Emira Property Fund has become the first African and South African company to have a greenhouse gas emissions target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which mobilises companies to set science-based targets and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy.
In a statement, WWF South Africa said Emira’s science-based target provided a clear road map in line with the ambition of the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming below 2°C. It sets out how much and how quickly the company will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Emira has committed to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 13% by 2022, from a 2015 base year.
"We congratulate Emira Property Fund on becoming the first South African company to have their emission reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative," the WWF's Alex Farsan said.
"By setting targets that align their business with global efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, Emira Property Fund is positioning itself to thrive as the global economy transitions to a low-carbon future."
Science-based targets are validated by technical experts and can help to safeguard a company’s growth and profitability by keeping business relevant and competitive during a transition to a low-carbon economy.
These targets can also help companies buffer themselves against imminent national policy changes like the South African Carbon Tax Bill, due to be passed in January 2019.
Ten other South African companies, namely Exxaro, Growthpoint, Mediclinic, Netcare, Pick ‘n Pay, SPAR, Tiger Brands, Tongaat, Virgin Active SA and Woolworths have already committed to the international effort to limit global temperature rise with the SBTi, but have yet to have their emissions targets validated.