P&G targets carbon-neutral operations by 2030

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has pledged to ensure that its operational emissions are neutralised by 2030 - an aim is striving to achieve through investment in nature-based climate solutions.

P&G is partnering with NGOs to restore, protect and improve habitats including the Atlantic Forest.  Image: WWF US/ Adriano Gambarini 

P&G is partnering with NGOs to restore, protect and improve habitats including the Atlantic Forest.  Image: WWF US/ Adriano Gambarini 

Building on an existing pledge to halve Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions by 2030 against a 2010 baseline, the new commitment will see P&G using a mixture of insetting and offsetting to bring residual emissions across these scopes to net-zero. P&G estimates that its annual Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions will be 30 million metric tonnes in 2030, once it has completed the shift to 100% renewable electricity.

While some insetting and offsetting initiatives centre around renewable energy and clean fuel, P&G has chosen to back nature-based projects which serve to protect, improve or restore habitats. Key focus areas will be peatlands, wetlands and forests.

“The company’s intent is to work with NGO partners to ensure any project it advances under this effort is appropriately vetted to ensure the project, its impacts, and any accounting methodologies used are credible and consistent with best practice,” P&G said in a statement. The consumer goods giant is working with Conservation International, WWF and the Abor Day Foundation already and says it is open to forging additional partnerships.

“Our role as leaders is to make a lower-emission economy possible, affordable and desirable for everyone,” P&G’s chief sustainability officer Virginie Helias said.

“It is our responsibility to protect critical carbon reserves and invest in solutions that regenerate our planet.”

While the new target does not cover Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, P&G is working with the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to develop and deliver against new ambitions in this area. The firm’s previous carbon footprint mapping exercises have proven that the vast majority – 85% - of its Scope 3 emissions are associated with consumer use and disposal of products. As such, it sees communication with consumers as a key level for reducing emissions, providing on-pack and online information on responsible use.

It’s only natural

As the UN continues work to develop a Paris-Agreement-style deal for nature in a bid to avert Earth’s sixth mass extinction and as awareness of the intertwined nature of global warming and biodiversity loss rises, nature seems to be climbing up the corporate agenda.

Earlier this year, Unilever launched a new €1bn Climate and Nature fund which will be spent to end supply chain deforestation, promote regenerative agriculture and transition to biodegradable ingredients. The fund complemented a new net-zero target, deadlined at 2039.

Since then, luxury fashion conglomerate Kering has vowed to achieve a net-positive biodiversity impact within five years; a string of businesses including Danone and Natura have pledged to deliver nature-focussed Covid-19 recovery plans, and pop-up rainforests have been piloted in the Humber region by Birds Eye and Yorkshire Water.

Sarah George



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