DSM emissions goals approved by Science Based Targets initiative

Science-based reduction targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been put in place by global nutrition, health and sustainable living firm Royal DSM.

DSM is setting an ambitious target to reduce indirect value chain emissions by 28% per ton of product produced by 2030

DSM is setting an ambitious target to reduce indirect value chain emissions by 28% per ton of product produced by 2030

The company announced the plans in order to align with the Paris Agreement, and claims to be the first European company in its sector to have validated science-based targets.

As a result of the validation, it has now committed to reducing 30% of its GHG emissions from direct production and purchased energy by 2030 compared to 2016 levels. It plans energy efficiency measures and sourcing more renewable energy to achieve its goals, with 75% renewable electricity by 2030 and the application of an internal carbon price of €50 per ton of CO2 to guide investments and operational decisions towards low carbon.

The firm is also setting an ambitious target to reduce indirect value chain emissions by 28% per ton of product produced by 2030. This will be driven by its "CO2reduce programme", which encourages suppliers to reduce their climate impact.

The overall targets for the business were assessed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to be in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

Alexander Farsan, Global Lead for science-based targets at WWF, welcomed the “ambitious step” stating that the firm was “real leaders in their sector and are doing their part to align with global efforts to prevent the most dangerous effects of global warming".

DSM's chairman, Feike Sijbesma, said: “Combating climate change is not just a responsibility but also a business opportunity for DSM. With validated science-based targets, we take a major step forward in delivering our contribution to the Paris Agreement, and invite peers and partners to follow suit.”

SBTi validated companies

The news follows the SBTi announcing last month it will publish an update to its target validation criteria in April, in a bid to encourage more businesses to set ambitious carbon reduction aims in line with a 1.5C pathway. A key change is that a “well-below 2C” pathway will become a minimum requirement, up from the current 2C criteria.

Only four companies – BT, Carlsberg, Tesco and Pukka Herbs – have set verified targets in line with a 1.5C pathway to date.

DSM sits in a group of more than 160 companies, with the likes of home improvement retailer Kingfisher and sportswear brand Asics, who have had their 2C goals rubber-stamped. 

A further 350 companies have pledged to set approved targets within the next two years, including confectionary giant Hershey Company, which announced this commitment last month. In total, more than 800 firms have publicly voiced their support for the SBTi.

James Evison



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