In this premier episode of the newly rebranded Climate Confident podcast, I sat down with Luiz Amaral, CEO of the Science Based Targets Initiative.
As global leaders in helping companies set ambitious, science-based emission reduction targets and measure progress, the Science Based Targets initiative is at the forefront of meaningful climate action.
Join Luiz and I as we delve into the critical importance of science-based targets, the ways in which SBTi works with companies to set these targets, and the next steps in the fight against climate change.
This informative and engaging episode is not to be missed. Tune in and learn from the experts on the Climate Confident podcast.
And the website
If you have any comments/suggestions or questions for the podcast - feel free to leave me a voice message on my SpeakPipe page, send it to me as a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn. Audio messages will get played (unless you specifically ask me not to).
If you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover the show. Thanks.
And remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!
Music credit - Intro and Outro music for this podcast was composed, played, and produced by my daughter Luna Juniper
I'd like to sincerely thank this podcast's amazing supporters:
And remember you too can Support the Podcast - it is really easy and hugely important as it will enable me to continue to create more excellent Climate Confident episodes like this one.
If you have any comments/suggestions or questions for the podcast - get in touch via direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn.
If you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover the show.
Music credits - Intro by Joseph McDade, and Outro music for this podcast was composed, played, and produced by my daughter Luna Juniper
Thanks for listening, and remember, stay healthy, sta...
We found out that the companies that were reporting, which were about 80% of them that they actually decreased the emissions faster than what was needed to meet the Paris Accords. So, that is a good indication that if you have a plan, if you set the target, probably things start to happen inside a company to get you towards thatTom Raftery:
good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, wherever you are in the world. This is the Climate Confident podcast. The number one podcast, showcasing best practices in climate emission, reductions and removals. And I'm your host, Tom Raftery. Don't forget to click follow on this podcast in your podcast app of choice, to be sure you don't miss any episodes. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Climate Confident podcast. My name is Tom Raftery, and with me on the show today, I have my special guest, Luiz. Luiz, welcome to the podcast. Would you like to introduce yourself?Luiz Amaral:
Well, thank you so much, Tom. It's a great pleasure to be here. I, appreciate the invitation. So my name is Luiz Amaral. I'm the CEO for the Science-Based Targets Initiative. And I think in a minute I'll be able to kind of explain a little bit more what we are and what we do. But uh, basically we try to support companies on their path towards a net zero future.Tom Raftery:
Okay, so yeah, let, let's dig into it a little more Science-based target initiative. I've heard of it. I'm sure lots of people have heard of it, particularly people who would be listening to this podcast but may not know a lot about it. Can you tell me a little bit about the kind of genesis of the science-based Target initiative, where it came from and why?Luiz Amaral:
Sure, thanks. So the Science-Based Targets initiative is a global body that enables businesses to set ambitious emissions reductions targets in line with what climate science tells us. So the idea was that when companies started to make sense that, well, they have to embed sustainability within their businesses in more specific corporate climate action within their business plans. There were many commitments that started to be made, many plans that started to be announced, and that was probably when we started seven years ago. Then there was this realization that actually, well, if you don't define success from the start, if you don't really define what a good plan looks like, by the time you get there, it becomes a storytelling competition, right? So we needed to standardize what what good looks like, and how we were able to move companies plans into, from doing something to climate change, into doing enough to fight the climate crisis. So that's how S B T I was born. It was born by a collaboration between some of the most renowned institutions on the world, on this, on this area. So we are a partnership between the United Nations Global Compact. The word wide fund for nature, the WWF, the World Resources Institutes, WRI and as well as CDP, and Women in Business Coalition. So this partners got together exactly to say, you know what? We need to jointly help companies define what good looks like. So, everybody can assess their progress against those ambitious targets.Tom Raftery:
Okay, fantastic. And. Where does the science come from? I know you said you're part of the un. Is it coming from there? Is it coming from the 2015 Paris Accord? If, if I'm a company coming to you saying I want to get to net zero, what kind of targets should I set? Where does the science that defines those targets come from?Luiz Amaral:
Thank you, Tom. I'm a bit of a scientist myself as well. We went I have a doctorate and I've always had a little bit of a foot on academia and a little bit of a foot on private sector and civil society. So I get that lot of that question. What, what does a science-based target mean? My, my simple explanation is basically that what we do is that we are bound by our carbon budget. That's the principle of a science-based target. What is the maximum emissions that the world can have in 2030? What is the maximum emissions that the world can have in 2050, for example? And that's where we start. So a science-based targets, looking at the future, what is the maximum amount of emissions that we can have? And then doing a little bit of the reverse engineering to say, well, therefore this is the path that this sector must have if you are to achieve that. So the being bound by the climate models and the carbon budget, it's what really defines what a science-based approach is on our context, right? That's what we were bounded for, and we just do the reverse engineering on where we need to get, and therefore what is, the path to get there?. Tom Raftery:
Okay. Sounds a bit like project management, where you define, well, this is the end date, and so these are all the key milestones that we need to get there.Luiz Amaral:
Yeah that's, I think that's exactly, I think one of the key value added that S B T I brought to the marketplace and why we have been successful in growing and adding and, and supporting that movement because it was exactly that. If you don't define what success looks like, And if you don't do that in a standardized way, how would you evaluate if you're getting there? The other key value that I think we're bringing, again, as I said, is standardizing. So then there's, you are comparing apples with apples. So it, it is not becoming a storytelling competition. Everybody knows from the start. What is the objective? What is the goal? What is the mission? So everybody on, on the external stakeholders of the company. So their investors, their clients et cetera, but internally inside the company as well. So their collaborators, their staff know exactly what the goalpost is, know exactly where everybody needs to grow towards it, and can evaluate if they're getting closer or not. So that well defined success.Tom Raftery:
Okay. And the fact that you're called the Science-Based Target initiative kind of implies that there are some organizations who have non-science based targets. And what would you say is kind of the, the. Ratio of companies with targets that are using your science-based targets versus less, shall we say, science-based targets or non S B T I targets?Luiz Amaral:
So, yeah, I think, I think that's, that's why I think that that is kind of the value added that we brought is exactly to kind of bring that assessment of what, so we do basically two things, right? First we set the guidances and the standards. So if you look at our website there, Literally, probably thousands of pages, but literally several hundred pages of documentation that actually explains what the models are, explains what, what good looks like, does the model explains for different sector guidances. And that's kind of the understanding pieces. Well, here's kind of the framework. For setting up science-based target. Right. And then on the other side, then we, once companies do those plans, they submit those plans so they're evaluated against those guidances. So we do the target validation if the plans are actually aligned with those or not. And I, I think that's exactly what we're trying to, to bring to the table is guaranteeing that those, and I think that's the value that we're bring to those plans, that were assessed against those standards. And we're given that validation, demonstrate that they are aligned with with with some of the scientific background and scientific methods. Obviously there are other plans that are not fully aligned with science-based targets. And again, sometimes the objectives are different and I I, I wouldn't want to make a comment on whether they're good or not, but our goal is really to demonstrate what are the plans that are really moving from doing something on climate change. Into doing enough, doing their fair share so businesses can do their fair share of the action that will be needed to bring the whole world to a 1.5 degree path.Tom Raftery:
And how does it work? I mean, you, you outlined it slightly there, but let's, say, first of all, when we talk about different organizations, you can have maybe purely software companies who would have a very small relatively speaking footprint versus maybe large manufacturing companies versus cement companies. I had Holcim on the podcast a couple of weeks back at this point, so how, if I'm an organization approaching you saying I want to embrace science-based targets, do you have different pathways for different industries? How does all that work?Luiz Amaral:
Yeah. Thanks Tom. So, so we have been involved in, right, uh, as I said or I dunno if I said yet, but our mission is really to bring the corporate sector into a 1.5 aligned world, right? So, everybody's doing their fair share and we can reach the, the global objectives of tackling climate change. Our secondary objective is how we get there is how we make this system work as if as, as this carbon accounting and target measuring and definition of success is incorporating the day-to-day of the businesses. The same way they do with their financials, right? So this is what we're trying to do. In order to get that, we started with the standard development processes. So we have published a few years back some generic standards to say, here's what a 1.5 degree pathway align looks like with principles. And then we have done that same for a standard for what a net zero aligned pathway looks like as a, as an umbrella standard. As we did that, we realized working with, with companies in different sectors that there are many idiosyncrasies for different sectors. So even though we still have the one size fits all standard, it can be applied across different sectors as you go deep into cement or a transport or energy or agriculture. Then there is specific idiosyncrasies. So then we started then to create additional guidances for those specific sectors. Obviously we cannot do for every sector in every area of the economy. So we have chosen the ones that actually represent the larger share of emissions, and we started to develop those specific guidances. So as I mentioned, first cement for transport, for energy, for shipping for food agriculture. We have already created those guidances. For some other sectors we're still working on, for example, oil and gas, chemical sector, building sector with this idea that then we have very specific guidances to take care of the idiosyncrasies of those industries so we can get better in terms of mitigating the risks and making them more applicable. But again, we still, we still have the one size fits all standard that applies for everyone. And again, for the companies that maybe are not the most carbon intensive and hard to abate sectors the one size fits all standard would probably work fine for them.Tom Raftery:
Okay. And how involved do you guys get in the process? And what I mean by that is if, I approach you as an organization that wants to embrace the standards or embrace the initiative, Is it just I download the kind of templates that you have on the website and work on it myself and then submit stuff to you? Or do you have a consultative arm as well that works with organizations or where are you on that kind of scale?Luiz Amaral:
Yeah. Thank you. We've seen a tremendous demand for this, right? And many folks reach out to us to ask us to support the development of their plans. Unfortunately, given this exponential growth, we cannot do that. So our role is, to have the standards and the guidance, which will company that wants to commit goes there and can download that. What they can do next if they so wish, is submit a commitment letter to say, look, I'm going to set a science-based targets and that's my commitment. I promise that. And then they go on our website with that commitment saying they're set, set a commitment. If they don't want you, they can just skip that phase. The next phase is that based on those guidances, they work on their internal plans. Once they have those plans, they then submit those plan to S P T I based on those guidances that are available on their website. And then our, our team does the evaluation and that's when there's a, a conversation that happens during that validation. And that's when we look at the plan and our team say, oh, but we actually forgot this guidance here, or This is missing. And then there's that conversation, and then the company says, well, but this is how our business plan looks like, or, here's how our business is structured. That's when that conversation happens. But the company has to have already submitted their draft plan. That's when we do a little bit of handholding. But just at this time. If in everything fully aligns, then that target is validated and made publicly available on our website. So, the whole outside world can see what the plan was, what are the targets are for that specific company. And then they're listed on, on the website. So that's a little bit of the, company journey.Tom Raftery:
Okay, great. AndLuiz Amaral:
and, and just to come to finalize, and that's just the beginning of the journey because we then recognize that once you have the plan, you have to implement the plan. So what I like to call the four a's of this corporate climate action, movement. First you need the accounting piece. The first, a, you need to measure in order to manage. So you need to do your own accounting. That's before us. Then you go to the ambition phase. That's us. You then submit your plan to see if it, if it aligns with ambition. Then you go to the action phase which is not us. It's the company to actually implement those plans. And then finally you go to the accountability phase to see what are you in on track to meeting those plans that have been published.Tom Raftery:
Yeah, cuz that's where I was gonna go next is what about that accountability? I mean, it's all very good to have a plan, but are companies required then to come back and report against those targets at particular intervals?Luiz Amaral:
Yeah. Thanks. Tom, that's so that's, I think that's the direction of travel. Initially we started with this saying, you know what? This thing needs to happen from the accountability to the definition of the ambition because if you don't do that and you just go on progress reporting, you'll be comparing apples with apples. So that's absolutely needed, and that's what we've be focused on because that's the foundation for everything. If you don't do that, And jump directly into, into, into reporting what your progress is. You don't have anything to compare, compare with. So that's where we've been focusing and we've been successful on that. But that's not the end of the journey. We are currently developing what we're calling our M R V framework Measure Reporting and Valuation framework to help and facilitate that accountability. We are not there yet. We recognize that is a journey. But that's the goal, right? How we're going to be evaluating and supporting companies to demonstrate progress towards that ambition. But what I just wanted to say is that without the ambition, all the rest crumbles, right? Because you need to define success from the start, because then you can evaluate how far and how good you're doing against that. Just a final comment, Tom. One thing that we also do is that every five years companies have to resubmit those targets, to reevaluate that. So that's one way that we have started. That's not enough. Again, we are working on this framework to be better at that. And then, and then finally, we also do some assessments third party assessments ourselves based on public information. So, for example, we just published at the beginning of this year, our first progress assessment, which was not the company's reporting to us, but we went out, there and saw what information existed. And the good news is that obviously we could not find public information for all of the companies that were reporting on their progress. But we found out that the companies that were reporting, which were about 80% of them that they actually decreased the emissions faster than what was needed to meet the Paris Accords. So, that is a good indication that if you have a plan, if you set the target, probably things start to happen inside a company to get you towards that. And just a final comment on that one. I actually heard from one company that actually had originally set a target, which was a 2.0 aligned, so it was aligned with a 2.0 scenario, which we in the past we would allow that. And now we only allow for 1.5 aligned scenarios. But there was a point in which accept, so they had that and then had the target validated. And as they started their journey, they said, you know what, Actually we can do 1.5, and then they came back and resubmitted a 1.5 target. So having that vision, that ambition that everybody can work toward, it is actually very, very important to get the action going and then ultimately get the accountant. So we are going to get there and we're working for it, but today we're really focusing on the transparency and the ambition.Tom Raftery:
Okay, great. What kind of organizations have already. I dunno, is the word joined, or is the word are aligned with, or, I'm not sure exactly what your terminology is, but what kinds of organizations are there today?Luiz Amaral:
We've ever discussed, we have seen this exponential growth on, on, on the demand for this type of, of work that SBTi supports. So, just at last COP one year ago we had 2000 companies committed to setting science-based targets, out of which 1000 had already submitted their targets. So we had a thousand meter targets and a thousands and commits it to setting targets. It was one year ago.Tom Raftery:
That was double of the previous year. The previous year we had 500 on between last and now we doubled again. Now there are 4,000 companies involved in SBTi, out of which 2000 committed to setting a target, and 2000, which already went through the validation progress. So we, we have doubled the number of companies on this exponential growth for the third year on a row, demonstrating the importance of having that external validation of the ambition of the plans, because that's the starting point to get us on this transition of an economy. Those companies represent about one third of the global market capitalization. So, that's like one third of the economy that is getting involved on committing to that. And they, they come from all of the continents. Obviously the majority of that still comes from Europe. About 54% of the companies are European about 16% are North American. And about 25% are Asian. And the rest spread out throughout Latin America, Africa, and Oceania. I come from a developing country, Tom of origin. So my first gut coming in and say, okay, we need to grow in the developing country. Then looking at those numbers, I was like, you know what, this is actually a good representation of a fair share of responsibility. The, where the majority of the emissions are, where the majority of the money is, where the majority of the companies are, are really on, for example, north America and, and Europe. So it's a, it's a fair representation of our global economy. If, if we're to intensify, there are probably, North America is the one that falling behind it. And Asia is picking up fast.Tom Raftery:
Good, good. And how do we get the word out to North American organizations that they need to , they need to be involved as well, or more of them need to be involved?Luiz Amaral:
Again, as I said, Tom, we, we have the, we have work being, working with the leaders, right? Our, our theory of how to transform those systems is based on the theory of how innovation gets spread out from a new computer to a new app, to a new cell phone, to a new pen. There are some studies that have this theory that if you, you always have that 10% first adopters, they'll jump into everything that is new, right? You'll buy the very newest car, the newest uh, computer. And then there's this 20% what the, some folks call the ca or the tipping point. If you can get to the 20%, then innovation just continues to happen, right? You just spread out. It's spread out, and then you go to the middle class, the middle class, the middle of that bell curve. So this is what we're trying to get. We're trying to get to the 20%. Because if we get to that, then we believe that things happen. And as I said, in some areas, in some countries, maybe we're already getting to that 20%. As I said, one third of the global economy has already committed but we have targets to say if we can get to 20% of the companies, 20% of the uh, emissions and 20% of, of the, the market value in very different markets because we believe, when we get there, that's when things happen. And again, we do have leaders in North America. There are folks that are ac are acting maybe they're moving a little bit behind in terms of overall numbers. But I'm confident that this movement is happening. We went from a, what was a ripple seven years ago when it started. Into the wave that we are currently experiencing. But I already see that tsunami coming behind that wave.Tom Raftery:
Fantastic. Fantastic. And is it larger companies? Because you said it's a a third of global gdp, so I'm, I'm guessing it's mostly cuz it's only 4,000. I mean, I know 4,000 is a lot, but for 4,000 to represent a a third it must mean they're mostly larger organizations. And if that's the case, how do we work down to these smaller organizations and mid-size organizations.Luiz Amaral:
Thanks, Tom. That's a fantastic question and again, very aligned with our theory and the way we, tend to support this transformation of the system. Usually the ones that jump first on the boat are the most advanced ones, right? So we tend to have, if you look at the first wave, that's really the larger companies as you rightly point out. 4,000 is a lot, but to represent one third of the global economy means that many of the large companies have jumped on this boat. But as your, as your audience knows, so only with our jargon, we have scope one, scope two, and Scope three emissions, right? Scope one and two, meaning the ones on the operations and scope three, the ones on your supply chain. So as those companies join, many, many industries. In some industries, scope one and two is more important. But I would say that in many, or maybe in the majority of the industries, scope three is really what matters the most. Uh uh, specifically on some industries. As companies join in and start to make their plan and their plan has to have, how they do that on all those scope three emissions, they have to start helping and acting on the scope three as well. And once they start to do that, what happens? They start to bring their suppliers in. So that's when now we're seeing this growth that is happening in other markets because suppliers are starting to be brought in because what is their scope one emissions is a big company's scope three emissions, and that's exactly what we want, right? We want to leverage that capacity of the markets. To trickle up or down the supply chains, those requirements truly reach out this transformation. So that's what I said. Asia is the region of the world that growed the most in relative terms, over the past year. They were 20% of our companies last year, they are now about 25, almost 25. And a lot of that is also because this is starting to move from just some of the companies into their suppliers. And since a lot of the supply of those big companies come from Asia, that's one of the trends that we're seeing. And just a final comment on that one, Tom, as well. Because we're demonstrating the power of if you set a target, you need that ambition. Again, it's just recognize that just the beginning of the journey. But that's the first step that is absolutely needed for everything that comes after. We're demonstrating that it's scary. It is very scary. I was in the company once and again, like thinking on how we're going to get into plan into five years, 10 years, 15, 20 years from now. Sometimes it's scary for the private sector, but that is absolutely needed. And as you start to set those targets with the examples that I gave of the company that had a 2 degree target. You start to see that it's possible of doing some of those stuff. And and the same is valid for your supply chains, for your clients, for your peers, but for governments as well. Our focus is not on governments. We're focusing on how to move the private sector, but by doing that, we are seeing that governments are starting to say, well, maybe that is possible too. So one example of a big outcome out of the cop maybe you saw that the, the White House at the US government published a plan for sustainable procurement. US government is the largest purchaser in the globe, and they're setting a plan and say, how am I going to make my supply chain more aligned with climate par and agreement? And one of the requirements they have on the plan is that there are suppliers who need to have a science-based target approach to that. And that actually again, is another indication how we're reaching this tipping point of moving from something that is just the leaders into something that is moving on their supply chains. It's a government policy, and hopefully getting us closer to the middle of that bell curve.Tom Raftery:
Nice. Nice. I can see if the US government are pushing it down into their suppliers, that will uh, push it into North America very quickly. Nice. When we talk about emissions, Is it just carbon emissions or does it include things like methane? Does it include things like h CFCs, you know, where, where does it stop there?Luiz Amaral:
Thanks, Tom. So I'll give you the generic answer because Tom, honestly, I'm not the most technical person to go into the details, but we follow the Greenhouse gas protocol guidances. So it does include, it's not only the carbon, there are other gases that are included within that greenhouse gas protocol guidance. So, I can assure you that is not only the carbon. I cannot, I by heart know exactly what are the gases that in year or not, but we are following the best practices from the standard that has been around for 20 plus years.Tom Raftery:
Cool. Cool. And what about the likes of offsets? If I say I'm going to get rid of all my emissions by buying up thousands and thousands of offsets in some forest in Southeast Asia,Luiz Amaral:
Thanks. That's a fantastic question and one that we get a lot. Uh, So again, the idea of having those science-based targets approaches was exactly that we need to based on literature, the science, the models, and there's one thing that exists on the literature of nature management, not only on carbon, which is called the mitigation uh, hierarchy and forever you're doing in terms of reducing pollution or emissions or you, you start with mitigation and then you go into something else. uh, It's deliver the biggest results. And that's how our, our models are based upon. So that idea that it could continue to grow your emissions forever and just go out there and compensate a hundred percent of those with offsets. It's not something that is accepted under the Science-Based Targets approach. Right. You have to have a plan to actually deliver reductions on emissions and have that plan. And as you are on that journey, then you are strongly encouraged to go above and beyond and actually promote mitigation elsewhere as well. To go beyond your actual just mitigation efforts. It's because we want that, we want that investment to happen. We want money to flow into forests. For example, as I said, I'm Brazilian myself. I spent 20 years of my life trying to bring money to protect our forest. But that is in addition to what is happening with our actual emissions. Right?Tom Raftery:
Okay. Superb. if I'm a business and I want to engage, what's the financial implication look like? Is it, is it a membership fee? Is it free? Is it an annual, or you know, what, what, how does that work? Is it based on organizational size? Is it based on commitments? How does that work?Luiz Amaral:
Thank you. Yes. First, we are a not-for-profit, right? We are center set as a not-for-profit. So our objective is to really define as system change. About 70% of our, budget comes from philanthropic donors. But about 25 to 30% comes from fees that are charged once you submit your validation, right? That that is about 20 20 5% of our budget. Those fees are based on, on size of the business and also location of the business because we want to promote adoption into, into the developing world. But if I can tell you Tom, that's really not the bottleneck to joining this journey, right? That is, that fee is needed so we can actually promote and actually act and, and do that work. But the real challenge is actually how much will cost for you to develop the plan and more than that implement the plan, right? That's really I mean where the, the lion share of the financial decision making is. The, the fee, for getting your target validation again is dependent on the size and location of the company.Tom Raftery:
Okay. And if I am involved in the Science-based Target initiative and I set my targets and I start reporting against them, and I start missing targets, well what happens then?Luiz Amaral:
So as, as we discussed at the beginning, Tom our goal as we exist today is guarantee that ambition is transparent. And aligned with the science. That's where we have done up to today. Because again, we firmly believe if you just jump into something, doing something without really defining from the start what success looks like once you get there, you don't know if I've reached. Can I just tell you a quick anecdote? As I briefly mentioned, I'm Brazilian and I spent almost 20 years of my life working on agriculture and deforestation. Right. uh, How do we end deforestation in the country, which will continue to grow uh, uh, the agricultural production worked on NGOs, worked on the private sector, worked on the finance sector always within this land and food relations. Almost 15 years ago, many companies started to make pledges and commitments to say, I'm going to eliminate deforestation from my supply chains. I don't want to buy agricultural production that is causing deforestation anymore. And they made ma lots of commitments. That was 15 years ago, but there was no common way of defining what success looked like. So 15 years from now, we still don't know if we reached that target or not because folks are still say, oh, look how have the advances that I made here. And then the other company, no, but I made advances and they truly did advances. But since the common definition of understanding of what success looks like was not formalized, standardized, there. We don't, still don't know if I've reached that. So, that's what we are doing and we really need together. Right, and we are almost done with that. Not fully, but we're done with that. Then what is the next step is then the end review process that we're asking, which is once you do that, how do access progress? Honest, so, so transparently to your question, as of today, we don't access and nothing happens if folks are meeting that or not, because we're really focused on the ambition for now, but we are developing this M R V process. Exactly to help facilitate and give guidences on what is next? How do that this progress needs to be reported upon. But again, with this idea that that is, we need that subsequent steps, right? If you just jump into that without having done your homework first, we, in 15 years from now, we'll be still debating on whether we, we met the objectives or not. this is something that is on the agenda. We ambition, but we want to facilitate the next A on that value chain that I mentioned, which is the accountability that is on the pipeline.Tom Raftery:
Okay, cool. Do you have any successful case kind of studies or successful rollouts of the, the initiative that you can speak to?Luiz Amaral:
Yes. Again I mean, we have on the website some cases of the companies on how they, they have, they have delivered that. Again, I think one of the most exciting ones that I have, I think as I said, is looking at the whole pool of companies with science-based targets. Once we did this assessment at the beginning of the year, That they were actually reducing their emissions faster than what was needed. So, that theory that, okay, we need a goal post because everybody needs to know that they're rolling in the same direction because that what is going to help transform and promote change. We have an indication that that is uh, happening. Obviously again, I'm a scientist, so I'll be the first one to say correlation is not causation. but there is a good indication that setting a target actually get things moving forward. We have some examples on our website. But then again, the other one that I can give the most is the one that I already called the two times, and I think I can call the company because that's public information, which was Cmax, but Holcim that you mentioned was another one that went through the same, uh, process. They also had a two, two degree target, and then they, they aligned to a 1.5 one. I didn't hear from Holcim exactly what the journey was, but I did hear from Sam X to say, once we got in that journey, we thought, you know what we can do. And I think that's one exactly what we want to do. I hope that after that they can do even better and even better. I just end with an anecdote on this Tom, the importance of leadership setting that ambition. When Kennedy said on the beginning of the sixties that we want get to the moon before the end of the decade. Not because it's easy, but because it's hard. They did not know how to get there. They didn't have the technology. He took that leadership to say, here's a goal. We need to have that ambition and give the all the conditions for that to happen that this stuff happened. If you had just given the conditions without the ambition, it probably you would be somewhere else. Maybe you went in some other satellite, right? You needed to really set what success looks like. So that's the first part. And the second one is that innovation follows. Again, when Kennedy set that target. 50% of the engineers that ultimately were working on the Apollo project, were still in high school at the time. Uh uh so getting that and creating the conditions, it's very, very important. There's many types of the journey that we're not there. We need the action. We need the ambition. The accountability, et cetera, and evolving with that. But that definition of success very transparently. So internal and external stakeholders, clients, the general public know exactly where we want to get is absolutely importantTom Raftery:
cool. Cool. Luis, we're coming towards the end of the podcast now. Is there any question that I haven't asked that you wish I had or any aspect of this we haven't touched on that you think it's important for people to be aware of?Luiz Amaral:
Well, thanks. I, I think as, as I mentioned and I think one this very fair last part of, of the podcast we're trying to do one of the hardest things or actually the hardest things of a generation, right? We are trying to change the way our economic systems work. S B T I is a very, very important part of the engine, but we do recognize that it's not the only one. We need a whole system to work together to get there. As I said, our secondary objective is that companies are setting their balance sheets and reporting on their balance sheets and setting targets on their balance sheets and reporting on their profits. And that's really embedding to that system, right? So whenever you're asking a company, nobody's going to say, oh, it's so difficult to do a balance sheet in accounting. But the problem is that it took a hundred years to get to that point. The very initial standards, guidances and balance sheets were from the late 1800's. After that, then we started to create uh, University courses to become an accountant. Now there are 2 million accountants in the world that do this stuff, so now something that seems very easy. Obviously we can do that. It's like part of business. It's only there because there was a lot of effort that was put. We're trying to replicate that and we need that for carbon. But we don't have a hundred years, so it's a tough journey. It's going to be a bumpy one, but we need to accelerate that process to replicate that. And science-based target setting, a science-based target setting, very clear ambition aligned with the climate models so everybody knows what success looks like. It's very, very essential to get us to that ultimate goal. And again, I'm a cautious, optimistic Tom, but given, again, seeing the numbers of what is happening, and again, there are folks that will be around the way. We always have the leaders, we always have the risks of greenwash and we, we close one door here, something open there, but we are on that path. But I'm, I'm a bit of a surfer myself. Whenever there's a wave coming and you start to see on the outside and there's a even a bigger wave coming, you better start paddling, right? So I think that's the situation that we are here. There's a big wave, but I look on the outside and there's a bigger wave. So us, we all of this, the system needs to start paddling hard. That's really be able to catch that nice wave that is coming later.Tom Raftery:
Fantastic. Fantastic. Luiz, that's been really interesting. If people would like to know more about yourself or about the Science-Based Targets initiative or any of the things we discussed in the podcast today, where would you have me direct them?Luiz Amaral:
Yeah, thanks Tom. You can find myself and SBTi on Twitter and LinkedIn. I think you can later postTom Raftery:
put them in the show notes. Yeah.Luiz Amaral:
that. And also on our website, as I mentioned, it's filled with information and resources for companies, financial institutions, academics, and anybody who else is interested in learning more including the guidances. Again, the hundreds of pages with technical developments, the shorter descriptions. There are YouTube channels that we have. They're listed as well for learning and how to implement some of those targets. As well of the lists of the companies taking action and the transparency on what their plans are are all on our, on our website.Tom Raftery:
Cool. So fantastic. I'll put links to all your social media accounts and your website and et cetera in, in the notes for this podcast so people can have easy access to them. So Luiz, that's been really fascinating. Thanks a million for coming on the podcast today.Luiz Amaral:
Thank you, Tom, and to everyone listen, really appreciated your time.Tom Raftery:
Okay, we've come to the end of the show. Thanks everyone for listening. If you'd like to know more about the Climate Confident podcast, feel free to drop me an email to Tom firstname.lastname@example.org. Or message me on LinkedIn or Twitter. If you like the show, please, don't forget to click follow on it in your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published. Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find the show. Thanks, catch you all next time.