An international team
of taxonomy experts

Background and Approach

The ISBT aims to create rigorous evidence-based sustainability criteria for investments in the EU, which businesses, investors, banks and other stakeholders can use as a scientific guide for their operations.

The ISBT duplicates the EU Taxonomy’s criteria wherever they are robust and only departs from them when they are scientifically weak or unevidenced. In these cases, the technical experts of the ISBT will recommend alternative criteria – using as the starting point the technical recommendations of the EU Platform wherever relevant.

To highlight scientific and unscientific criteria in the EU Taxonomy, the ISBT uses a traffic light system: green for robust, scientific criteria; amber for mixed criteria where there is a need for improvement; and red for unscientific, counterproductive criteria that businesses, investors, banks and other stakeholders should avoid.

Ultimately, the ISBT aims to become a fully-fledged taxonomy that covers sustainable, intermediate, and unsustainable activities. Criteria for each activity will be regularly updated to reflect scientific, technological and legislative developments. The ISBT also aims to provide visibility on upcoming science-based taxonomy criteria, not only the current ones, helping the market to anticipate future updates of the taxonomy criteria and better connecting the taxonomy with available sector-specific 2050 decarbonisation pathways.

The ISBT is an independent project. The opinions expressed here do not represent the official position of the organisations and individuals working in the ISBT initiative. The work related to the ISBT is funded exclusively by philanthropic institutions.

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*The opinion expressed here does not represent the official position of the organisations and individuals listed below.


The Independent Science Based Taxonomy comprises the four following bodies: the Board, the Technical Expert Group (TEG), the Secretariat and the Supporters Circle.

1. The Board

The Board aims to steer and oversee the development of the ISBT, and to preserve its independent, science-based and not-for-profit nature.

The Board is composed of individuals representing the not-for-profit organisations supporting the ISBT. Board members have a two-year mandate which can be renewed. They should aim to finish their mandate if they wish to terminate cooperation with ISBT. Board members can be TEG members.

Strategy, coordination and general administration
Selects TEG members
Appoints TEG co-chairs and subgroups leads
Signs off all ISBT relevant website content
Signs off publications of TEG (new criteria, revision of old ones, etc.) and of TEG members

Aims for consensus, when not possible it deliberates by simple majority voting.

2. The Technical Expert Group (TEG)

The TEG is responsible of the Independent Science-Based Taxonomy (ISBT). It is in charge of conducting analysis and scoring of taxonomy criteria, and developing recommendations for new/updated criteria/economic activities.

TEG members have a two-year mandate which can be renewed. They should aim to finish their mandate if they wish to terminate cooperation with ISBT.

Aims for consensus; when not possible, deliberates by simple majority voting.
Is led by two co-chairs and subgroup leads, appointed by the Board for a one year mandate which can be renewed.

3. The Secretariat

The Secretariat hosts the ISBT (Board and TEG) digitally, and manages the ISBT website.

4. The Supporters Circle

The Supporters Circle enhances collaboration within the Independent ISBT while upholding its principles of independence and scientific rigour.

Supporters contribute expertise and resources to the TEG and support ISBT criteria where relevant, to advance ISBT objectives.


  • Collaborate with the TEG in working groups;
  • Provide feedback on taxonomy criteria;
  • Support ISBT criteria and advocate for ISBT adoption, where relevant;
  • Support fundraising efforts.

Supporters participate in relevant TEG working groups and contribute to discussions but do not have voting rights; final decisions rest with the TEG.

Publications of interest

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