Getting to the Gooooal: Setting a Science Based Target

CBRE and Carbon Credentials co-hosted a workshop for members of the Legal Sustainability Alliance at Emirates Stadium for members who were eager to learn more about setting science-based targets (SBT).

New to the process? Take a look at our blog from July, which contains an easy to follow infographic, or read on for how winning a football match and setting a science based target are not that different.

Some of the identified challenges include:

  • Data: where is it, how much do you need and how to deal with poor quality data?
  • Scope 3 emissions: What does this entail and how to engage with suppliers?
  • Senior leadership support: How to get buy-in from leadership and from those that will have to deliver the target?
  • Lack of internal resource and skills to set and achieve the target
  • Organisational complexity, particularly for global firms
  • Size of the challenge: where do I begin?

Some solutions that the workshop participants brainstormed are strong football lessons too.

You’ve heard “there is no I in team” where cooperation is championed. However, a good team requires strong leadership and the same is true for successfully moving the ball forward when a company agrees to set an SBT.

Come prepared

One challenge to overcome is convincing senior leadership to set a target in the first place.

A player wouldn’t dare walking onto the pitch without his kit on, and when you approach senior leadership it’s best to arm yourself with fact and figures that articulate the benefits of setting a target.  Understand what you need to do and have a plan; be prepared to take ownership; and come in clued up about what it will take.

Remember, a season is composed of over 30 matches, so you can improve over time. The Legal Sustainability Alliance’s annual report is a great benchmark to see how you measure against peer organization.

Bringing a case study of a company that’s already achieved your goal can help show your CEOs and leadership that is not only possible, and that there is reputational benefit in setting the target.

Appeal to the desires for CEOs and execs to leave a legacy

Who wouldn’t want to be remembered as the Pelé of your company? Nearly 80% of corporate executives surveyed by CDP found a strengthened brand reputation to be one of the strongest benefits for their company for committing to a SBT. Business as usual is shifting as more than 141 global companies have approved SBTs. Don’t you want to be part of the leadership?

Another challenge that was discussed during the workshop was “where to start?” This reminds me of the nervous energy a player feels before the first match. Even if you have run drills hundreds of times, it can feel overwhelming once on the pitch.  What do you do?

Look to a teammate for help

In target setting finding the data and building a plan necessitates asking others for support. The data you need may exist in other departments, and together you can map out how best to obtain and use this information.

It may also be smart to get some tips from experts, either Arsene Wenger or a consultancy, to help.  Moving the ball forward may feel tedious when you are alone, but with others, the give and go can help you reach the goal sooner.

Finally, believe you can do it. Going in confidently to the match and the conversation about how to set targets will allow you to be results oriented.  Think about what matters most to the business and then position your arguments with those goals in mind.

Remember, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take—think about what you will risk by not taking acting to set an SBT.

Go team!