Mondelēz commits to 2050 net zero greenhouse gas emissions and Science Based Targets

Global confectionery and snacks group Mondelēz has pledged a 2050 target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its full value chain, signing up to the Science Based Targets drive for limiting global warming to 1.5°C, writes Neill Barston.

As the company explained, it has joined a number of major corporations in the Business Ambition venture, which effectively aligns its long-term emissions mitigation targets with positively impacting temperature rises in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

It follows similar moves from other major food sector businesses operating within the confectionery and snacks market  including Mars, Nestle, Danone, General Mills, AAK, Lindt & Sprungli, Premier Foods and Perfetti Van Melle.

For its part, Mondelēz has also joined the United Nations Race to Zero Campaign to help build momentum towards a decarbonised economy. These commitments mark a bold step forward in Mondelēz International’s differentiated approach to sustainability that is helping drive lasting progress at scale and create long-term value for the business and its stakeholders.

“For the last several years, we’ve worked with the Science Based Targets initiative to reduce our emissions footprint and our announcement today will help accelerate our existing efforts to create a more sustainable snacking company,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re transforming how we do business across our operations and with the suppliers and farmers we work with – from seeking to improve cocoa farming practices in West Africa to promoting regenerative agriculture in wheat fields in the Midwest United States.”

This new commitment builds on the company’s existing science-based targets set in 2020 developed to contribute to combatting climate change. Over the next two years, the company will lay out a time-bound plan including interim targets for its key emissions sources consistent with the 1.5°C protocol and will provide annual progress reviews for transparency as laid out by the Science Based Target initiative.

As the business noted, it has already made progress against a number of its core environmental targets in recent years, including 68% of its cocoa for chocolate sourced sustainably through the Cocoa Life Program, and 99% of palm oil suppliers aligned to its 2020 palm oil action plan.

Crucially, last year it reported  24% reduction in CO2e from manufacturing, exceeding the target of 15%, 33% reduction in priority water usage, exceeding the target of 10%, and 31% reduction in total waste from manufacturing, exceeding the target of 20%.

Consequently, its approach to environmental, social and governance is designed with the goal of enabling it to deliver lasting change at scale by prioritising where it can have the greatest impact, focusing on innovative and measurable solutions, and collaborating to drive sector-wide transformation. The company added that it proposes to take an end-to-end approach in its aim to reach its net zero emissions target by focusing efforts across key areas and delivering against its existing goals and targets.

These include sustainable sourcing for ingredients and packaging –  sourcing 100% cocoa volume for chocolate brands through Cocoa Life Program by 2025, as well as sourcing 100% wheat volume for EU biscuits through the Harmony Program by 2022. Furthermore, the business is set to design 100% of its packaging to be recycled by 2025. It also intends to reduce  overall virgin plastic use by 5% and reduce overall virgin rigid plastic by 25% by 2025.

Significantly, its other targets include continuing to convert global manufacturing electricity footprint to renewable energy, as well as reducing food waste by 15% in manufacturing and 50% in distribution by 2025. The business is also working to achieve greater energy efficiency for its biscuit ovens and steam boilers, in addition to replacing natural gas and diesel fuels with greener alternatives.

In terms of other environmental measures, it is also exploring investment into new electric and hydrogen trucks for its logistics, as well as reducing warehouse emissions at both owned and third-party facilities by converting to renewable energy sources, and improving efficiency of its distribution networks.

“While we’ve already made significant progress, the road to net zero will require further transformation of our business as well as global collaboration across industries, sectors and landscapes,” said Chris McGrath, VP & Chief of Global Impact & Sustainability. “We will remain focused on leveraging proven models and available solutions, while at the same time using our scale and influence to help drive technical advancement, public-private collaboration and investment to incubate innovation.”



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