Dentsu International one of first companies in the world to have Net Zero target validated

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The advertising giant calls for corporates to set deep decarbonisation targets in response to IPCC ‘Code Red for Humanity’ 

Dentsu International today announced it is one of the first companies in the world to have its net-zero target validated by the globally recognised Science Based Targets initiative. It includes a new deep decarbonisation target to reduce absolute emissions by 90% by 2040 across its entire value chain.  

The announcement comes on the same day the SBTi launched a new global Net-Zero Standard, responding to calls for greater transparency and alignment between corporate net-zero targets. Dentsu International is one of only seven global organisations to have their target formally validated against the new standard, alongside AstraZeneca, CVS Health, Holcim, JLL, Orsted and Wipro.  

Recent years have seen an influx of net-zero commitments from companies, with 80% of global GDP covered by commitments to reach net zero. However, the quality and ambition of such commitments have been inconsistent, leading to calls for greater standardisation. The new SBTi Net-Zero Standard provides a common, robust, science-based understanding of net-zero. 

Under the new SBTi Net-Zero Standard – a benchmark for corporate net zero commitments – companies reach net-zero when they have achieved their long-term science-based target. This requires deep decarbonization of 90-95% before 2050 for most companies. 

Wendy Clark, CEO, dentsu international said: “At dentsu we are proud to be one of the first companies to have our net-zero target validated by the SBTi. The IPCC report shows that long-term action on carbon is essential to limit the worst impacts of climate change. Our new long-term plan sets an ambition that matters to our people, our clients and society. It will require innovation, diversity of thought, creativity and multi-sector collaboration. That’s the type of challenge our 45,000+ people embrace.”  

Dentsu’s new long-term deep decarbonisation target – a first for the industry - drives the decarbonisation already underway in its business deeper and further. It follows the launch of its near-term science-based target in 2020 to reduce absolute emissions by 46.2% by 2030. Clear, long term emissions reduction targets are the only way the worst impacts of climate change can be limited, reducing the reliance of business and industry on offsetting, and supporting the acceleration of wider energy, transport and societal transformation.   

Anna Lungley, Chief Sustainability Officer, dentsu international said: “The SBTi has set the bar on climate action high, providing clear guidelines that focus on deep decarbonisation over the long-term. The new SBTi Net-Zero Standard will create alignment, facilitate investment and most importantly, drive action. At dentsu we are committed to the most ambitious level of climate action and won’t claim net-zero until we get there.” 

Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the SBTi, said: “Companies are currently self-defining net-zero targets without credible and independent assessment of their ambition and integrity. 

“For the first time, the SBTi Net-Zero Standard offers companies robust certification to demonstrate to consumers, investors and regulators that their net-zero targets are reducing emissions at the pace and scale required to keep global warming to 1.5°C. We’re now inviting all companies with net-zero targets and ambitions to show stakeholders that their decarbonization pathway is aligned with science. And the rest of the business sector - we call on you to join the Race to Zero.” 

Year-on-year, dentsu reported strong results against its environmental and social targets for 2020, leading the industry in being the first to achieve both RE100 accreditation for its sourcing of 100% renewable electricity, reducing absolute carbon emissions by 39% across its operations in 2019, and setting a 2030 science-based target for emissions reduction.   

‑ ENDS ‑

For more information contact 

Fiona Magill, Interim Head of PR, dentsu international   

Notes to editors:    

About the new standard 

The Science Based Target initiative’s (SBTi) new Net-Zero Standard is the world’s first framework for corporate net-zero target setting in line with climate science. It provides the guidance and tools companies need to set science-based net-zero targets. Through the SBTi, companies will be able to set verified net-zero targets consistent with limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C.  Companies adopting the Net-Zero Standard will set both near- and long-term science-based targets across all scopes. The seven companies with validated near and long term targets are AstraZeneca, CVS Health, Dentsu International, Holcim, JLL, Orsted and Wipro. Near-term science-based targets cover immediate emissions reductions for the next 5-10 years (currently referred to as science-based targets), while long-term science-based targets determine the level of decarbonisation by 2050 or before (90-95%). 

About dentsu international’s Net-Zero target 

To reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 2040, dentsu international’s commitment includes a:  

  • Near-Term Target: Dentsu commits to reduce absolute scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions 46.2% by 2030 from a 2019 base year.  
  • Long-Term Target: Dentsu also commits to reduce absolute scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions 90% by 2040 from a 2019 base year. 

About Dentsu’s Social Impact Strategy: Dentsu’s 2030 Social Impact Strategy encompasses three focus areas responding to critical environmental and societal challenges where the company can make the biggest difference: Sustainable World, Fair and Open Society and Digital for Good. It includes an ambition to achieve a 46.2% reduction in absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2030 from a 2019 base year. Going further than this, dentsu also commits to reduce absolute scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions 90% by 2040 from a 2019 base year. We will the neutralise the remaining emissions (10%) to achieve net-zero by 2040 through credible and verifiable greenhouse gas emissions removal projects. The strategy sets out programmes and targets for Dentsu International companies and services, and co-ordinates and integrates with Dentsu Group strategy and mid-term plan. Implementation of the strategy is directed by Global Chief Sustainability Officer Anna Lungley, a member of Dentsu International’s Executive leadership team, and governed by the Social Impact Steering Committee under the Chair of Wendy Clark, Global Chief Executive Officer for dentsu international. Find out more here

About dentsu international    

Part of the dentsu group, dentsu international is made up of six leadership brands - Carat, dentsuX, iProspect, Isobar, dentsumcgarrybowen, Merkle and supported by its specialist brands. dentsu international helps clients to win, keep and grow their best customers and achieve meaningful progress for their businesses. With best-in-class services and solutions in media, CXM, and creative, dentsu international operates in over 145 markets worldwide with more than 45,000 dedicated specialists.