The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTiI, one of the key organizations focused on aligning corporate environmental sustainability action with the global goals of limiting climate change, announced today that it has secured $37 million in grants from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Earth Fund, the IKEA Foundation and the philanthropic climate-focused Laudes Foundation.

Founded in 2015, SBTi was formed as a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), with the goal to establish science-based environmental target setting as a standard corporate practice.

Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Managing Director and Co-Founder of the SBTi, said:

“Since our inception in 2015, science-based targets have evolved from a nascent concept into a movement now covering 20% of the global economy. However, to keep a fighting chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C, the rate of adoption needs to grow exponentially.

“We are extremely grateful for the generous support from our funders. This demonstration of support has the power to create a butterfly effect in the real economy – by incentivizing the investment required from corporates to decarbonize business models through the adoption and implementation of 1.5°C-aligned climate targets.”

Earlier this year, SBTi tightened its criteria for approved climate targets, announcing that it will soon only accept targets aligned with its 1.5°C warming ambition, as required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.  Last month, the initiative launched a new Net Zero Standard, which it will use to assess and certify company’s commitments to achieve net zero emissions.

The Bezos Earth Fund and IKEA Foundation have each pledged to provide $18 million over 3 years, aimed at helping the initiative implement its 1.5°C strategy, and Laudes has provided $1 million targeted to support the development of science-based target methodologies and tools for the built environment.  According to SBTi, the pledges will enable the organization to accelerate the growth in the number of companies committing to set science-based emissions reduction targets.

Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation, said:

“Our support will take SBTi to the next level, expanding the reach of a consistent and harmonised methodology to set targets for emissions reductions – not only for large corporations, but also over time for smaller companies and the financial sector.”

Andrew Steer, President and CEO of Bezos Earth Fund added:

“The SBTi will ensure that decarbonization targets, including net-zero targets, are consistent with what the science requires and are implemented in a transparent manner. The Bezos Earth Fund is proud to support this bold and very necessary effort.”