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Hachette UK now SBTi-validated and has achieved 50% of 2030 target

14 June 2024 – Hachette UK’s ambitious near-term climate targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a corporate climate action organisation that enables companies and financial institutions worldwide to play their part in combating the climate crisis. The targets are a significant point in Hachette UK’s climate journey, and to mark this important moment, the company has established a year-round internal engagement campaign to inform and inspire staff, in collaboration with Hachette UK’s employee Sustainability Network.

Hachette UK, including its distribution business, Hachette UK Distribution, committed to its science-based targets in 2021 after a year-long assessment of its greenhouse gas emissions inventory alongside sustainability consultancy, Carnstone. Hachette UK’s approved targets outline a clearly defined pathway to reduce all three scopes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, helping prevent the worst impacts of climate change. The three commitments the SBTi has validated are:

• To reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions by 56.8% from 2019 levels by 2030

• To source 100% of our electricity supply from renewable sources by 2030, up from 25% in 2019

• To reduce absolute scope 3 emissions by 27.5% from their 2019 level by 2030

Hachette UK is already halfway towards achieving its 2030 targets. The SBTi-approved targets are aligned with Hachette Livre’s 30/30 Strategy, the name of its 30% carbon reduction by 2030 programme. These are in line with the Lagardère Group’s decarbonization strategy, which is also based on the SBTi (Science Based Targets Initiative) approach.

Steps taken by Hachette UK to achieve its targets include an in-depth analysis and understanding of HUK’s carbon inventory to identify the highest contributors and a program of supplier engagement to encourage all suppliers to adopt the GHG Protocol, a set of comprehensive global standardized frameworks to measure and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and commit to the SBTi. Further steps include successfully launching an employee action group, The Sustainability Network, which has fast become one of the biggest employee networks at Hachette UK, delivering events, developing staff understanding and engagement, and launching initiatives.

The business has also focused on improving the quality of carbon data from Hachette UK’s supplier base and the level of engagement from core suppliers, and is investigating the decarbonisation pathways for each function, setting stringent targets for 2025 and beyond.

To empower staff, Hachette UK has launched an internal campaign, including issuing an annual internal report to monitor and track progress and a ‘Sustainability at Hachette UK’ staff workshop to provide staff with an opportunity to hear from and question key members of its Sustainability Advisory Group.

Ben Groves-Raines, publishing operations director at Hachette UK, and Hachette UK sustainability strategy lead said: “I’m incredibly proud that our science-based targets have been approved and, with the progress achieved to date, this marks a crucial step in our commitment to fighting climate change. We have set reduction targets for our operational footprint – Scopes 1 and 2 – in line with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C. This target, plus our objective to source 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030 will ensure we are on track to be carbon neutral by 2030 in our own operations. We are following GHG Protocol advice to reduce our emissions before considering offsetting and are committed to working collaboratively with key printers, distributors, manufacturers, and other suppliers throughout the supply chain to reduce our Scope 3 emissions by 27.5%. This will enable Hachette UK to significantly reduce its environmental impact, hit our targets, and make a meaningful difference.”

Leanne Bryan and Alexandra Cooper, co-chairs of Hachette UK’s Sustainability Network said: “The approval of our science-based targets is an important moment for sustainability at Hachette UK, and the perfect opportunity to engage and inform staff across the business. We’re delighted everyone will be able to track and monitor Hachette UK’s progress via an annual report. And the upcoming workshop will allow us to hear about the work the company has done – or has planned – to reduce its carbon footprint and meet an internal demand for sustainable action in the fight against climate change.”

Hachette UK is committed to working closely across the supply chain and with industry bodies to achieve its goals. Hachette UK is a founding signatory of Publishing Declares, the industry’s five-point pledge on climate action and is an active member of The Book Chain Project, the Book Industry Communication (BIC) Green Supply Chain Committee and the Publisher’s Association’s Sustainability Taskforce. Common approaches, tools and the sharing of best practice are key to effecting industry-wide change.

As part of the Lagardère group, Hachette UK has signed the UN Global Compact, under which companies are asked to uphold core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.