1_Dawn Meats_Net Zero

Source: Dawn Meats

The plan will cover the entire supply chain across Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and align with the UN Sustainable Development goals. Pictured are (l to r) group sustainability director Gill Higgins and CEO Niall Browne

Dawn Meats has announced new plans to reach net zero operational emissions across its business by 2040, and across its supply chain as soon as possible.

The parent company of meat supplier Dunbia has kick-started its plan with an initial £90m investment across four key areas: environment, farming, food and society.

The Irish company’s plan will cover its entire supply chain across Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and align with UN Sustainable Development goals.

“Dawn Meats has an opportunity to continue to positively impact the supply chain as well as our communities and environment, and a commitment to achieving net zero operational emissions by 2040 is a goal which is the culmination of significant progress to date,” said Niall Browne, CEO of Dawn Meats and Dunbia.

By 2030, Dawn aims to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 59% through investment in new technology to transform plant infrastructure, transport, thermal energy generation and refrigeration systems.

The Scope 3 supply chain target ambition will be increased to align with the UN Sustainable Development goal target of a maximum increase in global temperatures of 1.5°C, placing the company on a net zero trajectory, it said.

In order to achieve this, the company said it would enhance production efficiencies, improve carcase utilisation and derive greater value from its livestock products, which would further reduce emissions intensity.

“Through working with our primary producers and wider supply chain partners on innovative approaches to food production and packaging we have an opportunity to address Scope 3 emissions in a meaningful way,” said Gill Higgins, group sustainability director at Dawn Meats and Dunbia.

“These are emissions which are amongst the most difficult to combat, but industry collaboration is vital in working toward Net Zero.”

For the year ending 2021, the group achieved a 40% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions and a 15% reduction in Scope 3 emissions intensity.

In addition, it aims to ensure 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable and will source 100% of cattle and sheep from Bord Bia assured farms in Ireland and Red Tractor assured farms in the UK.

It comes on top of work already being carried out by the group including an investment of £1m to measure the carbon footprint of 500 farms in the UK by 2023. This will act as a new baseline from which to measure progress against the company’s climate targets.

“Our leadership and wider team across Ireland and the UK are fully focused on delivering this goal and while we are proud of our achievements to date, we recognise there is much still to do,” added Browne.