Step 2

Prioritize

In Step 1, you estimated the environmental pressures that result from your activities, as well as the State of Nature in your value chain locations. But, this overview does not indicate where it is relatively more or less important to focus your target-setting efforts.

Step 2 allows you to prioritize by weighing your pressures against the health (or fragility) of the environment in each value chain location. Societal needs as well as corporate, strategic needs can also be incorporated to generate a more holistic approach to prioritization that accounts for feasibility and risk.

Ultimately, in this second step, your company will determine which science-based targets to set, which locations and economic activities to include within their target boundaries, and where to act first in order to effectively mitigate the most significant negative impacts on nature and increase the potential for positive impacts.

“After getting the Steps 1 & 2 results, we took quick actions to mitigate risk for some sourcing locations.”

2024 SBTN Pilot Company
mushroomsTake a holistic approach to prioritization that accounts for feasibility and risk.

The main objectives of Step 2 are to rank all locations in your target boundaries by how important it is to act in each one, and then to define a shortlist of top priority locations for initial target setting. You will also organize your operational and location data accordingly, so as to prepare to set science-based targets for nature in Step 3.

After completing Step 2 you will have:

  1. Defined target boundaries for each material pressure category, setting out which activities and locations require setting science-based targets for nature.
  2. Ranked and prioritized locations within these target boundaries to define where to act first, using information on societal and environmental materiality.
  3. Considered the potential for co-benefits from setting multiple targets for the same location as well as societal and strategic factors to inform your prioritization decisions.

Step 2 is divided into three sub-steps

Step 2a: Target boundary delineation

Step 2a, the target boundary delineation, is the key part of Step 2. You will define target boundaries for four pressure categories, with each of these boundaries consisting of the locations of all material activities in that category and value chain segment.

Go to Step 2a

2b: Interpretation & ranking

Step 2b, the interpretation & ranking, requires you to process the environmental indicators from Step 1 to make their values comparable. Then, you integrate pressure and state of nature indicators for all locations into a combined ranking.

Go to Step 2b

Step 2c: Prioritization

Step 2c, the prioritization, is the moment where you bring in social justice and stakeholder priorities, business dependencies on nature, and strategic priorities. 

Go to Step 2c
This infographic describes the main actions you will take to implement Step 2a: Target Boundary Delineation where all material activities for each pressure category are placed in separate target boundaries depending on the value chain segment and level of traceability.
This infographic describes the main actions you will take to implement Step 2a: Target Boundary Delineation where all material activities for each pressure category are placed in separate target boundaries depending on the value chain segment and level of traceability.

The concept of target boundaries

The SBTN guidance requires that you delineate your target boundaries. A target boundary is the set of company activities in a given value chain segment, the locations where they take place, and their associated pressures on the environment, that must be covered by science-based targets. Target boundaries are defined based on the environmental materiality of the activity (as determined in Step 1a), hence they are specific to each pressure category. They are delineated separately for direct operations and upstream activities.

While Steps 2b and 2c will help you to identify in which locations within your target boundary you should set targets first, you will need to develop a plan to continue making progress to set targets for the rest of the activities and locations in the target boundary. SBTN does not have specific requirements on the pace of progression, but this will be integrated in a future version of the methods, after learning from a larger group of companies implementing and validating targets.

Glossary

Target boundary: The set of company activities in a given value chain segment, the locations where they take place, and their associated pressures on the environment, that must be covered by science-based targets.

Pressure-sensitive index value (Ip): An index value that combines the pressure and state of nature indicators at each location, used to consider the relative urgency of reducing pressures at a given location.

Combined ranking: An index that combines the pressure-sensitive index value and biodiversity state of nature indicators to define the relative urgency to act in a given location.

Dependencies (on nature): These describe the reliance of a company on nature (e.g., natural resources or ecosystem services) for its business operations; for example, agricultural companies depending on pollination from biodiversity or from water catchment areas for underground water withdrawals.

Go to Step 2a