Dawn Meats seeks 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 under Science Based Targets Initiative

Dawn Meats seeks 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 under Science Based Targets Initiative

10th Dec 2019

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Processor first among its peers in Europe to adopt these targets

Targets allow for highly accurate and verifiable measurement of progress in emission reduction

5th December 2019 – Dawn Meats Group has committed to delivering a 30% reduction by 2030 in greenhouse gas emissions from its own facilities and from the generation of the energy it purchases. The targets have been made under the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) which ensures emissions reduction is verified and documented against a scientific baseline. The commitment comes in the wake of the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid where political, business and NGO leaders sought to coordinate a collective response to global warming.

In May 2019 Dawn Meats Group, which includes Dunbia in the UK, signed up to SBTi becoming the first European beef and lamb processor to make such a commitment. In collaboration with the Carbon Trust, Dawn Meats Group has developed a pathway for its Scope 1 and 2 emissions and is working on solutions for Scope 3 emissions, with 2030 targets now validated and approved by SBTi. Dawn Meats Group has committed to a 30% reduction in absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2030 from a 2016 base year. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources and Scope 2 are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy. Significant progress has already been made in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions reduction in the period up to 2016, through the installation of heat recovery systems, district heating systems and the use of wind and solar powered renewable energy. This work will accelerate in the years to 2030 as technologies improve and the rollout program is completed across the enlarged group.

Dawn Meats Group has further committed to reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions of its purchased goods and services by 28% per tonne of finished product by 2030 from a 2016 base year. Scope 3 emissions are indirect emissions that occur in the value chain of the company, both upstream and downstream, and are from sources which are not owned or controlled by the target setting company. In the case of beef and lamb processing, livestock and meat products constitute the largest share of Scope 3 emissions and therefore present the greatest opportunity to demonstrate improvement over the next 10 years.

Dawn Meats Group CEO Niall Browne stated; “We have been working for more than 10 years to reduce emissions internally and more widely across our supply chain and we recognise the urgency to adopt even more aggressive measures to reduce emissions. We are working with stakeholders in collaborative projects to accelerate progress in this critical area. Achieving reductions of up to 30% in our greenhouse gas emissions poses a considerable challenge, but it is vital that Dawn accelerates the rate of change in the environmental footprint of its business.”

Group Head of CSR & Sustainability Gill Higgins commented; “Dawn Meats Group recognises that any sustainable targets and solutions to global warming must be grounded in science. The approval of our targets by SBTi is a significant first step towards a smaller emissions footprint and we will continue to stretch our ambition in the years to come.”

The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration between the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. The SBTi champions science-based target setting as a powerful way of boosting companies’ competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy.

Dawn Meats Group is a member of Bord Bia’s Sustainable Beef & Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS), the Origin Green program and the European Roundtable for Beef Sustainability (ERBS). The common thread of all 3 programs is continuous improvement. Through these and similar programmes the company continues to give leadership in sustainability and collaborates with like-minded organisations to improve environmental, economic and social performance across the value chain.