Britvic claims pioneering climate change stance

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Britvic’s sustainable business agenda includes targeting zero waste to landfill and helping to develop a circular economy for packaging
Britvic’s sustainable business agenda includes targeting zero waste to landfill and helping to develop a circular economy for packaging

Related tags: Drinks, Packaging & labelling

Britvic has claimed a UK soft drinks industry first as it announced scientifically-approved climate change targets, designed to help prevent a global temperature rise of 1.5°C.

The soft drinks company, which makes brands such as Robinsons, Tango and J2O, announced the new targets on 10 December as world leaders met for the (COP25) UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid.

Britvic's goals have been independently verified by the Science Based Target initiatives (SBTi), showing that they chimed with what the latest climate science indicated was needed to prevent a global temperature rise of 1.5°C and the worst impacts of climate change.

With the support of carbon management and energy performance business Carbon Credentials, Britvic has committed to halving emissions from its own operations by 2025. It has a further ambitious target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Every aspect of a product's lifecycle

Alongside this, Britvic recognised that its carbon impact extended beyond the company to include every aspect of a product’s lifecycle. This included everything from the harvesting of ingredients to the recycling of packaging.

Britvic has set itself the target of a 35% reduction in emissions across this extended value chain by 2025 and will measure all targets against its 2017 baseline.

These targets have made Britvic one of more than 310 companies worldwide committed to reducing emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. In its recent Raising the Bar​ report, the SBTi revealed that 285 companies with approved science-based targets were set to eliminate 265m tonnes of emissions from their operations, equivalent to closing 68 coal-fired power plants.

To reach the 2025 science-based target, Britvic was making strategic and meaningful changes to operations, such as installing biomass boilers to power its manufacturing and switching packaging from steel to aluminium cans. The business also moved to using 100% renewable grid-sourced electricity in every Britvic manufacturing site in Great Britain in 2018, following the green electricity transitions already completed for its manufacturing sites in Ireland and Brazil.

Urgency to tackle climate change

“We recognise the escalating urgency and ambition required to tackle the issue of climate change and are committed to stepping up our role in addressing this,"​ said Clive Hooper, supply chain director for Britvic. "By setting a 1.5°C-aligned carbon reduction target, the most ambitious science-based target currently available, we are ensuring that we lead the way in driving significant emissions reductions across our full value chain.”

Britvic’s sustainable business agenda included a number of initiatives to secure the planet’s future, such as targeting zero waste to landfill and supporting the development of a circular economy for packaging. These latest targets build on the business’ longstanding commitment to reduce its carbon emissions. Last year, Britvic reduced its manufacturing carbon emissions (market-based) relative to production by 16% through increased use of renewable energy and investment in new, highly efficient manufacturing equipment for its UK sites.

The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration between CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), 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.

Related topics: Environment, Drinks, Packaging materials

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