Beyond the Boundaries: Unlocking Innovation for Climate Impact

Explore how companies go 'Above & Beyond' traditional emissions reduction, embracing innovative strategies for global climate impact

Beyond the Boundaries: Unlocking Innovation for Climate Impact
Photo by Artur Voznenko / Unsplash

In the race against time to combat climate change, traditional sustainability frameworks, focusing solely on direct and supply chain emissions, are increasingly seen as a foundational step rather than the finish line. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)'s latest report, "Above and Beyond," introduces a revolutionary concept that challenges companies to extend their climate action through Beyond Value Chain Mitigation (BVCM) strategies. This approach not only amplifies their impact but also positions them as frontrunners in the global effort to achieve net-zero emissions.

The Concept of BVCM:
BVCM represents an ambitious leap in corporate climate action, encouraging companies to look outside their immediate value chains and contribute to broader, global decarbonization initiatives. From renewable energy projects to ecosystem restoration and beyond, BVCM allows businesses to support external emissions reduction activities that complement their internal efforts, effectively multiplying their impact on the world's carbon budget.

Innovative Strategies Highlighted in the Report:
The "Above and Beyond" report sheds light on a variety of innovative strategies that fall under the BVCM umbrella. These include investing in renewable energy projects in regions not directly connected to a company's operations, supporting reforestation and conservation projects that offer both carbon sequestration and biodiversity benefits, and engaging in emerging technologies like direct air capture. Each strategy offers a unique pathway for companies to contribute to the fight against climate change beyond their immediate operational boundaries.

Case Studies:
Several leading companies are already pioneering BVCM strategies, setting impressive targets for engaging their suppliers and broader networks in climate action:

  • AstraZeneca aims for 95% of its suppliers by spend in key categories to set their own science-based targets by FY2025.
  • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare is committed to having 87% of its suppliers by spend on board with science-based targets by FY2024.
  • Salesforce plans for suppliers representing 60% of its scope 3 emissions to establish science-based targets by 2024.
  • Terra Alpha Investments LLC targets 75% of its equity portfolios by value to meet SBTi validated targets by 2025, increasing to 95% by 2030.
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These case studies exemplify the tangible actions companies are taking to not only reduce their own emissions but also to inspire and drive systemic change throughout their networks and industries.

Challenges and Opportunities:
While the path to implementing BVCM strategies is new and may present challenges—such as identifying meaningful investment opportunities and navigating emerging markets for carbon credits—the potential for impact is enormous. Companies that embark on this journey open up a world of opportunity to lead on climate action, influence their industries, and contribute to global emissions reductions in a significant way.

Call to Action:
The time for companies to expand their climate impact is now. By exploring and implementing BVCM strategies, businesses can play a pivotal role in accelerating global progress toward a sustainable future. The "Above and Beyond" report serves as a crucial guide for those ready to take this step, offering insights, guidance, and inspiration for a new era of corporate climate action.

As we stand at a critical juncture in our fight against climate change, the actions we take today will shape our planet's future. Let's move beyond the boundaries of traditional sustainability efforts and unlock the full potential of corporate innovation for climate impact.

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