The verdict of the international SBTi (Science Based Targets initiative), which provides companies from all over the world with an expert assessment of their climate targets based on the latest scientific findings, confirmed that CEZ Group's long-term goal of achieving net-zero by 2040 is in line with this knowledge. A fundamental prerequisite for energy companies compared to other sectors is to achieve climate neutrality in 2040, 10 years earlier than others. Validation of the target by the SBTi initiative says that it meets the conditions of the Paris Agreement on limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. CEZ is the first Czech company to have received an assessment on all their declared decarbonisation targets (near-term, long-term, and net-zero).
"Decarbonisation efforts around the world are gaining pace. Companies face increasingly stringent requirements, and it is difficult to keep track of their individual plans and goals. An independent assessment from a global expert platform therefore serves as a guarantee for all those who consider sustainability a key part of their business and require it from their business partners and suppliers. I am glad that CEZ has once again confirmed its role as a leader in the Czech Republic, and I hope that we will inspire other local companies to have their plans independently assessed," says Daniel Beneš, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors.
"We take decarbonisation very seriously at CEZ and we are pleased that our roadmap to achieve this has been confirmed by the stringent SBTi certification. This is a clear signal to everyone that we have a specific plan to meet our goals and that our efforts to transform the energy sector in the Czech Republic extend far beyond the year 2030," says Michaela Chaloupková, Chief Sustainability Officer of CEZ Group.
The estimated year-on-year decrease in CEZ Group's emission intensity this year will be 7% (from 0.29 to 0.27 tons CO2 equivalent/MWh). Compared to 2001, this indicator has already decreased by 62%.
The successful validation of stricter targets is also welcomed by investors. Francois Humbert, Lead Engagement Manager at Generali Investments said: “Such an achievement is the result of a long-term partnership with the company that started in 2018, understanding the mutual benefit of a Just Transition. While we have been very much involved in the initial introduction of the SBTI methodology to CEZ for the well below 2°C achievement, CEZ has naturally continued the journey, seeing the benefits of such recognition for the issuer, submitting their updated climate strategy to SBTi for a 1.5°C approval. This is the demonstration that collaborative engagement generates virtuous circles for all parties, with lower efforts and higher efficiency for all.”
The SBTi certification is an important ESG indicator especially for financial institutions such as banks or insurance companies, but also for major investment houses (e.g., Blackrock, JP Morgan AM, BNY Mellon, Capital Management, Goldman Sachs AM, etc.), mutual funds and shareholders. The SBTi initiative is supported by globally recognised institutions such as the United Nations and the World Wildlife Fund. SBTi works for more than 6,600 companies worldwide, of which more than 3,800 have already had their climate targets verified by SBTi.
More about SBTi: The SBTi initiative defines and promotes ambitious science-based approaches to setting climate targets, provides technical and expert support to companies wishing to set climate targets, and independently evaluates these proposed corporate targets. The initiative is a collaboration between international bodies, namely CDP (a non-profit charity that runs a global information system for investors, companies, cities, countries and regions to manage their environmental impacts), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) - a United Nations pact to encourage businesses and companies around the world to take sustainable and socially responsible actions and report on their implementation.), the World Resources Institute (WRI - a global non-profit organisation that works with political, business and civic leaders to research, design and implement practical solutions that improve people's lives while enabling nature to thrive) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF - an international organisation dedicated to conserving biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources, pollution reduction and climate change).