Princes targets carbon-neutral operations by 2030, using ‘minimal’ offsetting

Image: Princes Group

The business told edie that it is planning to reduce its Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions by at least 50% by 2030, against the baseline of financial year 2018-2019. Further reductions will be delivered if possible; Princes has stated that it sees offsetting playing a “minimal” role in the journey to carbon-neutrality.

For Princes, the new targets build on strong progress in reducing operational emissions to date. The business has recorded a 23% reduction in operational emissions since the financial year 2014-2015.

In order to accelerate emissions reductions, the business has updated targets on energy, water and waste.

On energy, a target has been set to self-generate up to 50% of the business’s energy needs by the end of the decade. Princes is exploring further onsite renewable electricity generation and self-generated biogas from waste at manufacturing sites. It already hosts solar panels at its Long Sutton site.

Also on waste, the business is striving to maintain zero-waste-to-landfill status in the UK and achieve this status in as many international facilities as possible The result should be a 30% decrease in general waste globally. On food waste, a higher target to halve waste levels has been set, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3.

Finally, on water, a new aim has been set to reduce wastage by 25%.

All Princes brands are covered by the new targets. Brands include Flora, Napolina, Aqua Pura, Branston, Crisp ‘n’ Dry and Crosse & Blackwell, as well as Princes-name products including tuna and orange juice.

Princes said in a statement that the new 2030 targets, called ‘2030GreenGoals’, will lay the foundations for the business’s journey to net-zero. Many businesses differentiate between carbon-neutral and net-zero by stating that the latter requires emissions reductions in line with climate science, before offsetting or insetting, while businesses can claim the former by prioritising offsetting and insetting.

“In line with our vision to ‘proudly help families to eat well without costing the Earth’, we have a responsibility to tackle climate change and go further in our efforts to reduce our environmental impact,” Princes’ chief operations officer Barry McDonnell said.

“This is just the start of Princes’ journey to becoming a net-zero business and tackling carbon emissions beyond our own operations will be the next crucial step. In collaboration with customers, suppliers and the wider industry, we will join this ambition to drive meaningful, lasting change for future generations of Princes colleagues and the millions of families we make food and drink for every day.”

The news from Princes comes in the same week that Mars and Diageo unveiled plans to add more renewable energy to their electricity mix.

Sarah George  

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