Commitment to set company-wide emission targets in line with climate science
On 14 April 2020, The Schneider Group officially committed to set science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions to keep a rise in global temperature to well below 2°C by joining the Science Based Target initiative. Fuhrmann Argentina with its farm management operation and wool combing mill is part of The Schneider Group and therefore a part in taking climate action through science-based targets.
Why have we committed to set a science-based target (rather than another target)?
Over the past years, we educated ourselves, connected with relevant organisations and established internal structures in order to continue challenging ourselves to reduce our own company-wide footprint. Through this process, we identified that science-based targets are the most demanding, precise and measurable target setting tools available. We wanted to hold ourselves accountable to the most serious and relevant sustainability credentials any company could aim for. We also wanted to leave no room for green-washing and not leave a backdoor open to wiggle ourselves out when things get hard. While our commitment will not be a walk in the park, science-based targets will enable us to measure exactly where we stand and help us identify in which areas of the business we can create the most effective changes.
Why is taking climate action important to The Schneider Group?
At The Schneider Group, we source, process and supply wool and natural fibres to assist our customers in producing sustainable, fully traceable, high-quality products. We believe in a future where all wool and other animal fibres are sustainable, ethically sourced and traceable. This is why we made sustainability a strategic priority for all our activities and are continuously investing in the following strategic areas: Raising animal welfare standards, reducing carbon emissions and overall impact; and applying traceable technology.
Our commitment to the Science Based Target initiative falls of course under the strategic area of reducing carbon emissions and overall impact.
What benefits do we anticipate after setting a science-based target?
The first most important benefit of setting science-based targets is that it enables us to actually achieve our vision of a future where all wool and other animal fibres are sustainable, ethically sourced and traceable. In addition, science-based targets will help us identify exactly where we are in our journey of achieving our vision and what the next steps are that we must take. It will help us anticipate possible threats on the road and help us innovate together with all supply chain partners involved to find solutions on how we can turn these threats into opportunities. These opportunities will be good for the planet as well as for all supply chain partners involved. Through our own Farm Management in Argentina, we already have a system in place that will let us learn what works on the farm to reduce carbon emissions and share this knowledge with other woolgrowers to achieve the set targets. Last but not least we hope that we can set an example and inspire other companies to join us on this journey.
What do we think the challenges might be and how do we plan to overcome them?
Challenges we anticipate revolve around the reduction of carbon emissions at scope 3 of our supply chain, meaning our suppliers; which are the growers around the world. We already know from conducting a Life Cycle Assessment that carbon emissions at the farming stage will be a challenge that we cannot tackle on our own. This is why we are already engaging ourselves in the global wool community of carbon emission professionals looking at this stage of the wool supply chain. In addition, we will be working directly with woolgrowers through our farm management as well as The Schneider Group Authentico Integrity Scheme in order to work on solutions on how to reduce carbon emissions jointly.
The environment and Covid-19
The Schneider Group’s Science Based Targets initiative commitment has been officially announced on the initiative’s website in mid-April 2020 while the whole world is still battling with the Covid-19 pandemic. The Schneider Group and its employees around the world, including all staff at Fuhrmann Argentina, have also been impacted by the pandemic and it is yet to be seen how and when we will jointly emerge from this global spanning crisis.
Nevertheless, even in these socially and financially difficult times, it is important to not forget the third equation of the triple bottom line of a business: the environment. Ironically during the Covid-19 pandemic, carbon emissions are low as travel and production have been extremely restricted. Immediately we see positive effects for the environment as for the first time in over 30 years it is possible to view the Himalayas in plain sight.
More than ever, it is clear that the industry, including the wool industry, needs to find solutions to create a high level of economic value with a low output of carbon emissions and high attention in animal welfare to ensure economic and social stability within society while also ensuring a healthy planet for our society to live on.
This is why even in these severe times, it is important for businesses to continue working on setting and implementing targets to lower their carbon emissions. This is the only way to ensure that together we reach the international goal to limit global warming to 2 degrees C to avoid the most dangerous consequences of climate change. The Science Based Targets initiative’s Sectoral Decarbonisation Approach helps determine how much a company needs to cut its own emissions in order to contribute to the goal. By joining the Science Based Targets initiative, The Schneider Group is doing its part to battle Climate Change.
As society settles into a new normal with the virus Covid-19 being a part of it we also have the opportunity to change how we live, play and work for the better of us and our planet.
For more information about Science Based Targets initiative visit https://sciencebasedtargets.org/