The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) has confirmed and approved the climate targets submitted by Greiner. This makes Greiner one of 24 companies in Austria (as at September 2023) to have confirmed science-based targets. To receive SBTi approval, the defined targets must demonstrably contribute to the fulfillment of the Paris Agreement and so help to mitigate global warming.
“The approval of our science-based targets is an important milestone for Greiner. It shows that we don’t just talk about climate protection but that we also pursue concrete, scientifically sound targets from which we derive our climate protection measures. Even if we as a company still have a long road ahead of us, we have taken a very important step. And we also want to motivate other companies to commit to science-based climate targets,” says Axel Kühner, CEO of Greiner AG.
60 percent lower absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030
Specifically, Greiner is undertaking to reduce all absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2030 (base year: 2021). Scope 1 emissions encompass sources that fall under the direct responsibility or control of companies – such as process emissions or fuel consumption. Scope 2 emissions encompass electricity, heating or refrigeration – purchased energy associated with indirect emissions outside the company. Greiner is also undertaking to reduce absolute Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions – the emissions arising from the upstream and downstream value chain in relevant categories* – by 25 percent by 2030. In addition, Greiner is undertaking to ensure that 80 percent of its suppliers** commit to science-based targets by 2027.
More recycling equals more climate protection
In 2022, Greiner produced a total of 2.8 million metric tons of CO2, roughly equivalent to the average annual emissions of 339,087 European citizens. “We are aware of the responsibility that a carbon footprint like this entails. Make no mistake: The emissions generated in the manufacturing industry contribute massively to global warming. But if we want to make full use of our potential for reduction, we have one area that provides us with enormous leverage. Our biggest opportunity is in the circular economy. After all, using more recycled materials is the best way to protect the climate,” says Stefan Grafenhorst, Vice President People & Sustainability at Greiner AG.
In addition to focusing on the circular economy, Greiner has a series of further measures up its sleeve to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve the requirements of the Science Based Targets Initiative. One way the company plans to do this is by further increasing its use of renewable electricity. In Austria, Greiner already sources 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources; worldwide, this figure is 58 percent (as at 2022). What’s more, 4 percent of the electricity it uses in Austria comes from a total of eight PV plants of its own. The global share of self-generated, renewable electricity in 2022 was 0.19 percent; this figure is to increase to 2.5 percent by 2030. Improving energy efficiency is another way to reduce Scope 2 emissions.
A major focus at Greiner is on Scope 3 emissions – upstream and downstream emissions – as Grafenhorst explains: “Scope 3 emissions account for more than 90 percent of our emissions. But we have only limited influence here, which is why it is all the more important that we work closely with our suppliers and customers to implement circular business models. A key approach is to use even more recycled materials and to design our products so that they can be recycled after use.”
Greiner first submitted its own climate targets to the Science Based Targets Initiative back in November of the previous year. Once the targets were approved by the SBTi, Greiner started work on implementing them internally. In order to transparently disclose the progress of target achievement, Greiner reports to the independent ESG platform CDP and publishes the relevant information and data in the annual sustainability report (see: Greiner Annual and Sustainability Report 2022 - Greiner AG Annual and Sustainability Report 2022).
* Emissions from fuel- and energy-related activities, upstream and downstream transportation, sale and end-of-life handling (disposal or recycling) of products sold
** Measured against the emissions associated with the purchased goods and services
About the Science Based Targets Initiative
SBTi is a partnership between the Carbon Disclosure Project CDP, United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) that aims to develop methods and criteria for effective climate protection in companies and to validate the targets set by companies. Fore more information, see: Ambitious corporate climate action - Science Based Targets