Henkel targets climate positivity as Nokia unveils 1.5C science-based targets

Pictured: An aerial view of Henkel's headquarters in Düsseldorf

Last year, Henkel signed the Climate Pledge orchestrated by Amazon and Global Optimism, committing it to reach net-zero by 2040 at the latest. It has now stated that it is able to go further, enabling the mitigation of more carbon than it emits by the 2040 deadline.

The new target was confirmed through the latest edition of Henkel’s annual sustainability report. Published on Thursday (4 March), the report affirms Henkel’s science-based targets to reduce emissions from operations and the supply chain.

It goes on to state that, following the completion of a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) that will cover 100% of Henkel’s electricity demand in the US, the company has moved a commitment to source 100% renewable electricity globally from 2040 to 2030. It has also announced an ambition to reduce the climate footprint of all production sites by 75% by 2030 – both moves that will lay the foundation for the climate-positive goal. The report states that a facility will be classed as climate-positive when it generates more renewable energy than it consumes and provides this surplus to third parties, helping them reduce emissions in turn.

Carbon offsetting is not mentioned in the report. Henkel’s focus, instead, will be on producing renewable energy and helping to drive carbon reduction and sequestration across the supply chain and from the downstream use of its products. The business is striving to mitigate 100 million tonnes of CO2e from these sources between 2016 and 2025.

Henkel’s board-level lead for HR and sustainability Sylvie Nicol said: “The global pandemic in 2020 brought many new challenges. Nevertheless, together with our passionate teams across the globe, we have managed to drive our sustainability agenda forward, especially with regard to our three key focus areas: becoming a climate-positive company, enabling a circular economy and increasing our positive social impact.”

Nokia shifts science-based targets

In related news, Nokia has had new climate targets approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as aligned with 1.5C. The firm said in a statement that it had achieved previous, 2C aligned targets ahead of schedule and wanted to increase ambitions in line with updated climate science.

Overall, Nokia is aiming to halve absolute emissions across the business by 2030, against a 2019 baseline. The target covers emissions from logistics and assembly factories in the supply chain as well as Nokia’s operations. The SBTi requires most corporates to develop targets for Scope 3 (indirect) emissions if they wish to achieve the 1.5C alignment.

“We have led the way in reducing emissions from our own operations and helping our customers to do the same by continuously innovating to make our products more energy-efficient in recent years – but climate change is a race against time,” Nokia’s president and chief executive Pekka Lundmark said.

“These tougher, new, scientifically-calibrated climate targets mean we will go further and faster to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure sustainability is at the heart of our product design and the smart solutions we enable.”

Sarah George

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