Chapter 3
Chapter 3

Setting Climate Targets

Aligning climate targets to the net zero pathway

To support the mobile industry to reach its ambition of being net zero by 2050, the GSMA invites all companies within the sector to set science-based targets (SBTs). These targets are science-based because they are calculated by assessing how steep to reduce emissions to keep global heating with 1.5C.
The GSMA helped to create the net zero decarbonisation pathway for the ICT sector in 2020. Since then, many companies across the sector have aligned their targets with this pathway, or are moving to cut their emissions even faster.

Committing to a Target

The first step when setting a target is to make a public commitment.
The GSMA recommends making this commitment through the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) - the leading organisation for science-based carbon reduction targets.

The SBTi website provides step by step guidance on how companies are commit to targets. Once a company has committed, then they are included on SBTi public database, which is also used by many other organisations including the UNFCCC to track global progress on climate action.

Steps to Net Zero

Steps to Net Zero Steps to Net Zero
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Setting a Climate Target

Once a company has made their public commitment to a science-based target, the next step is to calculate and set the level of reduction required for the target. To help with this, the GSMA produced a step by step guide with the Carbon Trust that explains how a mobile network operator can calculate the right target that is aligned to the net zero decarbonisation pathway, and so is aligned to 1.5C.

Setting Climate Targets Guide

A step by step guide for mobile network operators to set science based targets aligned to 1.5C. The methodology applies to mobile network operators, fixed network operators and data centre operators.
This guide provides practical step-by-step instructions for a mobile network operator to apply the approach when setting a SBT. The guide is intended to be comprehensive on its own, providing fundamental information on the full target-setting process, from measuring corporate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to developing targets and submitting them to SBTi for validation.

SBTI Corporate Net Zero Standard

The SBTi’s Corporate Net-Zero Standard contains guidance, criteria, and recommendations to support corporates in setting net zero targets to be validated by the SBTi. The main objective of this standard is to provide a standardised and robust approach for corporates to set net zero targets aligned with climate science.

Setting Climate Targets: How to apply the Guidance

The GSMA, in partnership with the CDP, hosted a series of webinars for mobile operators on how to set science-based targets (SBTs). The webinars explained how to apply the new guidance for setting SBTs aligned to the new ICT sector pathway to Net Zero carbon emissions.
Participants asked questions of both Lea Fink from CPD and Veronika Thieme from the Carbon Trust, who helped develop the ICT sector Net Zero pathway, along with Steven Moore from the GSMA.

Race to Zero

The GSMA supports the UNFCCC’s Race to Zero, a global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial, educational, and healthcare institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world.