Hempel is joining the more than 1,000 international companies committing to climate action by setting a Science Based Target to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a global initiative headed by the civil society organisations WWF, CDP, UN Global Compact and World Resources Institute.
“At Hempel we want to put sustainability at the heart of how we do business, and we want to do it with a high level of ambition and credibility. By working with the SBTi, we can enter this journey knowing that we are guided by a very well credited programme,” says Hempel CEO, Lars Petersson.
Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, the founder of SBTi, stresses the need for more companies to do as Hempel and commit to fighting climate change on a scientific basis:
“The science is clear: In order to limit the catastrophic impacts of climate change, we must ensure warming does not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. The ambition is high but it’s achievable — and science based targets give companies a roadmap for getting there.”
Hempel signs on to the ambitious ‘1.5-degree target’
Hempel has chosen to commit to the more ambitious path of the SBTi, the “1.5-degree target”, which only 300 other companies have joined so far. This means that the company will have to reduce emissions throughout its value chain in line with what is needed to limit a global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
On top of that Hempel aims to go faster than the SBTi in terms of reducing emissions from their own plants and the energy they buy – so called scope 1 and 2 emissions. Here, the aim is to be carbon neutral already in 2025.
“As for many industry companies, our own operational emissions are relatively small compared to our value chain, but it is the part where we have most control. We wish to demonstrate that we can move fast on the climate agenda. It supports our company values and commitment to operating responsibly and we know this is important to our employees and, not least, to our customers,” says Lars Petersson.
Hempel’s ambition is to double in size in the next five years, which makes the commitment to reduce emissions even more important.
“We want to show it is possible to decouple growth from CO2 emissions in our own operations, and at the same time meet the 1.5-degree target for the rest of our value chain. We don’t know all the steps on our journey yet, but we are committed to doing our part as a company on climate change, ” says Lars Petersson
A principled approach
Implementation will be based on a transition to renewable electricity and energy reduction in own operations. A shift towards electric vehicles in the company fleet will also start in 2021. Reducing scope 3 emissions will require e.g. working with suppliers who prioritise the climate agenda and a shift towards low-impact materials.
The work is guided by a set of principles for how Hempel wants to work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These principles are:
- We only take actions that are supported by the leading industry authorities on reduction of CO2 emissions, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and SBTi
- Our methods used will be independently verified by external auditors
- We continually review local markets and new developments to ensure we access best available energy options as and when they become available.
The commitment to SBTi is a part of a larger sustainability strategy which Hempel will present in the beginning of 2021. Hempel’s Science Based Targets are expected to be reviewed and verified by the SBTi for all three scopes in 2021.