In September 2022, Upswing Solutions Inc. became one of only six (6) small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada to have set a greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) through the SME pathway. Upswing’s near-term company target is to reduce absolute scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions by at least 38% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline.
Science-based targets (SBTs) provide a clearly-defined pathway for companies of all sizes to commit to taking climate action. Targets are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science deemed necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to 1.5°C. As of September 15, 2022, over 3,671 companies globally have set or committed to SBTs, however only 613 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) have joined the call to action. Of those SMEs, 56 are based in North America and 6 are in Canada.
The SBTi only recently launched the SME pathway earlier this year which streamlines the validation process and reduces the application cost to companies with 500 or less employees. It imposes less intensive requirements around Scope 3 value chain emissions, which requires greater effort towards collecting and analyzing data that not all smaller companies are resourced to do. This is promising news for a growing number of smaller businesses considering setting climate targets to align with a 1.5°C future and their client’s supply chain decarbonization commitments. In Canada, over 99% of companies are considered SMEs compared to a global average of 90%.
“As a growing start-up whose purpose is to help companies thrive in the future clean economy, it was important to establish a science-based climate target as an integral driver of our future plans. Canadian companies are lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to setting ambitious emissions reduction targets aligned with climate science and the gap continues to grow. Urgent action is needed from all businesses, big and small, across product and service categories to kick-start the low-carbon economy and limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C over the next century.”
– Chloe Barnabe, Chief Sustainability Officer, Upswing Solutions Inc.
The call to action to date has been focused on big corporations, the world’s largest GHG emitters. However, with half of the global workforce employed by small and medium-sized enterprises, this diverse business community can not only contribute to emission reductions in their operations but also empower employees to take part in climate action.
We would be happy to share our experience with any small and medium-sized companies interested in learning more about the process and benefits of setting a science-based target. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today.