Pearson to halve value chain emissions as part of approved science-based target

Learning and education company Pearson has had targets to halve its operational and value chain emissions by 2030 approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The company had recently surpassed its 2020 targets to reduce emissions by 50% against a 2009 baseline and reduce energy use in its buildings on an absolute basis by 50% against a 2013 baseline

The company had recently surpassed its 2020 targets to reduce emissions by 50% against a 2009 baseline and reduce energy use in its buildings on an absolute basis by 50% against a 2013 baseline

Pearson’s new science-based targets include a goal to achieve an absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% in the next 10 years against a 2018 baseline. Pearson will also aim to reduce Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream and downstream transportation and the use and end-of-life of sold products by 50% in the same timeframe.

Further sustainability targets are expected to be unveiled later this year.

Pearson’s chief corporate affairs officer Deirdre Latour said: “Pearson launched a new sustainability framework in 2020, that will integrate sustainability into our business and strategy, driving a bigger and more positive impact on society. Committing to a Science Based Target is the first step on the journey to deliver our sustainability ambitions.”

The company had recently surpassed its 2020 targets to reduce emissions by 50% against a 2009 baseline and reduce energy use in its buildings on an absolute basis by 50% against a 2013 baseline. Pearson ended up delivering a 62% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 55% reduction in building energy use. Pearson also maintained ISO 14001 certification over the past 12 months.

As outlined in the company’s annual report, which is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Pearson installed LED lighting in three UK properties last year. The company has also been using 100% renewable electricity to power buildings and has an agreement in place to offset emissions from energy and fuel consumption and business travel through conservation projects in Indonesia and renewable projects in India. All projects are certified to the VCS standard.

In December, a new report from the SBTi revealed that 285 businesses have now set emissions aims in line with the Paris Agreement. The body estimates that the actions of these companies will spur more than $18bn in climate-mitigation investment and up to 90TWh of annual renewable electricity generation.

The companies are collectively responsible for more than 750 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually through their operations, which is more than the combined emissions of France and Spain. According to the SBTi, 76 of these firms are targeting emissions reductions in line with the 1.5C target of the Paris Agreement – up from just four more than 18 months ago.

Matt Mace



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