Suntory Group invests US$912m in renewable energy transition as Pilgrim’s UK targets net zero by 2030

JAPAN – Japanese beverage giant, Suntory Group is investing US$912 million in transitioning all its facilities to renewable energy as part of efforts to meet its goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030. 

According to a statement from the global beverage company, the investment will enable it to power its 63 directly-owned manufacturing sites and R&D facilities in Japan, the Americas, and Europe with 100% renewable electricity by next year. 

Transitioning to renewable energy will also support Suntory’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions across its entire value chain by 2050.  

“As a company with a mission ‘to create harmony with people and nature,’ we are committed to doing everything possible to decarbonise our business,” said Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings. 

“We will further accelerate our work by taking immediate actions in places where we can shift to 100% renewable electricity, which is a critical step in achieving our climate goals.” 

Renewable energy is a key part of Suntory’s carbon-neutral goal. As of 2020, Suntory says approximately 30% of the electricity used by its sites in Japan, the Americas, and Europe comes from renewable sources. 

Meanwhile, Suntory Beverage and Food Europe – which owns brands including Ribena and Lucozade – has already achieved 100% renewable electricity. 

Earlier this year, Suntory’s Kita-Alps Shinano-no-Mori Water Plant in Nagano began operating as its first carbon-neutral plant in Japan.  

The company’s Beam Suntory division is also opening a new bourbon distillery in Kentucky later this year, which will mark Suntory’s first distillery powered by renewable electricity. 

Pilgrim’s UK net-zero roadmap 

The sustainability gospel has also got a new committed convert in the name of Pilgrim’s UK which has set out a roadmap to become net-zero by 2030, ten years ahead of the National Farmers’ Union’s industry-wide goal. 

To achieve its ambitions Pilgrim’s UK says it will focus on significantly reducing emissions across all sites within its supply chain while continuing to use 100% renewable electricity across its manufacturing sites. 

Other steps include using only 100% verified deforestation-free, sustainable soya by 2025 and selecting all packaging formats based on the lowest carbon options available. 

In addition, Pilgrim’s UK says that it will “neutralize all remaining residual greenhouse gas emissions” using frameworks aligned with the Science-Based Targets initiative. 

Pilgrim’s UK’s net-zero commitment forms part of the sustainability efforts of its parent company Pilgrim’s Pride, which recently committed to achieving net-zero by 2040. 

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