Diabetes is a global health emergency projected to affect 642 million people by 2040. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) represents 90% of diabetes cases and is associated with a range of cardiovascular (CV) risk factors that are more than double the incidence of CV disease and significantly increase mortality rates. Diabetes treatments have typically focused on improving glycemic control but their effect on CV outcomes has remained uncertain. In 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) looked to address this knowledge gap and mandated CV outcome trials (CVOTs) for all new antidiabetic therapies. In 2015, EMPA-REG OUTCOME ® became the first CVOT to present results for a sodium/glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2; also known as SLC5A2) inhibitor, empagliflozin. Subsequently, a regional meeting of the Academy for Cardiovascular Risk, Outcomes and Safety Studies in Type 2 Diabetes (ACROSS T2D) brought together a respected faculty of international experts and 150 physicians from 14 countries to discuss the current unmet medical needs of patients with T2D, the results from the EMPA-REG OUTCOME study and the implications of these results for clinical practice. This article summarizes the current scientific evidence and the discussions that took place at the ACROSS T2D regional meeting, which was held in Vienna, Austria, on May 30, 2016.