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A description of four science-based corporate GHG target-setting methods

A description of four science-based corporate GHG target-setting methods Amidst a growing interest in greenhouse gas (GHG) science-based target setting by businesses, it is becoming increasingly urgent to understand how these are set in theory and in practice.Design/methodology/approachUsing a model framework for science-based methods, the authors compare four different science-based target-setting methods: sectoral decarbonization approach, linear emission reduction to target year, GHG emissions per unit of value added and corporate finance approach to climate stabilizing targets. Input and output variables, GHG scopes, allocation principles and mathematical formulations are described, followed by a discussion of the differences and similarities between methods.FindingsThe authors show GHG emission mitigation scenarios are as important in the determination of targets as the allocation principle.Practical implicationsFor this reason, businesses should apply well-bellow 2ºC scenarios with robust sectoral and regional granularity and the science community should consider the needs of these groups of stakeholders.Social implicationsPolicymakers should actively support efforts by corporations to set science-based targets and ensure that the research they commission can be translated into practical action by non-party stakeholders.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to the understanding of the theory and practice of science-based targets. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

A description of four science-based corporate GHG target-setting methods

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/sampj-03-2017-0031
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Amidst a growing interest in greenhouse gas (GHG) science-based target setting by businesses, it is becoming increasingly urgent to understand how these are set in theory and in practice.Design/methodology/approachUsing a model framework for science-based methods, the authors compare four different science-based target-setting methods: sectoral decarbonization approach, linear emission reduction to target year, GHG emissions per unit of value added and corporate finance approach to climate stabilizing targets. Input and output variables, GHG scopes, allocation principles and mathematical formulations are described, followed by a discussion of the differences and similarities between methods.FindingsThe authors show GHG emission mitigation scenarios are as important in the determination of targets as the allocation principle.Practical implicationsFor this reason, businesses should apply well-bellow 2ºC scenarios with robust sectoral and regional granularity and the science community should consider the needs of these groups of stakeholders.Social implicationsPolicymakers should actively support efforts by corporations to set science-based targets and ensure that the research they commission can be translated into practical action by non-party stakeholders.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to the understanding of the theory and practice of science-based targets.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 23, 2020

Keywords: Scenarios; C-FACT; GEVA; GHG accounting; Sectoral decarbonization approach; Science-based targets

References