Luxury group validates net zero goals with science-based targets

Burberry validates climate targets using the SBTi standards

Science Based Target Initiative Burberry

Author: Sydney

The Science Based Targets (SBTi) initiative is committed to defining a common climate standard based on scientifically based values. Consequently, they provide a clear way to reduce greenhouse gases. But also to advance innovations and promote sustainable growth.

Finally, the private sector has a fundamental role to play in reducing emissions and only together can the net-zero goals be consistent with the Paris Agreement be reached. Now the luxury giant Burberry has also joined the initiative and the goals set have been officially validated by SBTi. Why is it so important that brands like Burberry lead as a positive example and what exactly is behind SBTi?

How are the goals of the SBTi defined and who is eligible to join?

The Science Based Targets (SBTi) initiative is very interested in companies that emit larger amounts of CO2 emissions in order to achieve a particularly high impact and to be able to show generalized ways of reducing them. More than 3000 companies and financial institutions already work with the SBTi, including world-renowned luxury brands such as Burberry. It is the first luxury fashion brand to receive SBTi validation for its net zero emissions. Specifically, Burberry's targets to be carbon neutral by 2040 are based on the latest climate science and meet the urgent need to limit warming to 1,5°C under the Paris Agreement.

Burberry's net zero target is thus backed by a series of commitments to Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gases (GHG) underpins. Luiz Amaral, Chief Executive Officer of SBT): “Climate science tells us that we need fast and deep emissions cuts if we are to reach the global net-zero goal and prevent the most damaging impacts of climate change. Burberry's net-zero targets match the urgency of the climate crisis and set a clear example for their peers to follow.” LVMH, Richemont, Kering,, Chanel, Hermès and Prada committed to the SBTi.

The setting of the goals is based on five stages:

  1. Commit: Declaration of intent for scientifically sound setting of climate targets
  2. Develop: Develop goals that align with the criteria of the SBTi
  3. Submit: Present the established goal to the SBTi
  4. Communicate: Communicate goal with stakeholders
  5. Disclosure: Present company-wide emissions and progress annually

All goals and commitments as well as information from each company that has participated since 2015 can be viewed on a dashboard. In order to reduce emissions holistically, the standard is based on the 1,5 degree target of the Paris Agreement. The initiative also cooperates with companies such as CDP, the Global Compact United Nations, the World Resources Institute, as well WWF.

According to SBTi, targets are clearly defined ways for companies to reduce emissions, these include short-term as well as long-term goals. Accordingly, short-term goals are those whose implementation will take place in the next five to ten years. They illustrate the actions needed to see significant reductions by 2030. Finally, the long-term indicate the degree of emission reduction, these targets must be achieved by 2050 at the latest.

Why join the SBTi?

Companies committed to the standard experience higher profitability. Consequently, science-based goal setting future-proofs growth, saves money, and most importantly, provides resilience to regulators. In addition, it promotes innovation and competitiveness and strengthens stakeholder trust. After all, it is a clear sign of the sustainability commitments.


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