Prysmian Group eyes net-zero emissions between 2035 and 2040

The world's largest supplier of cables to the energy and telecoms sectors, Prysmian Group, has pledged to reach net-zero for its global operations between 2035 and 2040, and a net-zero global value chain by 2050.

Prysmian Group eyes net-zero emissions between 2035 and 2040

Image: Prysmian Group

The commitments form part of a new ‘Climate Ambition’ and ‘Social Ambition’ frameworks that also include commitments on digital inclusion, community empowerment and the skills pipeline.

On the ‘Climate Ambition’, the headline commitment is to net-zero direct (Scope 1) and power-related (Scope 2) emissions between 2035 and 2040. The exact deadline will be finalised through the development of science-based targets aligned with 1.5C. The Carbon Trust is the Group’s chosen partner for developing and delivering against carbon targets.

Whichever deadline is chosen, Prysmian Group’s ambition for a net-zero value chain, covering Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, has a 2050 deadline. The Group operates globally; its largest market in terms of sales is the EMEA region, followed by North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

In the short term, the company is aiming to generate 50% of revenue from products, systems and services that enable the low-carbon transition in the industries it serves, up from 48% in 2020. Key products include new submarine and underground power interconnections for offshore wind farms. Prysmian Group has also pledged to allocate at least 50% of its total investments through to 2022 to sustainability-related initiatives. This will represent some €450m of funding.

The announcement on net-zero comes after the Group committed, last year, to begin reporting on climate risk in line with the Taskforce on Climate-Related Disclosures’ (TCFD) recommendations from 2022.

Just transition

The ‘Social Ambition’ framework has been published in tandem with Prysmian Group’s new emissions goals.

Commitments with 2030 deadlines include ensuring that at least 30% of the senior leadership roles are held by women; hiring at least 500 new female members of staff with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) backgrounds and delivering local mentoring plans to at least 500 students from marginalised backgrounds.

There are also ambitions to ensure that every employee receives 40 hours of paid learning each year and that at least 50% of employees become shareholders in the company.

Prysmian Group’s chief sustainability officer Maria Christina Bifulco said: “Just as we want to play an active role in the energy transition, we want to actively promote the transition towards a more equal, diverse, inclusive and enriched working environment and to positively impact on the development of the communities and societies in which we operate.

“Our investors are increasingly focused on the social aspect of ESG.”

At edie’s Sustainable Investment Conference last week, expert speakers from EY, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Citi debated how the definition of leadership in relation to ESG investing is evolving. You can read our write-up of their key takeaways here.

Building on that discussion, Aviva Investors’ chief responsible investment officer Steve Waygood 9 outlining how investors can go beyond championing ESG in their operations and portfolios, becoming “macro stewards” on the pressing issues of our time such as the climate crisis.

Sarah George

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