Base year choice

Good evening SBTi team / community. I went through the FAQ and could not find a clear answer about the rules around the selection of the base year. If I have, let say, to submit in H1 2023, what is the most recent year I can use as base year ?

Many thanks.

Dear Nick,

On the FAQ website there’s the question “How has the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected target setting? Does the SBTi have any specific guidance or recommendations on this topic?”:

For companies that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, the SBTi recommends selecting a base year such as 2019 instead of 2020 or 2021 when setting targets. Alternatively, companies are welcome to use a multi-year average base year approach, as described in Chapter 5 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard. As some companies have been less impacted by COVID-19 than others, the SBTi will still allow 2020 base years for target setting purposes and will allow companies to make their own determination about the appropriateness of a 2020 base year.

The SBTi also assesses ambition of the most recently reported year of emissions during the target validation stage. The SBTi similarly recommends 2019 is used for most recent year emissions when a business has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. The SBTi accepts most recent year inventories for up to two years before target submission, so 2019 most recent year emissions will be acceptable for all target submissions in 2021. In 2022, the SBTi will make an exception for acceptable most recent year inventories, allowing 2019, 2020, 2021, or 2022.

Just keep in mind this guidance might change in 2023, so keep updated on the COVID FAQ for any changes on the future.

I hope that helps!


Good morning Nick and Monika.
I have selected 2019 as base year and most recent year to set my target for Scope 1&2.
However, now as we checked online, there is no longer any appointment available in 2022. The most recent appointment is Feb 2023. Does SBTi still accept my target with 2019 as base year and most recent year if I now book my appointment in Feb 2023?
Many thanks!

Hi all,
I’d like to echo Veronica’s question - will 2019 base years still be accepted in January 2023?

Thank you!

Hello Veronika and laurab,

Thank you for your question.
The SBTi will still allow setting 2019 as base year for 2023 submissions, however FIs must report most recent year data and emissions as of 2020, 2021 or 2022.

Best regards,


Hi Monica,

Just to confirm, would this mean that if a company chooses a 2019 baseline they must also report emissions for all following years until present (2020, 2021, and 2022)?


Hello Eric,

We will allow 2020 as the earliest MRY for 2023 submissions. However, 2020 is often not a representative year of FI’s activities. If the FI has 2021 or 2022 emission inventory, that is definitely better.
I hope this helps to clarify your question.