Canadian grocery retailer Sobeys’ parent Empire announced today a series of new short- and long-term climate targets, including goals to achieve zero in its Scope 1 and 2 operational and energy-use emissions by 2040, and in Scope 3 value chain emissions – such as those from purchased goods and services – by 2050.

In the near term, the company aims to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by a minimum of 55% by 2030 from a 2019 baseline. Empire also plans to work with its supplier base such that 62% of its suppliers by spend will set their own Scope 1 and 2 science-based reduction targets in five years, and commit to a minimum 28% reduction in emissions from fuel sold by 2030.

Empire stated that its Scope 1 and 2 targets exceed the 1.5°C/Net Zero by 2050 trajectory set by the Paris Agreement, while its Scope 3 targets are aligned with the requirements set by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), one of the key organizations focused on aligning corporate environmental sustainability action with the global goals of addressing and limiting climate change.

Michael Medline, President & CEO, Empire, said:

“At Empire we know that now is the time to act on the climate crisis. Committing to concrete, science-based targets is the way we will make a difference. With the strong partnership and collaboration of our teams, suppliers, customers and communities, we can achieve our shared sustainability goals.”

Key initiatives outlined by the company aimed at reducing GHG emissions will include electrifying vehicles, installing rooftop solar panels, lighting and refrigeration retrofits, working with suppliers to help them set science-based targets, and reducing emissions from fuel sold at filling stations.

In addition to its new targets, the company plans to launch a Sustainable Business Council, which, in conjunction with Empire’s external SBTi validation, will ensure accurate accounting of carbon emissions for internal monitoring and external reporting. The company also intends to align its external disclosures with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Mohit Grover, SVP Innovation, Sustainability & Strategy at Empire, said:

“I am really excited about the road ahead. Today’s announcement is a major step forward in our sustainability journey. We have a solid science-based plan, aligned with global standards. Through our work on climate, we will uphold our values and commitment to sustainability.”

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