By Franklin Alli
NIGERIAN Manufacturers sector-wide, are sweating to suck greenhouse gases (GHG) from the sky, all to meeting the United Nations’ target of a 45 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2030 and 0% in 2050.
An investigation by Industrial Digest shows that some big players in the industry – PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestle, LafargeHolcim, and Nigerian Breweries,
have invested millions of dollars in carbon dioxide emissions capture technology, while others are into tree planting projects including a switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy.
The United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said nations may need to remove between 100 billion and 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere this century to avert the worst effects of climate change.
The world signed up to this in the Paris agreement, agreeing to “pursue efforts” to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, while committing to keep the rise “well below” 2C.
To have just a 50% chance of meeting the 1.5C means halving global emissions over the next decade and hitting “net-zero” emissions by about 2050.
That means every sector of every country in the world needs to be, on average, zero emissions. That’s electricity, transport, industry, farming, the lot.
Documents obtained from these companies, reveal that they are all in the ambitious race to remove millions of tons of carbon dioxide from their operations across production, packaging, and distribution.
For instance, last week, PepsiCo, announced that it has achieved its goal of transitioning its U.S. direct operations to 100% renewable electricity in 2020.
The company said that it is on the move to intensify its effort to actualize its aim of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its value chain by more than 40% by 2030 and its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions 10 years ahead of the deadline.
With 12 countries in its Europe sector already utilizing 100% renewable electricity, PepsiCo plans to reduce absolute GHG emissions across its direct operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 75% and its indirect value chain (Scope 3) by 40% by 2030 (2015 baseline).
“This action is expected to result in the reduction of more than 26 million metric tons of GHG emissions or the equivalent of taking more than five million cars off the road for a full year,” the company stated in a statement.”
Commenting on the plan, PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta, explained that it is a matter of absolute necessity for the company to make a meaningful contribution to the net-zero emission goal.
In his words: “The severe impacts from climate change are worsening, and we must accelerate the urgent systemic changes needed to address it.
“Climate action is core to our business as a global food and beverage leader and propels our PepsiCo Positive journey to deliver positive outcomes for the planet and people. Our ambitious climate goal will guide us on the steep but critical path forward — there is simply no other option but immediate and aggressive action,” he said.
It was learned that with operations in more than 200 countries and territories around the world and approximately 260,000 employees, the company’s emissions reduction plan will be comprehensive across priority areas such as agriculture, packaging, distribution, and operations.
Coca-Cola, another giant beverage producer, recently disclosed that it has reduced its emission to 24% globally since 2010 and set a science-based target to continue reducing its greenhouse emission to 25% by 2030.
This was made known via its Twitter handle, the tweet, “We have reduced our emissions by 24% globally since 2010 and set a Science-Based Target to continue reducing our carbon footprint. We focus on the advancement of climate action, which is why we support the We Are All In a statement.
In a short storytelling video tweet, Coca-Cola started: “We are aiming to reduce our greenhouse gas emission by 25% by 2030.”
It says solutions in manufacturing, distribution, refrigeration, ingredients, and packing are being implemented to reduce CO2 emissions.
We learned that Nestlé emitted 92 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.
In a response to our inquiry on its carbon2 emission reduction footprints, the company said: ” Since 2014, the reduction of greenhouse gases across our value chain is equivalent to taking 1.2 million cars off the road.
“Over the past ten years, we’ve decreased by more than one-third the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our factories per kilo of product.
“We are committed to lowering the GHG emissions associated with the production and distribution of our food and beverages, by improving energy efficiency, using cleaner fuels, and investing in renewable sources.
For example: switching from long-distance road transportation to rail or short-sea shipping in Europe, opting for wind power to supply energy to our factories in Mexico, and installing wood-fired boilers at some of our factories in France.
We are using our size, scale, and reach to tackle climate change and make a big difference. Building on a decade of action, we will halve our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2020 – even as our company grows.
Our actions focus on supporting farmers and suppliers to advance regenerative agriculture, planting 20 million trees every year for the next 10 years, and completing our transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2025. Additionally, we are continuously increasing the number of ‘carbon neutral’ brands.
We expect to invest a total of CHF 3.2 billion over the next five years to move faster, including CHF 1.2 billion to spark regenerative agriculture across our supply chain.
In December 2020, we shared Nestlé’s Net Zero Roadmap. This detailed and time-bound plan lays out our actions to tackle climate change.
This roadmap results from a complete review of our businesses and operations to understand the depth of the challenge and determine the actions needed to address it. Our work to get to net-zero spans three main areas:
We are already working with over 500,000 farmers and 150,000 suppliers to support them in implementing regenerative agriculture practices. Such practices improve soil health and maintain and restore diverse ecosystems.
In return, we are offering to reward farmers by purchasing their goods at a premium, buying bigger quantities, and co-investing in necessary capital expenditures.
We expect to source over 14 million tons of our ingredients through regenerative agriculture by 2030, boosting demand for such goods.
We are also scaling up our reforestation program to plant 20 million trees every year for the next 10 years in the areas where we source ingredients. More trees mean more shade for crops, more carbon removed from the atmosphere, higher yields, and improved biodiversity and soil health.
Our primary supply chains of key commodities, like palm oil and soy, will be deforestation-free by 2022.
” Nations may need to remove between 100 billion and 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere this century to avert the worst effects of climate change.”
We expect to complete the transition of our 800 sites in the 187 countries where we operate to 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
We are switching our global fleet of vehicles to lower emission options, and we will reduce and offset business travel by 2022.”
Cement is the most commonly used man-made material and is responsible for about 8 percent of global CO2 emissions.
LafargeHolcim, the world’s biggest cement maker, is working frantically to slash its carbon dioxide emissions by one-fifth by the end of the decade.
The Switzerland-based group is also developing what it hopes will be the first “net-zero” cement production facility by 2030, which means any CO2 pollution is offset by taking an equivalent amount out of the atmosphere.
“It has not been done yet, so innovation is needed. We hope we’re going to be the first one that has that plant in operation,” said chief executive Jan Jenisch.
He said that LafargeHolcim had signed a pledge aimed at capping global warming within 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels — a goal laid out by the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The company is also working with the Science-Based Targets initiative, a coalition of NGOs and international organizations, to develop a “road map” towards net-zero.
LafargeHolcim has an intermediate target to reduce by 21 percent its greenhouse gas emissions against 2018 levels, to 475kg net CO2 per tonne of cementitious material produced by 2030.
“It’s the most ambitious target ever produced in the cement sector,” said Magali Anderson, chief sustainability officer.
Communications Public Affairs and Sustainable Development Director, Lafarge Africa Plc, a member of LafargeHolcim, noted that the cement industry is energy-intensive and a significant contributor to climate change indices.
It is known globally that emissions to air and energy use constitute major environmental, health, and safety issues. However, corresponding efforts and innovation have been deployed to mitigate all impacts to the barest minimum.
For instance, LafargeHolcim recently at the United Nations Climate week 2020 became the first global building materials company to sign the Business Ambition for 1.50 C pledge with the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi) collaborating towards a net-zero pathway.
LafargeHolcim has operated in over 80 countries including Nigeria for over 125 years, providing a range of concrete and cement products to build the country taking cognizance of the impact of the industry on humanity’s natural heritage. Hence, as a company, we are committed to minimizing the impact our operations have on the environment.
It is of note globally, that we also lead research in the use of alternative energy and the progressive substitution of carbon-emitting clinker with cleaner minerals.
We have also significantly reduced the risk of polluting water, often sharing and/or investing in providing safe water for the communities in which we operate.
As a global multinational company, we are resolutely bound by the commitments we have made to the environment everywhere we operate.
This commitment has informed our biodiversity investment in several projects for instance the Ilé Dotun Project developed in conjunction with Ogun State, The EU (European Union), and NSIA (Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority).
The project objective focuses on achieving land degradation neutrality (SDG 2015-2030 under the UN Convention to Combat Desertification) by restoring 108,000 hectares of degraded land belonging to forest and games reserves of Imẹko and Aworo in Ogun state.
Trees are carbon emission absorbers hence leveraging biodiversity to enable healthy ecosystems fundamental to life on our planet.
Another Lafarge Africa Plc biodiversity example is the Agricultural (Agric) Ecology project targeting over 20 Ashaka Works proximate communities, these include Gongila, Jugol-Barkono, Badabdi, Ashaka-Gari, Jalingo, Fishing, Bajoga, Sangaru, Lariski, Bage, and Darumfa located in Funakaye LGA.
The Agric Ecology project being implemented since 2018 by the National Agricultural Extension and Research Services (ABU, Zaria) aims to improve productivity and livelihoods, enhance resilience and living standards of the target communities through the deployment and adoption of socio-economic and technical innovations on sustainable agriculture and natural resources management.
The Agric Ecology project since commencement has impacted positively on food security and market competitiveness of the participating communities, empowered over 5000 resource-poor farmers, enhanced job and self-employment opportunities for youths and women, and augmented the sustainable natural resource management efforts of the communities.
Similarly, a five-year project has commenced to improve the management of the Maiganga Coal Mine water via distribution and discharge through a constructed wetland system developed in line with the LafargeHolcim Biodiversity Management program in the vicinity of Maiganga, Kargo-Burodi, Kayelbaga, Tudun-Kuka, Kalkulum, Lakwalak, Kubwan-tangible, Kubwan-Fulani, Kargo-maishanu, Piyau, Komta, Altai, Kuibah and Kulapandi communities in Akko and Billiri Local Government Areas of Gombe State.
This novel project, the first of its kind in Nigeria, is being implemented with the approval of the Federal Ministry of Environment and the enthusiastic support of the Emir of Pindinga, our host community to specifically and critically improve on the acid mine drainage and entrench a biodiversity hotspot in an arid area.
Wetlands are expanses of land- mangroves, saltwater estuaries, paddies, freshwater rivers, peatlands, lakes, marshes, etc., either completely covered or partially submerged in water for most of the year.
They support a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial animals as well as plants and crops. Wetlands also play a critical role in storing and cleaning water, saving cities billions of dollars in building and running water treatment plants. Constructed wetlands, such as Lafarge’s Maiganga Wetland Project, are now widely used for water treatment.
The system and the entire process rely on natural dynamics to achieve water purification. Constructed wetlands are becoming very important given that 35% of the world’s natural wetlands have disappeared since 1970 taking with them many forms of plant and animal species.
The construction works in the Maiganga Wetland system are completed and the floristic aspects of planting of trees are 60% done (afforestation of the surrounding and population of the wetland with prescribed plants).
The project has planted over 70,000 plants on six hectares of land. Pump installations have been tested and are running optimally. Apart from water quality enhancement, in the long term, this project will boast of biodiversity enrichment as well as improvement of microclimatic conditions of the local area.
At Lafarge Africa, our partners in government, and the communities around Maiganga are immensely proud of the contribution the wetland will make to achieving the global target of the LafargeHolcim group to reduce our carbon footprint by 2030.
The Magainga wetland will also deliver concrete economic benefits to over 2,000 residents of Maiganga and its immediate surroundings.
The irrigation system that is being constructed will enable all-year-round farming against the practice of farming only during the farming season. AshakaCem will furthermore support the Maiganga farmers with the methodology and skills to optimize the new cultural practice of all-year farming. Ashaka Cement, a Lafarge company, is in a contractual engagement with the National Agricultural Extension and Research Agency (ABU, Zaria) to work with the farmers on farming techniques that maximize yields. Over 1000 livestock will also have improved access to water.
The Maiganga Wetlands and biodiversity area will also grow economic crops such as mangoes, cashew, etc thereby contributing to the overall rehabilitated areas of the Maiganga coal mine site. The entire project will sustain the peace within the general area. The abundance of treated water for communities’ use all year will eliminate sometimes aggressive competition for limited sources of water.
Lafarge Africa is also deploying regenerative agriculture, this essentially means we are leveraging conservation and rehabilitation to food and farming systems. In Gombe state, 500 hectares of land are contributing to sustainable food production. We are deploying greenhouse farming and supporting local farmers with skills inclusive of contemporary farming techniques.”
Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB), franchise bottler of Heineken Lager, in its recent ‘Brewing a Better World’ sustainability reports, embarked on renewable energy and trees planting initiatives to enable it to achieve a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 as outlined under the Brewing a Better World initiative.
“During the year, three of our breweries transited from the use of diesel to natural gas, which reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 8% from
13.2 kg CO2-eq/hl in 2013 to 12.2 kg
CO2-eq/hl in 2014.
Going forward, we will switch more of our breweries from the use of fossil fuel to gas and progressively achieve our goal of reducing CO2 emission in our breweries by 40% in 2020.”
It was learned that the company is paying CrossBoundary Energy to install a 650 kW solar plant at NB’s Ibadan Brewery.
CrossBoundary Energy will install and operate the solar energy plant as Heineken’s first solar project in Africa.
Under the agreement, the renewable energy investment fund will operate the rooftop facility on behalf of Nigerian Breweries as part of a 15-year solar services period.
The deal will see NB only pay for solar power produced, receiving a single monthly bill that incorporates all maintenance, monitoring, insurance, and financing costs.
The solar project will supply 1GWh annually to the Ibadan brewery at a significant discount to their current cost of power while reducing the site’s carbon dioxide emissions by over 10,000 tonnes over the lifespan of the plant.
Jordi Borrut Bel, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc said: “We are delighted to be a pioneer in the adoption of solar energy in Nigeria.
The solar plant will help power our world-class brewery in Ibadan, enabling us to deliver on commitments under our ‘Brewing a Better World’ initiatives and supporting Heineken’s global ‘Drop the C’ program renewable energy.”
Heineken’s Drop the C program for renewable energy aims to grow its share of production-related energy sourced from renewables from the current level of 14% to 70% by 2030.
Apart from investing in renewable power, the company is also pouring N500 million into a reforestation scheme in Ogun State.
The investment will aid the reclamation of the degraded Olokemeji forest reserve in the Odeda local government area of the state.
In this respect, the Nigerian Breweries is partnering with Ogun State to plant 600,000 trees on 500 hectares of land within the Olokemi forest reserve for a 10-year duration to mitigate the negative effects of deforestation, climate change, and greenhouse emissions.
Speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ogun State government in Abeokuta, recently, Sade Morgan, director of corporate affairs, NB Plc, said the reforestation plan was aimed at preserving the environment, protecting the watershed, and replenishing soil water, thereby mitigating the effects of global warming.