SBTi has revealed the launch of a standard specifically for the apparel sector is part of its development priorities for this year along with reviewing its Corporate Net-Zero Standard for potential updates in 2025.

Apparel is one of six sectors it has deemed “high emitting” and in need of its own set of standards. The other sectors include oil and gas, electric utilities, automotives, chemicals and insurance.

The SBTi will pilot a hybrid model for developing sector-specific standards and will partner with external organisations and pool expertise.

It said this model could lead to a step-change in how some SBTi standards are developed, paving the way for a major acceleration in the number of sector-specific standards developed in 2025 and beyond.

It validated 4,204 companies by the end of 2023 which is double that of 2023 and it plans to launch an Independent Validation Council for target validations in the near future. The Validation Council aims to ensure independence in decision-making.

The initiative has also gained charitable status and it said that scale-up operations are forging ahead in response to rapidly growing demand.

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SBTi explained: “The registration of the SBTi’s charitable status by the UK’s Charity Commission means that IKEA Foundation’s $18m funding pledge is now coming to fruition, supporting the development of standards and building and strengthening of SBTi infrastructure. This matches the $18m from the SBTi’s other principal funder, the Bezos Earth Fund, which has been instrumental in enabling the SBTi’s significant upscaling since 2021.”

SBTi’s CEO Luiz Amaral, CEO said: “We would like to extend our gratitude to IKEA Foundation, the Bezos Earth Fund and all our funders for their valuable contribution, supporting the SBTi in pursuit of its mission and the build-out and scale-up of our organisation. We promised to prepare the SBTi for the next phase of growth and are delivering on that, once again doubling the number of companies validated in a single year while establishing our independence and strengthening our governance.”

Last month (December) apparel manufacturing company Sae-A Trading pushed forward with its net-zero efforts by joining the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) and pledging to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 42% over the next six years.