Tackling the climate impact of a business begins with measuring it, and is swiftly followed by strong, achievable reduction strategies to start the process of reduction. It is, however, traditionally difficult for companies to work on measurable targets that make significant reductions, due to the complexity of calculations, strategizing and implementation.
Reduction strategies must be based on reality, and having a tool to build scenarios around the unique and specific circumstances of a company and its climate targets is key. That is where Science-Based Targets, specialist scenario-building tools and trusted technology can help support and supercharge retailers on their unique reduction journeys.
Turning Commitment into Action on the 1.5 Degree Pathway and Other Company-Level Targets
Understanding SBTs and the science of SBTs
Science-Based Targets, set about by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), are quantifiable goals that organizations set to reduce their environmental impact — for example the carbon emissions released (CO2e), their land and water impact, and more. The targets help align operations with the levels of decarbonization required to limit global warming to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, following the Paris Agreement.
These targets are called "science-based" because their foundations are built upon scientific data and proven methodologies that specify how much and how quickly businesses need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
This approach ensures that corporate sustainability efforts contribute meaningfully to the fight against climate change, and that both the goals set and the measures put in place to get to them are relevant and measurable.
Why companies set SBTs and the relevance for retail
In recent years, and with increased scrutiny on environmental claims, businesses across all sectors have realized the importance of verifying their reduction efforts. With retail contributing to 25% of GHG emissions globally, it is particularly imperative for companies in the sector to work on setting these ambitious yet achievable targets.
In order to set valid targets, brands and retailers must first set out the scope of their commitment, including the definition of their organizational scope and the greenhouse gas Scopes 1, 2 and 3, as reporting needs vary depending on the sector.
Using scenario building to set realistic and accurate SBTs
Scenario building allows companies to visualize different paths toward their climate goals, as well as the potential outcomes of their impact-reduction strategies. Overall, scenario building enables companies to project the most efficient paths to reduction.
Having access to a tool that allows your company to do so accurately and effectively is key to setting these goals and creating an actionable roadmap to accomplish them. Something that is so scientifically complex leaves room for error, but utilizing technology, and leveraging specialist AI and external expertise to build out, adjust and project scenarios is a real gamechanger for the industry’s reduction efforts.
This is the case for Ace & Tate, the eyewear brand that trusted Vaayu’s first-to-market Scenario feature to develop different scenarios and create an effective reduction strategy and SBTs that are both achievable and ambitious.
Vaayu’s technology automatically measured Scopes 1, 2 and 3 for the brand in real-time, while our life cycle assessment (LCA) specialists performed a SKU-level LCA of the brand’s best selling frames to identify impact hotspots and areas for improvement. Vaayu’s TÜV Rheinland-certified methodology for calculations ensured Ace & Tate’s climate-focused strategic direction was both well-informed and effective, allowing Ace & Tate to set accurate targets, create a roadmap to reduce their corporate and product footprint, and stay on track — making adjustments whenever necessary.
“Vaayu is really able to provide us with the granular, accurate and automated carbon calculations that we so need at this moment,” says Femme van Gils, Sustainability Manager at Ace & Tate. “You can shape the tool around what matters most to your business to steer reductions for your specific industry. Partners such as Vaayu help us to stay informed and stay sharp.”
There are real benefits to introducing scenario-building tools into your climate strategy development process, but the implications of not using them go further and there are risks to neglecting such capabilities.
To find out more about Vaayu’s scenario building and Science-Based Target tracking commitments and tools for retail, reach out to a member of our team today.