NATS achieves highest science-based validation on net zero target

14 July 2022

NATS’ climate targets have been independently validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and awarded ‘Business Ambition” status – the highest ambition possible. NATS’ commitment to achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of 41% by 2026 from a 2018/19 baseline was subject to a careful assessment and successfully approved as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets. The SBTI has confirmed that all four science-based criteria including timeframe, emissions, coverage and ambition have been met by NATS, and that its emissions targets exceed requirements to help limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

The validation of a net zero science-based target by the SBTi confirms NATS’ defined pathway to reduce GHG emissions in line with preventing the most damaging effects of climate change. The target covers scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions across the value chain of a company, including those produced by its own processes (scope 1), purchased electricity (scope 2), and generated by suppliers upstream and end users downstream (scope 3).

Validated targets:

  • NATS commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 41% by 2026
  • NATS also commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions covering purchased goods and services, fuel and energy related activities, upstream transportation and distribution, business travel and employee commuting GHG emissions by 41% within the same timeframe
  • NATS further commits that 50% of its suppliers by spend covering capital goods will have science-based targets by 2026

The emissions targets are set against a 2018/9 base year and progress is reported annually.

NATS is also focussed on the impact it can have on reducing wider aviation industry emissions through its management and design of airspace and the air traffic control service it provides. NATS continues to align its targets for airspace CO2 reductions with the Sustainable Aviation decarbonisation roadmap which lays foundations for rapid acceleration of aviation decarbonisation.

James Deeley, Deputy Head of Sustainable Operations, said “We are very pleased to have our emissions targets validated by the SBTi’s rigorous analysis which reaffirms our trajectory to reaching net zero by 2035. Striving for transformation at the pace and scale that is needed is a priority for us and we recognise the importance of our contribution to achieving a net zero aviation industry by 2050. Good progress has been made to reduce our emissions by 37% since 2018/19 and the SBTi’s first-rate analysis through to 2026 is encouraging as we drive towards our ambitious sustainability commitments.”

Achieving SBTi validation follows an A- score rating last year from the respected non-profit organisation, CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). The CDP A List is for companies who receive ‘leadership level’ CDP scores of A or A- and NATS’ rating demonstrates the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and implementing best practice in the areas of environmental, social and governance. This score put NATS in the top 2% of the 13,000 companies around the world who disclosed their data to CDP in 2021.

NATS has also been recognised for the second year running in the Financial Times- Statista list of European Climate Leaders for our environmental performance since 2015.

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