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DONG Energy, Tetra Pak Announce Bold New Climate Goals

Image Credit: DONG Energy

There’s no stopping the low carbon economy. Two major announcements from DONG Energy and Tetra Pak could set new industry standards and pave the way for others to follow suit.

DONG Energy has decided to phase out the use of coal at its power stations entirely by 2023. The decision is in line with the company’s goal of reducing its CO2 emissions in power and heat generation by 96 percent compared to 2006.

Denmark’s largest company has already reduced its coal consumption by 73 percent since 2006 and will now be phasing out coal completely.

“We’ve decided to take the final step and phase out the use of coal at all of our power stations. The future belongs to renewable energy sources, and therefore we’re now converting the last of our coal-fired power stations to sustainable biomass,” said Henrik Poulsen, CEO.

DONG Energy has succeeded in scaling down its coal consumption through a reduction in the number of power stations as well as conversions to sustainable biomass instead of coal. At the same time, the company has constructed more production capacity based on offshore wind than any other company in the world. This means that in just one decade, DONG Energy will have gone from being one of the most coal-intensive utilities in Europe to being among the cleanest, most sustainable energy companies in Europe. DONG Energy is the first among the large European energy companies to decide to phase out coal for the production of electricity and heating completely.

DONG Energy phasing out coal by 2023

The announcement is paired with the release of the company’s 2016 sustainability report, Energy for a Sustainable Future. In addition to DONG Energy’s ambitious goals to cut coal out of the equation, the report highlights how the company:

  • Will work to ensure that 100 percent of the biomass usedinpower and heat generation can be documented as sustainably sourced by 2020;
  • Has contributed to the development of the offshore wind industry by considerably reducing the price of offshore wind
  • Has reduced its CO2 emissions by 52 percent since 2006 to aims to reach a 96 percent reduction by 2023.
  • Accounts for more than half of Denmark’s CO2 reductions since 2006.

“We are proud to present such strong results on our previous sustainability commitments, combined with even more ambitious targets for the future. This is in line with our vision to lead the way in the transformation to a sustainable energy system and create a leading green energy company,” says Filip Engel, Director of Group Sustainability.


Meanwhile, Tetra Pak pledged that by 2030 it would cut greenhouse gas emissions from its own operation by 40 percent from 2015 levels.

Working with the Science Based Targets initiative, the company also set a goal that by 2040, emissions will be down 58 percent compared to a year ago.

Tetra Pak is the first company in the food packaging industry to have its climate impact reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, a move which could set a new industry standard.

“The SBT initiative provides a science-based methodology for companies who are serious about incorporating sustainability into their business practice and want to do their part in avoiding the worst impacts from climate change. Tetra Pak is the first packaging company to complete our target review process and we are very pleased to see them join a growing number of companies that understand the benefits of transitioning towards a low-carbon economy.”

To achieve these targets, Tetra Pak will focus on three areas:

  • Driving energy efficiency, aiming to reduce energy use by a further 12 percent;
  • Purchasing electricity from renewable resources, investing in renewable energy projects and renewable electricity certificate schemes;
  • Installing onsite renewable energy systems such as solar panels.

Additionally, Tetra Pak has made commitments to reduce GHG emissions across the value chain by 16 percent per unit of revenue by 2020 from a 2010 base-year.

“The collaboration has helped us accurately define our greenhouse gas emission targets and set a direction for the company in a scientific way. The new targets ensure we are able to openly and accurately demonstrate the contribution we are making to a low carbon economy among customers and other stakeholders,” said Mario Abreu, Vice President Environment at Tetra Pak.

SBT is a partnership between CDP, WRI, WWF and UN Global Compact that mobilizes companies to set emissions reduction targets in-line with climate science. Since its launch in 2015, 208 companies have committed to set science-based targets and 33 companies across different industries have had their targets approved by the initiatives.


Libby MacCarthy is an Editorial Assistant at Sustainable Brands, based in Maine and France. She is a former urban planner specializing in sustainable cities, and an urban farming and film photography enthusiast. She holds a BA in Environment, Society and… [Read more about Libby MacCarthy]


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