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On the road to Paris

In December 2015, 196 countries met in Paris for the latest United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21). Givaudan is proud to be one of over 180 companies committed to this ‘Road to Paris’ initiative. In signing up to four of the ‘Road to Paris’ commitments, Givaudan demonstrates its desire to work in a broad global partnership of proactive companies dedicated to making a difference. Givaudan’s Sustainability Leaders share their thoughts on why taking the ‘Road to Paris’ is a journey we’re happy to embark on.

Givaudan

Leading the way

Companies can do a lot of good in creating their own sustainability strategies and programmes, but there is nothing more powerful than a coalition of like-minded entities working together. As Joe Fabbri, Head of Global EHS and Sustainability, explains: “We have been working with the CDP and its members for a number of years, and we were keen to adopt a number of the ‘Road to Paris’ commitments. In choosing four initiatives, we are underlining the fact that we support the science behind the latest findings around global warming. It also underlines our intention to act in the vanguard of corporations who share a global responsibility to play their part to limit the effects of climate change. So it’s about partnership and leadership.”

The four ‘Road to Paris’ commitments that Givaudan has signed up for are: 100% renewable electricity ; reporting climate change information in mainstream reports; adopting science-based emissions reduction targets; and removing commodity-driven deforestation from supply chains.

100% renewable energy

100% renewable electricity

On 100% renewable electricity, Koos, Head Sustainability, Flavour & Fragrance Operations, points to Givaudan’s policy of purchasing electricity from renewables wherever possible: “Next to natural gas, electricity is our second most important energy source, and we actively procure it from renewable sources such as solar or hydroelectricity. 

    For example, in 2011, 20% of all purchased electricity was produced from renewable sources, but by 2014 this had shot up to 33%. In terms of ‘Carbon Free’ electricity, this is also up significantly over the same period, with 52% registered in 2014, up from 38% in 2011. In Germany, Spain and Switzerland, our electricity purchases are already 100% green. Our objectives on this commitment are steadily being realised, with other regions planning to follow suit.” 

    Committing to 100% renewable electricity is a critical driver to the transition to a low carbon economy. Koos again: “Whenever procurement sources energy for the Company, a process exists to ensure that we look for green solutions. So this particular component aligns well with our existing achievements and will help to focus our future efforts.”  

    Supporting the science

    Adopting science-based targets directly fits with our eco-efficiency targets, and is in line with both past and future progress within Givaudan, as Koos notes: “We first set our own eco-efficiency targets in 2010. That came with some challenges because we had to benchmark the activities of other companies. Today, we are more mature in the process, with our own data, and we are now able to set targets that align with science-based methodologies that help to align carbon reduction initiatives with the latest climate findings.”

    All these efforts tie into our revised 2020 eco-efficiency targets reflecting the Company’s ambition to decouple growth and environmental impact – aiming to stabilise environmental impact while increasing production volumes. 

    To achieve this, Givaudan will stabilise its carbon footprint by reducing its absolute CO2 emissions by at least 4% year on year in order to compensate for its growing production volumes.

    Protecting the forests

    Removing commodity-driven deforestation from supply chains relates to the manner in which we source our raw materials. Maro, Manager Sustainability Flavours puts the issue for Givaudan into perspective: “Compared to some companies, the issue here for us is relatively minor, as we don’t deal in millions of tonnes of raw materials, but rather thousands. Where there are points of contention, such as with the procurement of palm oil, we are rigorous in our efforts to purchase certified supplies. We take the issue of deforestation very seriously. Regardless of our relatively low impact, we will continue to do the right thing.”    

    Aligning our goals

    Finally, on reporting climate change information in mainstream reports, Givaudan has been producing Sustainability Reports since 2009 and has assured them since 2010. In 2013, the Company also introduced its first standalone GRI Report, and in 2014 updated its GRI reporting to G4 Core. Pascal, Head of Sustainability, explains further: “Sustainability is at the heart of our business, and so it should be reflected in our mainstream reports.”

    The ‘Road to Paris’ initiative is just one other excellent example of how we can contribute as a company in helping to make a positive difference.