Sustainability Management Board member Norbert Harringer: “Science-based targets as the key to decisively promoting decarbonisation”
AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG has submitted its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the NGO Science Based Targets Initiative for verification purposes. The aim here is to determine whether the Group’s objectives to reduce emissions by 2030 are aligned with those of the Paris Climate Agreement. AGRANA joined the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) in July 2021. The SBTi unites companies which commit to emission-reducing targets that are consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement.
“These science-based targets are our commitment to further decarbonisation. Our firm intention is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 percent along our entire value-added chain (Scope 1 + 2 + 3) and to cut emissions from our own production activities (Scope 1 + 2) by more than half. By 2040, we will reduce our own emissions to a net zero and, by no later than 2050, we are committed to net zero emissions along our entire value-added chain,” emphasises AGRANA Board Member Norbert Harringer.
Due to its proximity to the source of agricultural products, sustainability has always formed an integral element of AGRANA’s corporate philosophy. Previously an issue addressed by the entire Management Board, sustainability has now been defined as a separate area of responsibility at the management board level due to the rising environmental challenges AGRANA faces. Besides sustainability, Harringer is also responsible for the areas of production, investments, raw material procurement, quality management and R&D.
In order to define its climate targets, AGRANA has now for the first time calculated greenhouse gas emissions along the entire value-added chains (Scope 1 + 2 + 3) of each of its three business segments (Fruit, Starch and Sugar) given its role as an energy-intensive processor of agricultural raw materials. The major challenge which AGRANA has set itself as one of the first in the industry is estimating emissions from farming the agricultural products its processes due to the lack of supplier data. Its 2019|20 financial year was defined as the baseline for calculations. In total, AGRANA’s business activities accounted for around 5.1 million tonnes of CO2e over this period. The majority of this (around 80 %) originates from the upstream value-added chain (Scope 3) or, more precisely, from the growing of agricultural raw materials (again around 80 %). In order to reduce these emissions, AGRANA will be focussing on land use for agricultural production and on the impacts of agricultural growing methods. The aim is to collaborate with AGRANA’s suppliers and agricultural partners to develop and implement specific climate-related reduction targets by 2030.
In addition, and in its role as a processor of agricultural raw materials, AGRANA is already working intensively on implementing its plan to completely switch to renewable sources of energy for production purposes. Besides regular energy efficiency steps, key actions here will be a comprehensive green electricity package and, from 2025, the thermal utilisation of low-protein raw material waste instead of natural gas. The volume of investments in efforts to reduce Scope 1 + 2 emissions in the period to 2040 will be around 400 million Euro.