Kingspan and Cargill unveil Paris-aligned climate strategies

Construction materials giant Kingspan and agri-food multinational Cargill have both unveiled new science-based emissions targets at the UN's COP25 summit in Madrid.

Pictured: Kingspan's factory in Kankaanpaa, Finland, during construction. 

Pictured: Kingspan's factory in Kankaanpaa, Finland, during construction. 

 

Kingspan’s new climate programme, entitled ‘Planet Passionate’, builds on the company’s existing science-based target to cut emissions by 10% by 2025, against a 2017 baseline. 

It commits Kingspan to achieve net-zero emissions in manufacturing by 2030, and to halve the CO2 intensity of primary suppliers by the same deadline. Kingspan claims these ambitions will help it to align with the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious trajectory by mid-century.

In order to spur progress on these targets, Kingspan is aiming to power 60% of its operations with renewable energy within the next decade. The firm believes 20% of this energy or more can be generated through on-site renewable arrays at manufacturing sites. At present, around 6% of the company’s energy consumption is met in this way.

Elsewhere, ‘Planet Positive’ contains commitments to harvest 100 million litres of rainwater for reuse; upcycle one billion PET bottles into insulation annually and send zero waste to landfill. In order the meet the latter two of these goals, Kingspan has joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy initiative, CE100.

“Energy conservation has always been at the core of our products, and how we run our business,” Kingspan’s chief executive Gene Murtagh said.

“Through Planet Passionate, we will reduce carbon and energy in both our manufacturing processes and products and continue our relentless pursuit of low-carbon buildings that deliver more performance and value, with clear targets to strive for by 2030.”

Cargill’s new climate target, meanwhile, commits the business to reduce supply chain emissions by 30% by 2030. Cargill had already set this aim for its beef supply chains, and has since increased that specific target to 35%.

Given that animal agriculture and container shipping are two of the world’s most emissions-intense sectors, Cargill’s moves have been widely welcomed as precursors of change in sectors which have previously been slow to react. The company is notably signed up to the ‘We Are Still In’ declaration regarding the US’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, and a similar open letter from the AFL-CIO – the US’s national union representing more than 12.5 million employees across 10 sectors.

"Without bold and decisive actions by all involved in the production of food, climate change will destabilize the food system," Cargill’s chairman and chief executive David MacLennan said.

"We are determined to innovate, scale and implement solutions together with producers, our customers and governments worldwide. Agriculture is how we will mitigate climate change, regenerate our soils and improve water use, while nourishing the world in a more sustainable way."

Sarah George



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