We aim to make our own industrial production carbon-neutral by the end of 2025 and to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the farm-to-consumer value chain by the end of 2040 at the latest. We do climate work in all our home market areas in Finland, Sweden, the Baltics and Denmark. Achieving the targets requires both a significant reduction of emissions and an increase in carbon sinks together with contract farmers and other partners. We lead the work in line with our own Zero Carbon climate plan.
The Zero Carbon climate plan shows the stepping stones for HKScan to achieve carbon neutrality as one of the major food companies in the Baltic Sea region. The identification of emission sources initially directs measures to activities with the greatest climate impact.
HKScan’s CEO Tero Hemmilä: “We have set ambitious targets and together with our contract farmers and other partners, we move towards them humbly but determinedly. It’s important for us to work long-term and create permanent, more climate-friendly operating models. At the same time, we understand that we are only at the beginning of our journey”.
From plan to climate action
Our journey towards carbon neutrality is based on identifying, measuring and reducing emissions. In 2020, we carried out an extensive survey throughout the Group and calculated the company’s climate emissions from farms to consumers in all of our home markets in Finland, Sweden, the Baltics and Denmark. In 2020, the emissions totalled some 2.3 (2019: 2.4) megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). HKScan’s climate emissions were calculated in line with the GHG Protocol (scope 1-3). KPMG validated the accuracy and completeness of the data.
In Finland and Sweden, food production accounts for about 20 per cent of climate emissions, of which meat production accounts for about half. In meat production, the most significant emissions are related to the production of feeds and the land use of fields.
Own production carbon-neutral by the end of 2025
Between 2014 and 2020, we have reduced the emissions of our own industrial production by almost 80 per cent, for example by introducing green, renewable electricity and by systematically improving our energy efficiency. Our production units only use renewable electricity issued with a guarantee of origin.
By the emissions from our own production, we mean the emissions from our production that arise from, for example the processes, heating and cooling of our production units and commuting. These emissions fall into the Scopes 1 and 2 of the GHG protocol.
We reduce the climate impact of agriculture through cooperation
In addition to HKScan’s own industrial production, climate impacts are caused by primary production, logistics, packaging and waste. These emissions fall into Scope 3 of the GHG protocol.
In primary production, our measures will focus in particular on reducing the emissions resulting from feed production and land use with a high climate impact. Promotion of resource efficiency and carbon sequestration in field farming are at the heart of the action.
Our priorities of the Zero Carbon climate plan in reducing the environmental impact of agriculture:
• We reduce the climate impact of animal feed production by optimising the use of fertilisers and other production inputs.
• We promote carbon sequestration in the fields together with our partners.
• We develop conditions for more effective circular use of manure, for example in energy production or as a fertiliser.
• We invite our contract producers to join our climate training and provide tools to develop more sustainable meat production.
HKScan’s contract farms have long worked to reduce the climate impact, for example by increasing the circular use of manure, introducing solar power and promoting resource efficiency in feed production.
Reducing emissions from primary production requires diverse expertise, so in addition to us and our contract farmers, other companies as well as expert and research organisations will be involved. Together, we will look into new ways to reduce climate impacts and scale good practices across our home markets with an ecosystem-based operating model. Read more about the Agrofood Ecosystem network.
HKScan involved in building local carbon sinks
Contract farms in HKScan’s food chain have significant potential to increase carbon sequestration. Measures can be targeted at field and forest farming. Plant species selection and farming methods play an important role in carbon sequestration in fields. Together with our contract farmers, we develop ways to measure and increase the carbon sinks in fields. In addition, we look into opportunities to increase carbon sequestration in the forests owned by our contract farmers.