Establishing a base year

Dear SBTi team,

Could you please provide us a with bit of guidance in establishing a baseline year for our targets?

For example, if we were consider 2019 for a base year, for both our operations and our portfolio and were to adopt a portfolio coverage approach for an SBTi, would the baseline be number of companies who had not committed to Net Zero/SBTi as at 31 December 2019? Grateful if you could advise.

Hi Mark. That is correct. A base year of 2019 would mean that you would assess the % of companies in the portfolio as of Dec 31 2019 who already had approved SBTs. The target then being to increase this % over time.

Hi Mark,

The % coverage of SBT companies is not defined by number of companies, as described below:

  • Target Formulation: Financial institutions shall provide information in the disclosed target
    language on what percentage of the corporate equity and debt portfolio is covered by the
    target, using a weighting approach in the SBTi Finance Tool consistently throughout the target period.

You may use a weighting option as described on page 152 of the guidance. You may also use the scope 1+2+3 emissions of the companies(or scope 1+2 emissions, if that information is not available) to define the coverage, which is most recommended by SBTi.

Hi there,

We report and verify our submissions according to ISO 14064 standard. However, our reporting is based on the financial year (01.04.2020-31.03.2021) rather than the calendar year (01.01.2020-31.12.2021).

For accuracy and consistency purposes, can we submit our emissions on this basis? We fall into the category of SME, and it would be only our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions in this case.

Thanks for all your help!


Hi, yes you can set your baseline using a calendar or a financial year. If it is a financial year, this will be noted in the target language.

Hi Eoin,

That’s great!

Thank you!