Kirin Holdings’ net-zero by 2050 climate target validated by SBTi
08 Aug 2022 --- Japanese beverage giant Kirin Holdings’ long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target has been commended by the Science Based Targets (SBTi). The company is touted as the “first in the food and beverage processing sector” to have its science-based net-zero targets validated by SBTi.
More specifically, its Environmental Vision 2050 – which targets net zero emissions for its “entire value chain” – has been certified as a scientifically-based goal that aligns with GHG emission reduction enforced by the 2015 Paris Agreement.
A shared sense of crisis
During the 2015 Paris Agreement, there was a shared sense of crisis regarding climate change. Additionally, the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1.5°C Special Report outlined that warming temperatures must be limited to 1.5°C and GHG emissions must be reduced to zero by 2050.
A recent analysis uncovered that while four out of five meat and dairy sector capital investors agree with the premise that “climate change presents a material risk to meat and dairy industry-related investments and that action is needed urgently,” a much lower number of investors, 33%, are taking action on those risks.
Kirin Holdings stresses that while many food companies have pledged to take action, have taken place. However, there is no common standard for corporate net-zero targets is observed.
“The scope of GHG emissions to be covered, the means to achieve net-zero, and the level of GHG reductions differ, and thus a divergence from the target needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C has been pointed out,” it underscores.
In response to the inconsistent net zero targets, SBTi developed the “Net Zero Standard” in 2021.
Setting standards for food businesses
SBTi’s standard says that to limit warming temperatures to 1.5°C, companies must reduce GHG emissions by a minimum of 90% across value chains by 2050. The remaining 10% of GHG emissions can be removed from the atmosphere to achieve net zero.
Moreover, Kirin Holdings has set a mid-term target for 2030. It will reduce the total of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for the entire group by 50% and Scope 3 by 30% by 2030 compared to 2019. It is also promoting GHG reduction in value chains with its technological capabilities.
In detail, for Scope 1 and Scope 2, the company has installed heat pumps at six Kirin Brewery breweries in Japan, using engineering capabilities to reduce GHG emissions by approximately 3,800 tons per year.
For Scope 3, the company claims it is gradually expanding the use of “R100 PET bottles,” which are made of 100% recycled PET resin.
In January this year, the company released plans for the year centered around health and wellness among consumers, indicating the brand is shifting away from its traditional beverage lineup. Key focus areas include sustainable branding and strengthening its information channels to “instill an ‘immune care’ habit in consumers.”
Edited by Venya Patel
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