Zaandam, the Netherlands, December 21, 2023 – Today, Ahold Delhaize launches its updated Climate Plan. Building on last year's plan, we have made significant strides in three key areas: 1) We have refined our decarbonization levers with quantified potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. 2) We have sharpened which categories feed into the reduction target for our value chain. 3) We address the challenges we face in meeting reductions.
Frans Muller, CEO Ahold Delhaize: “Humanity has been living beyond its means, depleting planetary resources and stretching the boundaries of what our earth can carry. Ahold Delhaize is taking action. We lead the transformation to a healthy and sustainable food system.”
To support this, we have set science-based (SBTi) emission reduction targets for our own operations (scope 1 and 2) as well as our entire value chain (scope 3) in line with the UN’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, we conducted research to identify the levers we need to pull for each scope and presented these in our Climate Plan last year.
Jan-Ernst de Groot, CLO and CSO Ahold Delhaize: “With this update, we are taking an important step forward in defining a clear action plan on both our net-zero targets and interim (2030) targets. The challenge with long term net-zero targets is to connect these with immediate actions as well as concrete plans for interim targets. Ahold Delhaize is addressing this by providing a new level of disclosure in this plan.”
For our own operations, we are committed to becoming net-zero by 2040 with an interim target of a 50% reduction by 2030. Scope 1 and 2 reflect a relatively small part of the emissions from our value chain, but these are the emissions over which we have a direct influence. We are focusing primarily on these reduction areas:
Our 2022 mix of refrigerant types and associated leakage accounts for 42% of our total scope 1 and 2 emissions. We are aiming to reduce refrigerant emissions to reach net-zero by 2040.
In 2022, 35% of our scope 1 and 2 emissions were caused by electricity consumption. We plan to reduce electricity emissions to zero by 2035.
Our fossil fuel-related emissions come mainly from two sources: transport and heating. Combined, this accounts for 23% of scope 1 and 2 emissions. Our long-term vision is to achieve 100% fossil-fuel free transport in both Europe and the U.S. by 2040.
For our value chain, we have committed to a 37% reduction by 2030, and to reach net-zero by 2050. The majority of emissions in our brands’ value chains are from the products and services purchased from suppliers (88.1% of scope 3 emissions). We have identified three key priorities, and within that there are seven decarbonization levers that are estimated to have the most significant impact on our value chain emissions:
We aim to engage our suppliers to set emissions-reduction targets in line with the latest science. These emissions-reduction commitments will accelerate improvements in livestock farming, raw material sourcing, processing, transport, packaging, deforestation, food waste reduction and agricultural practices. These actions could address the majority of our scope 3 emissions by 2030. Currently, more than 50 of Ahold Delhaize’s top 100 suppliers have either set science-based targets or are committed to doing so.
In collaboration with our suppliers, we seek to reduce the carbon footprint of our local brands’ assortments. This strategy varies across our different local brands and can include promoting a health-focused and reduced GHG emissions product lineup, investing in product development, and offering lower emission protein sources (e.g. plant-based alternatives). All our food retail brands in Europe have committed to baseline their current protein ratio (animal versus plant-based) and set protein ratio targets by the end of 2024. For example, Albert Heijn is helping customers transition to a plant-based diet by aiming to have 60% of proteins consumed come from plant-based sources by 2030.
Our local brands continue to help customers understand the impact of their buying decisions. For example, they do this by stimulating and rewarding sustainable choices through loyalty programs and discounts and increasing product transparency through navigation systems and product labelling. By recognizing the challenges of behavioral change, we focus on addressing customer-identified barriers. We aim to facilitate easier, informed choices through accessible information, inspiration, and incentives.
Our focus is on gathering data to make material reductions and drive towards our interim targets. Decarbonizing the value chain is a long-term ambition that will require all parties in the chain to work together. There are numerous challenges and opportunities on the path to decarbonization, not only for Ahold Delhaize but our entire industry. We are committed to continuing to work together with our partners on these challenges. For residual emissions that remain hard to abate, we provide our position on carbon removals in this updated plan, and how we may approach it in the future.
Lastly, we acknowledge that climate change will also have an impact on us. We present our approach to climate scenario analysis and climate-related risks and opportunities within our CDP response and our latest Annual Report.
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