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Hachette UK commits to science based target for reducing carbon emissions

Hachette UK has committed to setting science-based targets for reducing its carbon emissions as part of the global Science Based Targets initiative, which provides companies with a clearly-defined path to low carbon transformation in line with the Paris Agreement goals and climate science. Hachette UK’s commitment follows a year-long assessment of its greenhouse gas emission inventory for its UK and overseas operations, covering scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, working with ESG and sustainability consultancy Carnstone.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on climate change has recommended a 50% reduction in global carbon emissions by 2030 to hold global warming to 1.5°C. Hachette UK will play its part in the global effort by reaching net zero carbon emissions in its operations by 2050 at the latest and it aims to exceed the following minimum targets by 2030:

• Reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 42%, from a 2019 base, through initiatives including an accelerated programme of moving to 100% certified renewable electricity sourcing and a move to electric vehicles as standard for company fleets
• Reduce scope 3 emissions by 25%, from a 2019 base, through initiatives such as reviewing the paper supply chain and reducing paper wastage, improved demand planning and close collaboration with our supplier base

Companies that sign an SBTi Business Ambition for 1.5°C Commitment Letter develop their targets in line with the science-based criteria and have 24 months to get those targets validated and published.

Ben Groves-Raines, Publishing Operations Director at Hachette UK, who is leading the publisher’s sustainability strategy, said: “We recognise there’s a climate emergency and it’s vital that we reduce the environmental impact of our operations in a way that’s aligned with climate science. Whilst we’re making good progress in moving to a carbon neutral position in our own operations, it’s clear that scope 3 (manufacturing, transport and distribution), which accounts for 98% of our emissions, is the area to focus on. Two thirds of our scope 3 carbon emissions are driven by paper, printing and binding. There are already a number of suppliers putting the effort in to reduce their impact and we’re optimistic that through close collaboration, we’ll see significant reductions over the coming years as we build a more efficient and less wasteful supply chain.”

Hachette UK is also a signatory of Publishing Declares, the industry’s five-point pledge on climate action, and a member of The Book Chain Project and the Book Industry Communication (BIC) Green Supply Chain Committee.

Groves-Raines added: “At times, the enormity of the challenge can seem a little overwhelming but by working collaboratively across the supply chain and with industry bodies such as the Publishers Association, Booksellers Association and BIC, we have already demonstrated that there are common approaches, tools and best practice for gathering data. I’m optimistic that, together, we can make a meaningful difference.”