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Announcing our Net Zero Target

August 15, 2023

Here at Sylvera, we’ve been working on our net zero strategy for quite some time. Fighting the climate crisis is at the heart of what we do - it’s our mission to incentivize investment in real climate action after all.

On our net zero journey, we’ve reached a new milestone - the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) validated our net zero target. 

While much of the world recognizes the importance of meeting net zero by 2050, nearly all companies with net zero targets will fail to achieve their goals if they don't at least double the pace of emissions reduction by 2030. The planet can’t afford such widespread corporate inaction. No business is too big or too small to take climate action seriously. 

That’s why we want to share our net zero journey progress and our plans going forward. 

What we’ve done so far

Measure emissions

The first step of our journey was to work out how large our emissions were and what was causing them.

To start with, we used an online calculator. After answering a lot of questions about how many toilet rolls we used and what we ate for lunch, we realized this approach would not be reliable enough for us to be confident in the results.

So we contacted the experts - OnePointFive. Using data from across the business, including finance data, surveys and data from field teams, they helped us to more accurately measure our emissions across all three scopes and identify the main sources of our emissions.

This is what we found for 2022:

Total emissions -  812.91 tCO2e

Scope 1 - Direct emissions: 1.39 tCO2e

Scope 2 - Indirect emissions: 27.04 tCO2e

Scope 3 - Supply chain emissions: 784.48 tCO2e

Retire carbon credits

As we know well, purchasing carbon credits is one of the most established and scalable ways to channel finance to effective climate outcomes. Using a tonne-for-tonne approach to our beyond value chain mitigation (BVCM), we have bought and retired high-quality credits to make a contribution against all our emissions from 2020, 2021 and 2022. 

So far we have retired credits from REDD+ projects rated A or AA.

  • 100 credits from Katingan 
  • 200 credits from Tambopata
  • 1000 credits from REDD+ Fortaleza Ituxi

Set a net zero target

Using the SBTi’s SME approach, we have set science-based net zero targets from a 2022 base year which have been validated by the SBTi.

We have committed to:

  • reduce our scope 1 & 2 emissions 42% by 2030, and reduce our scope 3 emissions below 2022 levels.
  • reduce all our emissions (scope 1, 2 & 3) at least 90% by 2035.

In line with SBTi guidance, we will continue to engage in BVCM, report our emissions and BVCM transparently, and neutralize our residual emissions at net zero.

Next steps

Now with our targets validated, we need to put a plan in place for how we will achieve them.

First, we’ll establish a net zero committee. With representatives from across all areas of the business, from engineering to our field team, we canto gather ideas for how we can reduce emissions across our operations and value chain, and deliver against them.

We will also develop internal and external reporting procedures to formally report on our emissions and progress against targets in line with SBTi guidance. 

Lessons learned

Going through this process has been a learning curve for our team. Here are some key lessons we’ve picked up along the way:

  1. Measuring emissions is complicated, even for a small tech firm. There will always be a level of uncertainty, particularly around scope 3 emissions. However, working with experts really helps constrain this uncertainty.
  2. Data is available to source high-quality credits. We wanted to only use credits rated AA (or ideally AAA, although no project has achieved that rating yet). We used our proprietary ratings to identify these credits, despite there being a limited supply.
  3. Setting a net zero target is not a quick process. It’s encouraging that so many companies are setting net zero targets, but it means the SBTi is facing a very high burden. It took several months for us to complete the process of having our targets validated, even through the SME route which is less complex. That said it is of course imperative that all companies, wherever possible, set and meet SBTs in order to help tackle the climate crisis. 

As we continue on our net zero journey and begin the process of reducing our emissions in line with our ambitious goal, we will almost certainly hit many more challenges and milestones. Stay tuned for the journey - and share yours with us too!

We help companies who have net zero commitments invest in high-quality projects so they can deliver on their climate strategies with confidence. Schedule a demo now.

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This article features expertise and contributions from many specialists in their respective fields employed across our organization.