Beyond Science-Based Targets: A BLUEPRINT FOR CORPORATE .

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Beyond Science-Based Targets:A BLUEPRINT FOR CORPORATEACTION ON CLIMATE AND NATUREDecember 2020

Primary Authors:WWF: Brad Schallert, Martha Stevenson, Chris Weber,Alex FarsanBCG: Jesper Nielsen, Paulina Ponce de León,Nicholas CollinsKey Contributors:WWF: Josefina Brana-Varela, Tim Juliani, Mark Griffiths,Christa Anderson, Lloyd Gamble, Evan Carlson,Mandy Jean WoodsBCG: Michel FrédeauAcknowledgements:WWF: Milan Kooijman, Johanna Myrman,Vanessa Perez CireraAbout WWFWorld Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an independentconservation organization, with over 30 million followersand a global network active in nearly 100 countries. Ourmission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s naturalenvironment and to build a future in which people live inharmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biologicaldiversity, ensuring that the use of renewable naturalresources is sustainable and promoting the reduction ofpollution and wasteful consumption.Find out more at panda.org/About Boston Consulting GroupBoston Consulting Group partners with leaders in businessand society to tackle their most important challenges andcapture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneerin business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today,we help clients with total transformation—inspiringcomplex change, enabling organizations to grow, buildingcompetitive advantage, and driving bottom-line impact.To succeed, organizations must blend digital and humancapabilities. Our diverse, global teams bring deep industryand functional expertise and a range of perspectives tospark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edgemanagement consulting along with technology and design,corporate and digital ventures—and business purpose. Wework in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm andthroughout all levels of the client organization, generatingresults that allow our clients to thrive.Find out more at bcg.comPublication date: December 2020Editor: Edward BakerDesign: 1tightship.co.zaCopyright 2020 World Wide Fund For Nature(formerly World Wildlife Fund), Gland, Switzerland andBoston Consulting Group. Any reproduction in full or inpart must mention the title and credit the above-mentionedpublishers as copyright owners.WWF International,Rue Mauverney 28,1196 Gland,SwitzerlandTel. 41 22 364 9111Boston Consulting Group200 Pier 4 BoulevardBoston,Massachusetts 02210United StatesTel. 1 617 973 1200For enquiries: CorporateClimateBlueprint@wwfint.orgCover photography: Voyata / Shutterstock.com Jacques Tarnero / Shutterstock.com

ContentsINTRODUCTION4CORE RATIONALE FOR A NEW BLUEPRINT5THE CORPORATE CLIMATE MITIGATION BLUEPRINT61. ACCOUNT AND DISCLOSE EMISSIONS2. REDUCE VALUE CHAIN EMISSIONS, IN LINE WITH ASCIENCE-BASED TARGET PATHWAY3. QUANTIFY A FINANCIAL COMMITMENT BY PRICINGREMAINING EMISSIONS4. INVEST THE FINANCIAL COMMITMENT FOR CLIMATEAND NATURE IMPACT Neil Ever Osborne / WWF-US88910MAXIMIZING VALUE ACROSS BUSINESS GOALS AND CO-BENEFITS12ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS OF CORPORATE CLIMATE STRATEGY13NEXT STEPS14ANNEX 1: ALIGNING WITH NET-ZERO TARGETS16ANNEX 2: CONSIDERATIONS FOR NATURE BASED SOLUTIONS17ANNEX 3: DIMENSIONS OF CARBON CREDIT QUALITY18

INTRODUCTIONEvery day, more companies large andsmall are proudly announcing theirvoluntary commitment to climateaction.Many are promising significant reductions in theirgreenhouse gas emissions, greater transparency into theircarbon footprints, plans to become net-zero by or before2050, and other climate goals. In parallel, there is increasinginterest in investing in nature-based solutions as a keypillar for climate ambition. This momentum is driven bycompanies’ determination to play their part in stoppingglobal climate change, as well as an understanding of thecompetitive advantages to be gained.Yet even companies with the best intentions face considerablehurdles when setting climate goals, crafting climatestrategies, and communicating them to the public. Becausethese voluntary initiatives are taking place in an emergingand fast-evolving field, companies often struggle to translatescientific consensus and knowledge (e.g., IPCC reports1), aswell as government commitments (e.g., Paris Agreement),into meaningful corporate climate strategies and actions.Inconsistent corporate claims about climate action (e.g.,net-zero, carbon positive, carbon negative, climate neutral,etc.) only add to the noise and confusion, — while raisingdoubts among stakeholders as to the credibility of individualcompanies’ climate strategies.2 The risk of being accused of‘greenwashing’ is ever-present, as is uncertainty as to whetherspecific corporate actions are truly advancing climate goals,nature goals, both, or neither.This paper introduces the Corporate ClimateMitigation Blueprint in hopes of cutting through thenoise and focusing on the actions that can underpina truly effective corporate strategy for mitigatingthe effects of climate change and protecting nature.This Blueprint is framed in the context of broader corporateclimate efforts, and thus also highlights three additionalcritical elements which must be done in parallel—advocatingfor climate policy such as carbon pricing and sector-specificincentives, collaborating with peers to achieve lasting climateprogress, and improving company and ecosystem resiliencein the face of global warming. Jean-Marie Hullot / FlickrCompanies that successfully integrate an effective climateresponse into their core business strategy will be able togenerate value. We’re seeing corporate leaders respond to theclimate challenge in a way that helps reduce costs, grow theirbusiness or capture price premiums, as well as maintain orextend their license to operate. Investors increasingly favorand value clear action on climate change – they recognizethat companies are building competitive advantage and longterm resilience. By implementing the actions recommendedin this Blueprint, companies will not only truly advance theirclimate and nature goals. They’ll become part of the solution,delivering value for all – investors and society – as we workto secure a net-zero world.We must, however, keep in mind that this Blueprint is onlya piece of corporate sustainability strategies, which mustencompass all environmental impacts from companiesand avenues for leadership on key elements such as water,biodiversity, and ecosystem conversion and degradation.Guidance as to how companies can complement their climatestrategies with broader nature strategies can be found inthe Science Based Targets Network’s Initial Guidance forBusiness and through other leading platforms in the mattersuch as the Business for Nature coalition, amongst others.1An element of confusion has been interpretation of pathways from IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5. Figure 2.5 from this report clearly reflects that all viable 1.5 Cpathways (across SSP 1, 2 & 5) require deep emissions reductions. They all also require negative emissions (i.e., removals), but not until the 2040 time frame.Often interpretation will jump to needing to start land removals now – as trees need time to grow – but time is also an important factor for fossil fuel emissions,as all of the pathways reflect that the earlier the fossil fuel emissions are reduced, the fewer removals will be needed later. It is important to look at the fullpicture of these results and what they will require.2Corporate climate claims and future climate commitments vary significantly between companies, both in terminology and meaning. Common examples includeCarbon Neutral, Climate Neutral, Net Zero, Climate Positive, Climate Negative, and 100% Green. Key variations behind these claims include: type of pollutantscovered (e.g., carbon only vs. Kyoto gases, vs. broader climate and/or nature impacts); extent of value chain coverage (e.g., scope 1 commitments vs. scope1-3 commitments); timeframe of emissions covered (e.g., annual emissions vs. lifetime company emissions); mitigation levers utilized (e.g., abatement only,abatement CO2 removal credits only, abatement any type of credit); and degree of climate/nature positivity (e.g., mitigating more than the company’sannual footprint, investing beyond mitigation and supporting other nature, biodiversity or social goals). These variations risk obscuring the true ambition ofcompanies climate strategies, and making it difficult to track progress against goals.BEYOND SCIENCE-BASED TARGETS: A BLUEPRINT FOR CORPORATE ACTION ON CLIMATE AND NATURE

CORE RATIONALE FOR ANEW BLUEPRINTA new model for corporate climate action is needed for a number of reasons,but they can be boiled down to one key meta-problem—a mismatch betweenthe current solution set available and the scale of the problems they aretrying to solve.Existing ‘Footprint-based’ approaches (e.g., carbonaccounting, life cycle assessment) are ‘attributional’ andbackward-looking. They focus on the question “what is mycompany’s responsibility for GHG emissions in the previousyear?” This reductionist approach has been—and continuesto be—a critical component of corporate accountability. Itis the basis for today’s leading corporate climate mitigationstandard — the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) — butit is only one component of what could be a more holisticsolution for corporate climate strategies today, where thefocus is also about looking forward. In short, the goal postshave moved; companies are no longer being asked about howthey plan to take responsibility for last year’s emissions alone,but also their long-term transitions to becoming net-zerobusinesses, their contribution to securing a net-zero economywrit large, and the appropriate role for nature-basedsolutions both inside and outside of their value chains.Another characteristic of footprint-based approaches is afocus on the singular measure of CO2 equivalents. However,companies rarely report performance based solely onprofitability; to maximize shareholder value, they mustmanage a variety of metrics including nonfinancial ones,and what they prioritize will vary by stage of growth andcontext. We need similar variety to evaluate and improvecorporate climate performance. The focus on companies’individual CO2e footprints has incentivized some corporateactions over others. From the desire to offset a company’sremaining emissions came a voluntary carbon market thatalso measures outcomes in CO2e units but that in some casesis not simultaneously able to deliver needed environmentaland social co-benefits and/or broader systemic change. It’sa reason for why the average quality of carbon credits in themarket must improve if it is to be a valid climate solution,and it’s also why companies need to be pursuing new waysof investing in climate and nature that reflect the scale oftransformation required to solve the challenges we face.3Redirecting businesses - and our economy – toward anet-zero and ‘nature positive’ future is the challenge of ourlifetime: we need 75 trillion in investments3 to deliveron the Paris Agreement, plus tremendous ingenuity andwillingness to change. The response must build on eachother’s efforts over a long-time horizon—with companiessimultaneously reducing their own operational emissions,decarbonizing their value chain, driving innovation tocreate future solutions for harder-to-abate emissions andengaging consciously and constructively on how to reachnature positive, including its biodiversity and societal values.Leading companies are already looking to invest in climatestrategies that go beyond their value chains.Each of these changes—leaders going beyond value chainboundaries, forward-looking and longer time horizons, andthe need for scaled finance—begs for a new model. A new wayfor companies to move from “I” to “we”, helping to achievethe kind of scale that science tells us is needed to achievesystem transitions in land & ecosystems, energy, urban &infrastructure, and industrial systems. A new way to buildbig-picture innovation for tomorrow’s climate solutionsdirectly into corporate climate strategies. A new way togenerate and capture value, while benefiting society and theplanet.The Corporate Climate Mitigation Blueprint discussed in thenext section proposes innovative solutions to solve the keychallenges companies are struggling with (outlined above)while ensuring robust credibility through a hierarchical setof actions that ensure companies do their part to rapidlydecarbonize and build scaled solutions within or outsidetheir value chain. The approach builds on existing practice—ensuring a critical use case for current tools like SBTi targets—but also goes beyond to add new tools and approaches,meeting the new needs of ambitious corporate leadership andscience-based system transformation.The Economic Case for Combating Climate Change, BCG Report, 20185

Jason Houston / WWF-USTHE CORPORATE CLIMATEMITIGATION BLUEPRINTThe Corporate Climate Mitigation Blueprint is a tool configured forcompanies to craft an action plan for maximizing their climate impact. Itcan be used both by companies looking to create their first comprehensiveclimate strategy and by those hoping to upgrade their strategies to stay atopthe leaderboard.As shown in Figure A, the Blueprint builds on the principlesthat underpin “the mitigation hierarchy,” a concept widelyknown and used in the field of sustainability.We recommend that companies:(1) Account and disclose their emissions across the valuechain(2) Reduce value chain emissions emissions, in line withan ambitious science-based target pathway(3) Make a financial commitment that internalizes theexternal costs of any remaining GHGs, and disclose allassumptions, including the implicit carbon price.(4) Invest the financial commitment on a menu ofpotential high-impact climate and nature actions. Someof these actions might generate quantifiable emissionreductions or remove carbon from the atmosphere,while others might unlock the pipeline of future climatesolutions. These solutions could include nature-basedsolutions, new emissions capture technologies, andeven business innovation and transformation effortsthat can further society’s move toward a net-zeroeconomy.The following sections lay out each of the four components of the Corporate Climate Mitigation Blueprint in greater detail.BEYOND SCIENCE-BASED TARGETS: A BLUEPRINT FOR CORPORATE ACTION ON CLIMATE AND NATURE

Figure A: The Corporate Climate Mitigation Blueprint and additional critical elements of corporate climate strategyCorporate Climate Mitigation Blueprint1Account& disclose23Reduce value chainemissions, in linewith an ambitiousscience-based targetpathwayaQuantify financialcommitment bypricing remainingemissionsb4Invest the financial commitmentfor climate and nature impactFurther emissionsreductionsUnlockingclimate solutionsQuality carboncredits/mitigationoutcomescLandscape financedClimate innovationeGHG reductionGHG removalAlongside and throughout .Influence climate policy inown sector and beyondCollaborate with value chain, peers,employees, and other key stakeholdersBuild resilience in achanging climatea. Emissions reductions must be compliant with the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1.5ºC, or at most well-below 2ºC, above pre-industrial levels, such as by following a pathway providedby the Science-Based Targets initiative.b. Companies should disclose assumptions, including the internal carbon price used (even if implicit). Please refer to more detailed guidance on how to size financial commitments in the text.c. The term “mitigation outcome” refers to any type of ex-post climate mitigation, whether emissions reductions or the removal and sequestration of emissions from the atmosphere. Forreadability and simplicity the term “carbon credit” is instead used through the document; however, a carbon credit is a subset of the term mitigation outcome. Please refer to Annex 3regarding the dimensions of carbon credit quality.d. For example: Projects operating at a landscape or jurisdictional levele. For example: Technological and R&D innovation, efforts to advance climate business model innovationBEYOND SCIENCE-BASED TARGETS: A BLUEPRINT FOR CORPORATE ACTION ON CLIMATE AND NATURE7

1. ACCOUNT AND DISCLOSE EMISSIONSFull transparency is critical to companies’efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.Without an accurate and verified accounting of their GHGemissions across scopes 1, 2, and 3, companies cannotdetermine their baseline emissions, set reduction targets, orevaluate their progress.The first step is to use internationally recognized GHGaccounting standards, such as the GHG Protocol, tocreate a full accounting of their carbon footprint. Thenthey must transparently and publicly disclose their levelof emissions, mitigation targets, and the actions theyare taking now and in the future, through their regularcorporate reporting mechanisms or through organizationssuch as CDP. Companies should also disclose their climaterelated risks, opportunities, and strategies in line with therecommendations of the Task Force on Climate-relatedFinancial Disclosures (TCFD) and other best-in-classdisclosure frameworks and standards.42. REDUCE VALUE CHAIN EMISSIONS, IN LINEWITH A SCIENCE-BASED TARGET PATHWAYThe Paris Agreement requires that we limit global warmingto as close to 1.5 C as possible. If we are to meet this goal, wemust reduce GHG emissions by around 50% between nowand 2030, and reach net-zero globally by the second half ofthis century, according to the “Special Report on 1.5 C” fromthe UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.Companies should therefore begin by mitigating GHGemissions throughout their value chain (see Figure B). Asa first step, they should reduce their own emissions wherepossible, by avoiding emissions-producing activities, and byhalting carbon intensive operations, such as deforestationand land conversion. Then they should lower the carbonintensity of activities—their own and those across their valuechain—that cannot be avoided. This could include reducingthe use of fossil fuels, improving efficiency, purchasingrenewable energy, encouraging upstream suppliers to reducetheir own footprints, decreasing land degradation, andreducing the carbon impact of the products and servicesthey sell. To support these efforts, the Science Based Targetsinitiative (SBTi) provides clear guidance for differentcorporate sectors on how to develop and set GHG reductiontargets that are aligned with the latest climate science.Figure B. Reducing value chain emissions, in line with an ambitious science-based target pathway 52020203020402050Business as usual (BAU)baseline trajectory for emissions.Remaining emissionswhile delivering on SBTicommitmentSBTi 1.5 CPathway targetset by companyFor example, a company sets and delivers on their SBTi 1.5 C target. The gray bars reflect ‘remaining emissions’as the company works toward reductions.4These include SASB, CDSB, the Integrated Reporting Framework, and GRI.5While companies should ideally be setting 1.5 C-aligned targets under SBTi, the initiative also allows companies to set well-below 2 C targets.BEYOND SCIENCE-BASED TARGETS: A BLUEPRINT FOR CORPORATE ACTION ON CLIMATE AND NATURE

Meeting science-based emissions reduction targets is not justcritical from an environmental perspective. Doing so alsolowers the significant business and reputational risks faced bybusinesses as they make the transition to a net-zero businessenvironment. Every company is already facing considerableregulatory, policy, investor and consumer pressure to lowertheir carbon emissions, and the pressure will only increase inthe future. Companies that transform their business now arebuilding competitive advantage compared with those thatdelay the transition, something that investors increasinglyrecognize and reward.6As essential as this step is, for many companies it will likelybe the most difficult. It requires companies to undergo amajor transformation of their operations, their value chains,and their business models. Some com

NEW BLUEPRINT A new model for corporate climate action is needed for a number of reasons, but they can be boiled down to one key meta-problem—a mismatch between the current solution set available and the scale of the problems they are trying to solve. 3 The Economic Case for Combating Climate Change, BCG Report, 2018

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