Philip Morris to make all its factories carbon neutral by 2030

Cigarette giant Philip Morris International (PMI) has announced its intention to make all of its factories carbon neutral by 2030, after its Klaipeda factory in Lithuania reached the status.

PMI workers at a factory in Bologna. Image: PMI

PMI workers at a factory in Bologna. Image: PMI

PMI currently owns and operates 44 factories globally and has pledged to make all factories in 2030 carbon neutral. The first to reach this status was the Klaipeda, Lithuania facility, which has had its energy use optimised over the last 10 years through upgrades for chillers and compressors, heat recovering, the installation of a biomass boiler, procuring renewable energy contracts and offsetting.

PMI’s chief sustainability officer Huub Savelkouls said: “We share the ambition of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This requires setting challenging targets, taking action to achieve them and transparently reporting on progress and gaps.

“This is what our employees, our consumers and our shareholders expect from us. Today is important for PMI, as we celebrate our first step toward carbon neutrality in all our factories by 2030.”

To offset the remaining carbon emissions at the Klaipeda facility, PMI purchased Gold Standard certificates to support more than 9,000 Indian families replace kerosene cooking fuels with cleaner, domestic biogas.

When you think of the mainstays of the corporate sustainability movement, the likes of L’Oreal and Unilever all spring to mind. These companies are among the firms that appear on CDP’s “A list” – produced at the request of 827 investors – for the climate.

Cured tobacco

PMI has worked with the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTI) to establish a 40% carbon reduction aim, across the entire value chain by 2030. This is the interim target, with a 60% reduction in place for 2040, while a goal to source 80% renewable energy for factory use has also been created. The new facility targets go beyond SBTi ambition.

PMI is also working with suppliers and farmers to lower the emissions intensity of the tobacco curing process by 70% - against a 2010 deadline – and to achieve zero net deforestation of natural forest by 2025.

The firm has recorded a 36% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions since 2010 and 90% of tobacco purchased is considered of “no risk of deforestation”.

PMI is also considering the negative health impacts of the products it produces. In total, seven of the 44 manufacturing facilities owned by PMI produce smoke-free products, such as e-cigarettes.

The company has a 2025 target to switch 40 million people “who would otherwise have smoked cigarettes” to smoke-free products. This, PMI claims, would reduce smokers by a total of 55 million by 2025 – four times faster than the target set by the World Health Organization.

Matt Mace



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