Submitted by: Matthew Robson July 20, 2020
According to Graeme Wild, Group Head: Investor Relations and Sustainability, climate change is already affecting every country on every continent through changing weather patterns, rising sea levels and more extreme weather events.
‘As an early supporter of the Paris Agreement, our overarching aim in terms of science-based targets is to fully contribute to SDG13, to ensure a more sustainable future for all and limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.’
To coincide with World Environment Day and South Africa’s Environment Month on 4 June 2020, Sappi Limited committed to set science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). This commitment highlights Sappi’s increased strategic focus on unlocking the power of renewable resources and will align their decarbonisation pathway with climate science.
Sappi have made the commitment at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic continues to make a profound impact across society. Together with climate change, these crises provide a stark reminder and call to action regarding the need to build more resilience and reduce vulnerability at all levels of society.
Through heightening its focus and ambition on climate action, Sappi looks to increase its contribution to building a resilient, thriving world. Within the context of Sappi’s 2025 sustainability targets, it has established a global specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target of 17% reduction in combined Scope 1 and 2 emissions under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Climate Action.
By region this translates to a 2025 GHG reduction target of:
- Europe: 25% reduction from FY19 baseline.
• South Africa: 20% reduction from FY19 baseline.
• North America: 5% reduction from FY19 baseline.
While these are not yet science-based targets, they will catalyse an ambitious emissions reduction trajectory. ‘We now have two years to work with the SBTi on setting and validating our science-based targets. This will give us precision for our longer-term 2030 and 2050 targets, will help our customers on their sustainability journeys and is an important milestone of our own.’