PZ Cussons publishes sweeping new sustainability strategy, including 2045 net-zero target

The company's brand portfolio includes Original Source, Imperial Leather, Childs Farm and Carex

Late last week, the company published its annual report for the 2021-22 financial year, which integrates financial and non-financial disclosures. A major update to its ESG approach is outlined in the document.

On climate, PZ Cussons had previously been working towards targets to reduce energy consumption and cut carbon intensity. It has now set a long-term goal to reach net-zero emissions across all scopes by 2045.

This goal is backed up with plans to set science-based targets for all scopes that span through to 2030, against a 2021 baseline. PZ Cussons intends to have targets calculated and validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The firm’s proposed targets are not yet listed on the SBTi website. Proposed targets will be listed in the company’s annual reporting for the 2023 financial year, a spokesperson told edie.

The report also updates PZ Cussons’ goals on packaging and plastics; waste; water and biodiversity.

There is a new target to ensure that 33% less virgin plastic is used in packaging by 2030 than was used in 2021. PZ Cussons will need to work on lightweighting some packaging, sourcing plastic-free alternative materials and incorporating recycled plastic content to meet this goal.

Additionally, the company will work to send zero waste to landfill “in countries where appropriate infrastructure exists”. It had previously been working towards intensity-based landfill waste targets, measured per tonne of production. Like the new climate target, this goal is something more absolute.

Regarding water and nature, the report confirms that PZ Cussons has made a forestry disclosure submission through CDP for the first time and is planning to update this disclosure annually. It is also set to make its first water submission through CDP next financial year and every year thereafter.

There is a new target to reduce water intensity by 30% by 2030, again, against a 2021 baseline. The company has also reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that all palm oil is sourced from independently verified NDPE-compliant  (no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation)  producers by 2023.

PZ Cussons appointed its first chief sustainability officer, Joanna Gluzman, in September 2021. She was tasked with overseeing this sweeping update to the ESG framework and sustainability targets.

In time, Gluzman’s overarching ambition is to have PZ Cussons certified as the world’s first FTSE250 company that is a B Corp. Prior to working for PZ Cussons, Gluzman held senior sustainability roles at Avon and BT.

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