It is important that we commit ourselves to setting emission targets and work to achieve them. We need knowledge, action and continuous improvement in what we do – and we need to challenge ourselves.
Metsä Board aims to be a frontrunner in responsibility, which is why we decided to commit ourselves to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBT) in the autumn of 2017. CDP, which is an important sustainability reporting and evaluation channel for us, recommended engaging in the initiative, and the same message was delivered by our key brand owner customers. Moreover, we had already exceeded our 2020 target for reducing fossil CO₂ emissions. It was time to update our targets.
Transition from fossil-based energy
We ultimately aimed to reduce our direct and indirect emissions by 100 per cent by 2030 as well as set a target for our value chain, too, in which we require our major suppliers to commit themselves to the SBT initiative. Our emission reduction targets meet the strictest requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement, which seeks to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. These updated targets were approved in late 2019 and were made public in February 2020.
This is where the real work began: we have made a mill-specific roadmap to phase out the use of non-fossil generated electricity by the end of 2030 – in 2020, fossil fuels accounted for 17 per cent of our energy consumption. Over the next ten years, this share will be replaced by bioenergy, fossil-generated electricity and other non-fossil energy sources.
Work throughout the value chain
The emissions produced in our value chain are a significant part of our total emissions, so it is important to achieve emission reductions in the value chain as well. The reduction targets we set for emissions throughout the value chain meet the strictest criteria of the SBT initiative. By 2024, our goal is to get 70 per cent of our non-fibre suppliers and logistics actors involved in our customer deliveries to set SBT targets themselves. The recommendation to set emission reduction targets is also included in our suppliers’ ethical principles.
Of course, asking our suppliers to commit themselves to the SBT target requires that our own employees, and especially our sourcing organisation, are committed to mitigating climate change and are familiar with the emission reduction targets. After all, our sourcing professionals are the direct interface with our suppliers. We have therefore trained our employees and started a dialogue with key suppliers. And in the autumn, we will expand our communications to a broader range of suppliers.
Climate work is not merely technology just built around the hard core of science. It is also about strengthening a culture of commitment to climate goals among both the company’s external and internal stakeholders. The more companies set their own emission reduction targets and require their value chain to do the same, the greater the impact on the climate.
We consider the Global Compact’s Climate Ambition Accelerator as an excellent way to raise the overall awareness of science-based targets, and to encourage companies to set their own such targets.
So let’s work together and always strive for better – the climate will thank us!