In line with its ambition to be a leader in society’s transition to climate neutrality, Södra has laid out its commitment to science based targets for 2030 in its annual and sustainability report, and to reach net zero by 2040.
The Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) approved Södra’s targets in December 2022 and will provide support in quantifying its emissions and following up emission reductions in a way which is structured, recognised and transparent.
SBTi enables Södra to set its emission reduction targets in the context of the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Near term, the company is committed to reducing emissions in line with a global warming limit of 1.5°C, compared with pre-industrial levels, by 2030, which is the scope of the science based target.
‘We are ambitious in our targets and longer term goals,’ said Anders Norén, director of sustainability. ‘The commitment of the Paris Agreement is to halve scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with 2020 as the base year, and reach net zero by 2050. Södra’s climate ambition is indeed to halve scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 but our goal is to reach net zero by 2040, which is ahead even of Sweden’s target to be the first welfare state to reach net zero by 2045.’
Science based targets are consistent with the goal of ‘Fossil-Free Södra’, the group’s programme of current and planned projects for emission reduction, which is the engine driving its climate ambitions.
‘Working with customers has always been a defining Södra characteristic, and science based targets emphasise this vital relationship,’ said Anders Norén. ‘After all, our scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions become our customers’ scope 3 GHG emissions and vice versa. ‘Walking the walk’ is the best contribution we can make to the transition to climate neutrality, supporting, and being supported by, all those in our value chain.
‘Our intention is to increase climate benefits all the way from our members’ forests to customers’ products. With this in mind, Södra has committed that 70% of customers, by emissions, will have set science based targets themselves by 2027: almost 35%, by emissions, have already done so. With strong support already evident among our customer base, we can look forward to a future with more joined up thinking when it comes to the transition to a net zero economy.’
As a large organisation, Södra can have a strong impact on climate transition. The group is one of Sweden’s largest buyers of transportation, for example, and intends to continue its leadership in the use of biofuels and electrification of road transport and rail, and to look at all possible measures to decarbonise logistics from its members’ forests to the customer’s gate.
Södra was founded in 1938 and is now the largest forest owner association in Sweden, with 51,000 family forest owners as members. Together, members own a leading industry that processes forest raw material into renewable products such as pulp, timber, building systems, liquid bioproducts and energy.