How to Set Science-Based Targets

Guidance and essential resources for businesses

Welcome to our dedicated
Science-Based Targets Library

Here you’ll find a host of materials to help guide you through the process of setting and achieving a science-based target (SBT). Join a growing list of companies by reducing your greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint, in-line with climate science.


To help you to understand: 

  • What are SBTs and how do you set one?
  • SBT requirements
  • How to evaluate methodologies
  • How to prioritize and implement GHG emission reduction activities.
  • The tool Anthesis uses for data collection in the supply chain
  • How data visualization can inform decision-making & enable reporting.

Learn more about how to set a SBT on the SBTi webpage.

What is a Science-Based Target?   

Science-based targets are green-house gas (GHG) reduction goals set by a business. The targets are “science-based” because they align with Paris Agreement emission reductions forecasts required to keep the globe below 2 degree C warmingSBTs provide these businesses with pathways to sustainable transformational change to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.  

The Science-based Target Initiative outlined four incentives that make the business case for companies to set targets: increase innovation, reduce regulatory uncertainty, strengthen investor confidence and credibility, and finally to improve profitability and competitiveness.


What is a Scope 3 Target?

Scope 3 refers to a company’s emissions within their supply chain. Of companies who have set science-based targets, over 90% of them address scope 3 reductions. These scope 3 reductions can be met via absolute reductions or from a large portion of the company’s suppliers setting their own targets. The real work of meeting these targets is around shortening the cycle of supplier capacity-building, moving suppliers quickly from understanding to action on climate.


Anthesis Resources to Support Your Journey

These resources are intended to help you establish a foundational understanding of how to set and achieve SBTs, how to assess tools and methodologies, and how to respond to SBTi updates in criteria.

Resources library:

  • Three webinars exploring different topics within science-based targets
  • A podcast episode covering the network effects of COP25, ClimateWeek NYC  latest trends and insights for organizations pursuing SBTs
  • A client example outlining the process of supporting Target Corporation to set a Scope 3 target
  • An overview of our data visualization tool
  • Our top six SBT blogs covering a range of insights

Webinar 1 | Science-Based Targets: Reducing carbon across the value chain 

View this webinar to learn how companies can evaluate and meet SBTs across value chains.

This webinar will help you:

  • Evaluate the various methodologies and typical requirements in order to set SBTs
  • Think about how to prioritize and implement GHG emissions reduction activities
  • Understand the tools available for data collection in the supply chain, and assess how data visualization can inform decision-making & enable reporting

Webinar 2 | A deeper dive into science-based targets

View this webinar for a more in-depth look at SBTs and next steps after starting the process.

This webinar will help you:

  • Consider the tools needed to assess SBTs
  • Understand the methodologies Anthesis uses to help clients evaluate and set SBTs

Webinar 3 | SBTi’s new criteria and requirements for climate leadership

View this webinar to learn about SBTI’s version 4.0 target setting criteria in effect from October 2019.

This webinar will help you:

  • Understand how SBTi’s updated criteria affect requirements for science-based targets and scope 3 emissions management
  • Understand how to determine whether your current initiatives are aligned with Good (2°C), Better (well below 2°C) or Best (1.5°C).

Podcast Episode | Activating Sustainability: Science-based Targets

The fall of 2019 provided a windfall of global commitments to address climate change. Listen to expert Josh Whitney discuss the network effects of COP25, ClimateWeek NYC and more on “Activating Sustainability”  the Anthesis Podcast. It covers the latest trends and insights for corporate leaders and a progress update on science-based targets and businesses committing to the 1.5 degree pledge.

To work toward achieving our science-based target, we’ve partnered with expert Anthesis to ensure we could meet the rigorous requirements of an SBTi-approved goal for Scope 3 emissions.

Former VP of Corporate Responsibility
Target Corporation

Client Example | Supporting Target Corporation to set a Scope 3 SBT

Anthesis was selected as the technical partner to help Target set a science-based target for their Scope 3 value chain emissions.

  • Analytics: A comprehensive scope 3 footprint assessment as well as target and initiative modeling.
  • Solution: Helped set an ambitious scope 3 absolute reduction and supplier engagement science-based target for Target’s upstream value chain.
  • Implementation: Supporting and driving the implementation of Target’s scope 3 target. This involves coordinating supplier engagement and developing training programs, as well as identifying, managing and accounting for value chain emissions reductions from suppliers.



Live demo of our SBT Data Visualization Tool

Our online password-protected data visualization tool allows you to create and forecast GHG emissions for your business and test the impact of reduction strategies towards achieving SBTs. Anthesis uses Tableau to provide clients with cost-effective, quick-to-deliver data visualization and analytics tools enabling us to dive deeper into the data, and manipulate it for more answers. Tableau’s business-intelligent analytical approach excels at presenting modeling and scenario analysis projects like SBTs. 

Explore the SBT Dashboard here

Click across the tabs at the top of the dashboard and then click within the dashboard to adjust inputs and see the resulting visualizations.

Related Insights

Our SBT Leads

Stephen Russell
Associate Director and Analytics Practice Lead, North America
Curtis Harnanan
Principal Consultant and Science Based Targets lead, North America