Kingspan Group and Royal DSM get seal of approval for science-based climate commitments

Building materials manufacturer Kingspan has pledged to cut operational emissions by 90% this decade, while Royal DSM has pledged a 50% cut within the same timeframe, under newly-approved science-based climate targets.

Image: Kingspan

Image: Kingspan

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) approved both companies’ targets this week, verifying Kingspan’s in line with 1.5C and Royal DSM’s in line with a ‘well-below 2C’ pathway.

Kingspan’s new targets will require the business to deliver a 90% reduction in Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions by 2030, against a 2019 baseline. This will put the firm on track to deliver an existing commitment to net-zero emissions from its estate of more than 160 manufacturing sites this decade, as the residual emissions can then be addressed using offsetting and insetting.

As for Scope 3 (indirect), emissions, Kingspan has received SBTi accreditation for a commitment to reduce emissions from these sources by 42%. This goal also has a 2020 baseline and 2030 deadline. The SBTi requires businesses seeking 1.5C-aligned accreditation to set Scope 3 targets if indirect emissions account for 40% or more of their annual emissions footprint. Such targets must have boundaries that address two-thirds of total Scope 3 emissions.

Kingspan’s new targets build on previous 2C-aligned aims that were verified by the SBTi back in 2018. The initiative is notably planning to increase its minimum target-setting requirements to 1.5C, phasing out ‘well-below 2C’ targets in the coming years.

“Significantly reducing our carbon impact across our value chain by 2030 is not just business-critical, it’s planet-critical,” Kingspan’s global head of sustainability Bianca Wong said.

“Our revised science-based targets reinforce our commitment to being an industry leader on climate action and will help to drive change throughout the business at the pace required.”

The news from Kingspan comes after the business signed for a new €700m revolving credit facility with interest rates linked to environmental targets in June.

Royal DSM

Also announcing SBTi approval for new goals this week is Royal DSM, the nutrition and health major from the Netherlands.

The new ‘well-below 2C’ targets will require the business to halve its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2030, against a 2016 baseline.

Royal DSM had previously been targeting a 30% reduction within this timeframe but believed it could go further after delivering a 19% reduction between 2016 and the first half of 2021. A new power purchase agreement (PPA) with a 920MWh solar plant in Texas, signed last month, is expected to drive Royal DSM’s Scope 2 emissions down further. The PPA will cover 100% of the company’s electricity needs in North America.

There is additionally a new target to reduce the emissions intensity of Scope 3 emissions, per tonne of product produced, by 28% by 2030. Again, this aim has a 2016 baseline. Emissions associated with purchased goods and services, waste and upstream transportation and distribution will be covered by this target.

Royal DSM’s co-chief executive officers Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze said in a statement that the new targets mark a “significant step-up” in the company’s climate ambitions. It is notably working towards net-zero globally by 2050.

Last week, the SBTi approved new targets from the likes of technology retailer Dixons Carphone and software giant Dassault Systèmes. More than 820 businesses have had their science-based targets approved to date, with more than 670 of these plans being deemed as 1.5C-aligned.

Sarah George



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