Base year recalculation


What is the acceptable threshold for financial institutions to restate their base year emissions?

Kind regards,


Hi Lance,

FIs should currently re-baseline anytime structural changes prompt a change of 5% or greater to their overall emissions inventory and then recalculate their targets (after re-baselining) to check that the ambition and coverage is still sufficient.


Hi Howard,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply. Could you please refer me to where exactly I can find this recommended threshold in any formal SBTi documents?

Kind regards,


The 5% threshold is in the Mandatory target recalculation criteria in the SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standard Criteria and the draft Version 2 of the Near-Term Financial Sector SBT Guidance as a Triggered target recalculation recommendation.

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Thank you for the answer and references Howard!

Hello - This is really helpful and clear, thanks both.

Following on from this thread, I have a related question. Whereby an asset owner is changing asset manager and therefore emissions, data quality, assets owned/invested in, funds etc. will change. Would this count as a structural change and thus a rebaselining trigger, and the above criteria would apply?

Or could this be viewed as a ‘decarbonisation lever’ e.g. the asset owner’s net zero mandate is not being fulfilled by the asset manager and hence a switch in manager to an asset manager that is more aligned to values/approach in line with decarbonisation strategy of the asset owner.

Have you had any related queries or scenarios like this with any other FIs?

I would strongly recommend rebaselining but since the Triggered Target Recalculation is currently a recommendation, the minimum requirement would be for targets to be revalidated at least every five years.

It’s 5% of their base year total emissions to be clear, not 5% of their current year emissions

Look into operational control. If you sell the asset, you have to determine the control you have over it. If you are still operating the asset, it can still fall into your own emissions. If you have a joint venture or part financial ownership that still allows you to exert influence, then you need to look into that.

An example is sub-leasing an office, this would no longer fall under S1&2 emissions, but fall under Scope 3 downstream leased assets. But if you sold / divested part of your company, it is no longer classed as part of your emissions at all.

Your question on whether it would trigger a rebaseline isn’t possible to answer based on the info you’ve given. It sounds like you’re just changing the manager of your asset, that wouldn’t affect anything to do with the ownership of the emissions.

Hi Howard,

Thank you for the clarification. May I please ask if it is estimated that the structural changes resulted in a >5% impact on the base year emission, when recalculating the targets, is it mandatory to resubmit them to SBTi for another round of validation no matter what, or the company can decide only to rebaseline if the internal recalculation of targets shows that the targets are still sufficient for SBTi near-term criteria?


Hi all, Howard.
We have established that we need to recalculate our base year (2019) as we have acquired another organisation. The acquired organisation has no reliable data or evidence from 2019 so we are going to estimate the emissions using our 2019 (validated and assured) emissions. The dilemma we have is which estimation methodology to use. Can we simply take the emission per scope and category, at global level, to create a CO2e/FTE or CO2e/SqM and then simply multiply by the acquired companies’ FTE or SqM?

I can only find information on when to recalculate, but no advice on how. Any comments, links etc would be appreciated.