To restrict international warming to 1.5˚C, as per the 2015 Paris Settlement, greenhouse gasoline (GHG) emissions should halve by 2030 and drop to web zero by 2050. This week, Thai Union says it has change into the ‘first’ seafood processor to set science-based targets for lowering emissions that align with the Paris Settlement.
“As the primary international seafood firm to set targets verified by the Science Based mostly Targets initiative (SBTi), we’ll drive the deployment of latest environmental information assortment instruments and assist ship a web zero financial system,” Adam Brennan, chief sustainability officer at Thai Union Group informed FoodNavigator.
“From farms, factories and forests to open sea fishing and aquaculture, we’ll speed up our path to a more healthy and extra sustainable world.”
What’s SeaChange 2030?
Thai Union is taken into account the worldwide chief in seafood. Boasting manufacturers similar to John West, Rooster of the Sea and Petit Navire, the multinational is the biggest producer of shelf-stable tuna on the planet and the most important importer of shrimps within the US.
Like all massive meals firms, Thai Union is dealing with mounting stress to cut back its greenhouse gasoline (GHG) emissions. It must be famous that the seafood trade is answerable for fewer GHG emissions in comparison with its land-based counterpart: a 2018 research printed in Nature Local weather Change, titled ‘Gas use and greenhouse gasoline emissions of world fishers’, discovered that the worldwide marine fishing fleet produces GHG emissions equal to 4% of the overall emissions from international meals manufacturing.
Thai Union’s net-zero ambitions fall beneath its newly launched SeaChange 2030 sustainability plan. The technique contains setting ‘aggressive’ targets to fulfill by 2030, which Thai Union believes are the ‘broadest reaching’ within the seafood trade.
“These are our first web zero targets. Over the previous few years, we carried out our first full greenhouse gasoline stock, together with scope 3 emissions from throughout the complete provide chain, and submitted our dedication letter to the SBTi stating our intention to announce near-term and long-term local weather targets,” defined Brennan.
“With SeaChange 2030, we at the moment are in a position to publicly share our targets.”
The corporate says its commitments are designed to assist cut back carbon; minimise waste; safeguard ecosystems; guarantee protected, first rate, and equitable work is a actuality throughout the meals chain; and advance a more healthy world.
What are scope 1, 2 and three emissions?
Scope 1 emissions confer with greenhouse gasoline (GHG) emissions made by an organization straight, for instance these related to the operating of processing equipment or autos; Scope 2 emissions are these made by an organization not directly, for instance by electrical energy use; and Scope 3 emissions are these an organization is not directly answerable for inside its worth chain, similar to by way of ingredient sourcing or transportation gas.
Specializing in web zero, quite than carbon offsets
Underneath the SeaChange 2030 sustainability plan, Thai Union is committing to cut back scope 1, 1, and three GHG emissions by 42% by 2030, and to attain web zero emissions by 2050.
These commitments comprise two near-term targets that align with the SBTi methodology. One goal is for Thai Union’s personal operations protecting scope 1 and a couple of emissions, whereas the opposite is protecting the worth chain’s scope 3 emissions, defined Brennan.
“Thai Union chosen the very best stage of ambition for our scope 3 emissions goal, which implies that it’s aligned with the 1.5˚C pathway and the Paris Settlement. Aligning with this settlement means each targets are -42% towards a 2021 baseline.”
When formulating this objective, the corporate mentioned it knew it was essential to ‘tackle the problem’ and lengthen its targets throughout the worth chain. This implies ‘considerably’ lowering emissions from owned actions, bought items and providers, gas and power associated actions, and upstream and downstream transportation and distribution.
From a sourcing perspective, Thai Union plans to make sure zero deforestation throughout its worth chain, in addition to lowering farm operations’ power use, utilising various feed elements, and exploring zero and low carbon gas applied sciences.
“In our manufacturing, we’ll section out coal from our operations, set up extra renewable power and improve power effectivity. We’ll additionally look to make sure recyclable packaging is recycled and cut back the demand for uncooked supplies.
“All these deliberate initiatives will result in absolute reductions, which is our focus quite than counting on carbon offsets.”
Sustainable sourcing of uncooked supplies
Thai Union has pledged to make sure 100% of each wild-caught and farmed seafood will likely be produced responsibly or in an enchancment programme, in addition to with accountable practices based mostly on the corporate’s protected, first rate and equitable work commitments.
Because it stands, Thai Union considers 81% of its wild-caught seafood is at present produced responsibly. That is made up of 28% at present licensed by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), 13% in evaluation, and 40% beneath fishery enchancment tasks (FIPs).
For farmed seafood, 61% is sourced responsibly for Rooster of the Sea Frozen Meals (COSFF), and 35% is at present sourced responsibly in Thailand.
The seafood main can be committing to sourcing 100% licensed sustainable soy and palm oil, guaranteeing zero deforestation and conversion throughout its provide chain.
The corporate plans to make use of a number of certification our bodies, similar to Spherical Desk on Accountable Soy (RTRS) and ProTerra, which meet a minimal threshold on points similar to authorized compliance, accountable working circumstances, environmental duty, good agricultural practices, respect for authorized land use, and safety of group relations.
Thai Union’s personal feed operations at present use 74% licensed Finest Aquaculture Practices (BAP) feed. “We’ll proceed to work with our feed operations to fulfill these new commitments, whereas additionally extending the scope to incorporate all feed producers in our provide chain.
“Our preliminary focus will likely be on enhancing traceability to higher perceive the established order, the dangers and alternatives to drive enhancements.”
Unwrapping packaging commitments
Packaging is a major contributor of GHG emissions. For meals merchandise (produced on land), packaging is assumed to account, on common, for round 5% of the power used within the life cycle of a product. Guaranteeing packaging recyclability helps cut back this impression.
Thai Union has introduced a dedication to make sure recyclable packaging for 100% of its branded merchandise by 2025 and for 60% of personal label merchandise by 2030.
At present, 86% of its branded merchandise are packaged utilizing sustainable supplies, alongside a mean recycled content material of 35%.
“At Thai Union, our plan is to drive innovation to make sure our packaging is recyclable, compostable or reusable while rising the usage of recycled materials,” Brennan detailed.
By advancing its packaging ranking system and growing round financial system options, the corporate additionally plans to cut back air pollution from ending up in landfills, lengthen the lifetime of packages, and allow their accountable disposal.
“Moreover, our holistic technique contains being energetic members and advocates for laws and authorities interventions that assist efficient recycling. Advocating for elevated efficient recycling closes the hole between packaging supplies which might be technically recyclable however may not truly be recycled on account of nationwide recycling infrastructure limitations.”
Enhancing the sustainability credentials of its packaging can even assist mitigate plastic air pollution. Thai Union has pledged to divert 1,500 tons of ocean-bound plastic from coming into waterways and oceans by avoidance, mitigation, and elimination.
“Our holistic method contains air pollution prevention by new improvements, driving consciousness by schooling, changing to extra sustainable packaging supplies and the usage of interceptors in waterways.”