British American Tobacco joins Race to Zero and targets net zero emissions by 2050

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British American Tobacco (BAT) is the latest company to join the UN’s Race to Zero initiative, pledging to halve global emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 later.

Race to Zero now represents more than 4000 companies

BAT confirmed this morning (October 15) that it has joined Race to Zero, the largest ever alliance of companies committed to net zero emissions. Campaign calls on signatories to play a role in halving emissions by 2030

Race to Zero is the largest alliance ever committed to halving global emissions by 2030 and achieving net carbon emissions by 2050. The campaign represents more than 4,000 companies estimated to cover nearly 25% of the world. Global CO.2 emissions and more than 50% of GDP.

Earlier this year, BAT updated its ambition to become carbon neutral across all of its businesses by 2030 to now represent its entire value chain by 2050.

Last year, the company announced its intention to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 for its business operations and phase out unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025. At the time, the company noted that Scope 3’s emissions accounted for 90% of its total carbon footprint and it was “to engage with [it’s] largest direct suppliers of product materials and conducting climate change impact assessments for major tobacco leaf supplier countries ”.

The new commitment also aims to reduce emissions across its entire value chain (Scope 3) to reach net zero by 2050. BAT has also committed to recycle 30% of the water it uses d ‘by 2025 and to have 100% of its manufacturing sites certified by the Alliance for Water Management (AWS).

Kingsley Wheaton, BAT Marketing Director, said: “Our goal of building A Better Tomorrow ensures that sustainability is at the forefront in everything we do. We are therefore proud to support the Race to Zero campaign. This adds to our journey of new categories – with Vuse, glo and Velo – and our ambition to have 30 million non-combustible users and £ 5 billion in new category revenue by 2025. ”

In 2020, BAT achieved a 30.9% reduction in emissions from its operations and reduced its emissions by more than 37% from a 2017 benchmark. Earlier this year, the company introduced the world’s leading brand of carbon neutral vape, Vuse.

The company is gaining momentum

At present, European companies are far from meeting their net zero commitments. Almost a third of Europe’s largest companies have pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, but only 5% are on track to meet those ambitions, according to a new study.

The “Achieve Net-Zero by 2050», Accenture report analyzing the climate commitments of more than 1,000 companies listed in the main European stock indexes. The analysis found that 30% of these companies are now committed to achieving zero net worth by 2050 at the latest.

However, the report also finds that only 5% of the companies analyzed are on track to achieve their net zero ambitions for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, let alone value chain emissions.

Accenture notes that the pace of decarbonization of these companies has reduced emissions by an average of 10% over the past decade. Interestingly, companies that do not have net zero targets have seen their emissions increase.

Matt Masse


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