Carbon emission reporting becomes mandatory in Ireland for green food industry players

Carbon emission reporting becomes mandatory in Ireland for green food industry players
Business Sustainability
‘Pathways to Net Zero’ program makes carbon emissions reporting mandatory for Origin Green members
Szilvia Szabó

Szilvia Szabó Author

Columnist, Editor
Managing editor, columnist, Business Spirit Platform and Profit with Purpose magazine

Origin Green, Ireland’s national food and drink sustainability programme managed by Bord Bia/Irish Food Board, has published new procedures and guidelines in March 2021 that put carbon emission targets on a mandatory footing for its members.

Origin Green is Ireland’s pioneering food and drink sustainability programme, operating on a national scale, enabling the industry to set and achieve measurable sustainability targets that respect the environment and serve local communities more effectively.

Over 53,000 farms and 324 leading Irish food and drink companies are collaborating under this programme to put sustainability at the core of their business to meet customers' evolving expectations locally and globally.

Pathways to Net Zero’ program makes carbon emissions reporting mandatory for Origin Green members in Ireland; Image: pexels

“Our €13 billion food and drink export industry has established a hard-earned, global reputation as a leading producer of high-quality, sustainable food and drink.

Maintaining this reputation, which must continue to be evidence-based, is more important than ever in the face of continued global trading volatility.

But, not at any cost.

We acknowledge that Ireland’s agri-food sector needs to do more and faster.

Origin Green has, and will, continue to deliver impact by providing a co-ordinated national approach to reducing emissions across the supply chain as a part of the Irish Government’s wider Climate Action response,” said Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO, in regards to the launch of this new programme.

This step marks a significant shift and will see member companies go beyond reducing energy-related emissions and focus more on their entire carbon footprint, including value chain and all indirect emissions, such as manufacturing and travel.

The new ‘Pathway to Net Zero’ document provides guidance for Origin Green members to reduce emissions and ultimately decarbonise their own operations and supply chains.

These efforts are made as the sector seeks to accelerate its contribution to the Irish Government's Programme to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

According to Bord Bia, companies' interest has been very high, with close to 300 food and drink companies attending the ‘Pathways to Net Zero’ launch webinar in early March 2021.

In order to drive impact at a large scale, carbon emission target first will only be mandatory to members with a turnover greater than €50 million.

Companies must conduct baseline assessments this year to determine emissions targets from 2022 onwards. These plans will be reviewed, monitored annually, and independently verified by international specialists Mabbett.

Speaking about the Pathway to Net Zero, Origin Green Director, Deirdre Ryan said: “Accelerating the transition to a zero-carbon economy by 2050, is required to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

Business leaders are now shifting their focus from what is achievable to what needs to be done, and there has been increasing interest among Origin Green companies wishing to reduce emissions within their own operations and also along their supply chain.”

As part of this new development, Bord Bia has prepared comprehensive guidelines for companies to decarbonise their own operations and supply chains.

The advice on net-zero target setting and implementation is based on the United Nation’s “Measure, Reduce, Compensate” model, which encourages everyone in society to take action to help achieve a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

The launch of the ‘Pathway to Net Zero’ project builds on several previous initiatives, such as the Origin Green Sustainability Charter.

That requires signatories to set and deliver on clear sustainability targets as part of their 5-year sustainability plans with a specific focus on raw material sourcing, manufacturing process and social sustainability.

Companies have set over 2,400 sustainability targets to date, reaffirming the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement.

Headline image: pixabay from Pexels

 


Szilvia Szabó

Szilvia Szabó Author

Columnist, Editor
Managing editor, columnist, Business Spirit Platform and Profit with Purpose magazine