SBTN Interim Targets

Science Based Targets Network (SBTN) has identified interim targets that companies can set today, in line with the best available science and our upcoming methods. Setting interim targets will ensure your company is on the right path and will count towards science-based targets for nature when available.

The identified targets are organized in the table below using SBTN’s Action Framework: Avoid, Reduce, Regenerate, Restore and Transform.* We use this well-known and widely accepted mitigation framework in order to emphasize the importance of managing negative impact first, as a precursor to successful outcomes on positive contribution targets.


Which targets should your company get started with? 

Use our Initial Guidance’s Step 1 in order to identify the issues which are most material for your business. 

*Note: Actions are not the same as targets. For any given target (e.g. zero deforestation) we recommend that companies combine a mix of actions (e.g. avoid, reduce, transform) in order to bring about desired outcomes.

Action Interim target  Guidance for companies Indicators
Avoid Zero deforestation and conversion from 2020, specifically:
  • Zero deforestation from 2020 in all corporate supply chains*
  • Zero conversion of all natural habitats (land, freshwater, marine) from 2020**
  • Zero Conversion of all areas that meet the criteria of Key Biodiversity Areas and High Conservation Value Areas*** (including High Carbon Stock or Irrecoverable Carbon Areas) from 2020 in all corporate supply chains
Exceptionally, for specific projects of the extractive sector:
  • No net loss of non-forest natural habitats across all realms (land, freshwater, marine) from 2020, and net gain by 2030
* Accountability Framework Initiative 

**In line with locally-determined cut-offs, as guided by credible sources such as the
Accountability Framework Initiative

***Guidance on HCS approach and Irrecoverable carbon:
HCV Network, High Carbon Stock Approach; Guidance on KBAs
Deforestation / Conversion (ha)
Reduce & Regenerate  Ensure that in working lands supplying your value chain(s), at least X%* natural or semi-natural habitat is retained and/or regenerated, per km2, from 2020 *X can be determined by an appropriate national regulation source, but should not go below 10-20% per km2 as from 2020 (following Earth Commission preliminary recommendations, in line with the 10% of the EU’s 2020 Farm to Fork Strategy and Biodiversity Strategy for 2030) Fraction of working land with (semi-) natural habitat at 1 km2 scale (%)
By 2030, reduce water withdrawals in high water impact parts of your value chain(s) by X% in line with environmental flow needs.* Prioritize high risk/impact parts of value chain: following Enterprise Water Targets

*Locally dependent: following CEO Water Mandate Site Water Targets Informed by Catchment-Context
Water withdrawals (m3)
By 2030, reduce water quality pressures in high impact parts of your value chain by X% to align with good ambient water quality. Prioritize high risk/impact parts of value chain: following Enterprise Water Targets

*Locally dependent: following
CEO Water Mandate Site Water Targets Informed by Catchment-Context
Pollutant loading rate (kg pollutant/year)
By 2030, reduce value chain GHG emissions by 50%, and by 90-95% further by 2050, in accordance with sectoral ambitions*. SBTi Net Zero Standard
(includes new sector-specific reductions and pathways, see page 16).

* These values are cross-sectoral averages, the exact ones will depend on your sector and should be taken in accordance to SBTi guidance.
GT CO2e or Mt CO2 (absolute targets); tCO2/t (product, e.g. cement or steel) or gCO2/spatial unit (intensity targets)
In addition to emissions reductions,
  • By 2030, for forestry-related companies, increase carbon removals to a level that exceeds  their emissions by 2030*
  • ​​By 2030, for all other AFOLU-related companies**, Increase carbon removals in line with the global carbon removal goal of 4.7 GtCO2e by 2030***.
*SBTi Net Zero Standard
R**SBTi-FLAG Guidance
Roe et al. 2019

See CBD Target 8 for potential ambition level across sectors/global economy
Restore Increase area under restoration in all ecosystems (land, freshwater, marine) in your area of influence See CBD post-2020 GBF Target 2 for an indication of how much restoration may be needed. Specific guidance on how much restoration is needed in a specific location is not yet available. Surface under restoration in each ecoregion (%; ha)
The SBTN community is still working on determining sufficient interim target levels and guidance on deriving these across contexts and will be made available by the time of CBD COP15 in 2022. 
Transform Take actions contributing to system-wide change, notably to alter the drivers of nature loss, e.g. through technological, economic, institutional, and social factors and changes in underlying values and behaviors. Setting SBTs for nature is fundamentally transformative because it requires businesses to understand their impact on the world through a societal materiality perspective. By taking a societal perspective, companies open the door to internal transformation (e.g. of their business model and decision-making processes) and to external transformation (e.g. of the systems in which they are embedded). (SBTN Initial Guidance, 2020) No available indicator of transformation yet
“For business, setting and achieving nature and climate science-based targets is probably the most important thing for us to do this decade.” Paul Polman
Co-founder and Co-chair, IMAGINE