2022 Witnessed a Surge of Asian Companies Setting Science-Based Targets

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) reported a sharp rise in companies setting science-based targets in 2022, with 87% more having their targets validated that year (1,097) compared with 2021, and a number greater than the entire previous seven years combined (1,082).

During 2022, the continent that saw the greatest proportional growth in the actual number of science-based targets was Asia. 317 companies headquartered in Asia set a science-based target in 2022.

This represented a 127% increase in the number of Asian companies setting a science-based target compared with 2021.

In the SBTi report, Japan emerged as a leader, with more companies setting targets there (201) than in any other country. Companies with science-based targets represented 40% of the NIKKEI index by the end of 2022.

China’s growth curve meanwhile was the steepest with a 194% increase in the number of companies with validated targets. As the source of many of the world’s supply chains, growth in China can have a powerful effect on the scope 3 emissions of companies all over the world. In all, 24% of all companies with targets and commitments are from Asia (2015-2022).

Companies representing more than a third of the global economy (34%) by market capitalization had set or committed to setting science-based targets by the end of 2022. 69% of FTSE companies had set science-based targets and 42% of S&P companies.

As of July 2022, the SBTi has only accepted new target submissions that are aligned with 1.5ºC, indicating a meaningful increase in the level of ambition for corporate climate action.

Speaking about the SBTi Monitoring Report, the SBTi’s CEO Luiz Amaral said: “This annual update from the SBTi shows the enormous demand from the business world for credible, ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As catastrophic floods in Pakistan to deadly heatwaves in Europe in 2022 demonstrated, the human and economic costs of climate change are already being felt around the world. Companies must act now.”