International food retailer Ahold Delhaize unveiled a series of value chain decarbonization-focused initiatives and targets today, including asking suppliers to report on their emissions and to set science-based emissions reduction targets.
The company also set a goal to reduce emissions across its value chain, which thousands of suppliers, producers and farmers, by 37% by 2030.
The new commitments follow the announcement last year by the company of pledges to reach net-zero carbon emissions in its operations no later than 2040, and across its entire supply chain, products, and services no later than 2050. At the time, Ahold Delhaize said that it would provide more details on its Scope 3 plans within a year.
The company also outlined a series of key priorities and initiatives to address its Scope 3 emissions, including supporting its brands’ suppliers in setting science-based climate targets, targeting areas such as livestock farming, raw materials sourcing, deforestation, food waste, packaging and transport; investing in the development of low-carbon products, such as plant-based protein products, and; engaging with customers including helping them to understand the impact of their buying decisions, rewarding sustainable choices, and increasing product transparency.
In its newly released Climate Plan, Ahold Delhaize said that it would ask all suppliers to report on their own Scope 3 emission, and ask suppliers representing 70% of its footprint to commit to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) by 2025. The plan also identifies agriculture as the company’s biggest opportunity to reduce Scope 3 emissions.
Ahold Delhaize stated that its new interim Scope 3 target is aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative’s Net-Zero Standard. SBTi launched the standard last year to assess and certify companies’ net zero commitments, with stringent criteria, typically requiring decarbonization of 90% – 95% by 2050, with neutralization of residual emissions that are not yet possible to cut.
Jan Ernst de Groot, Chief Sustainability Officer of Ahold Delhaize, said:
“As a group of mainstream supermarkets and retailers, we want to provide customers with sustainable and healthy products, while keeping shelf availability and affordability top of mind. Our commitment is to future generations, to continue to play a leading role in the transition to a more sustainable food system.”