consensus. 

What frameworks are there for setting science-based targets? 

The primary science-based target setting organisation is one of the same name: the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). The SBTi is a privately-led and funded organisation which releases frameworks, such as the Net-Zero Standard, which can help guide companies on how to engage on the pathway to net zero. The Net-Zero Standard recommends setting near-term targets (for cutting down emissions at a rapid pace) and long-term targets (for harder-to-abate areas of an organisation, such as the use of company vehicles or scope 3 emissions).

What are the benefits of science-based targets? 

  • Consumers increasingly value brands that are taking action in regards to their sustainability. The SBTi found that “79% of corporate executives surveyed found a strengthened brand reputation to be one of the most significant business benefits for their company”.

  • Strong environmental policies provide investors with security for the future, especially with the net zero mandate in mind. Around half of executives report that their science-based target commitments have improved investors' trust in their business.

  • Setting science-based targets can also be a way for a business to reinforce its resilience against upcoming carbon emissions regulation. It allows companies to align themselves with the Paris agreement and to risk-manage their strategy earlier.

  • Setting science-based targets often drives corporates to rethink their products and services towards more circular lifecycles and low carbon products. The SBTi reports that two-thirds of executives say that setting science-based targets has driven innovation within their company.

  • Many of the businesses that set SBTs are observing bottom-line savings linked to their environmental commitments, despite a common belief that shifting business models towards sustainability induces a higher cost.

  • Getting a head start on the transition to a low carbon economy leads businesses to an undeniable competitive advantage on the market. Reduction of uncertainty, strengthened investor confidence, increased innovation and profitability as well as more forward-thinking and transparent communications are all factors that lead to a competitive edge.

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Sam Hope

Sam Hope

Sam Hope is the Senior Carbon Advisor at Plannet Zero, a tech company dedicated to developing smart carbon footprinting software for SMEs. He joins from Redshaw Advisors, an advisory firm that will help organisations clearly understand the assignment of net zero.

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