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Ahold Delhaize Brings Net-Zero Target Forward To 2040

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Ahold Delhaize and its brands commit to reach net-zero carbon emissions across their operations by no later than 2040 (scope 1 and 2) and to becoming net-zero businesses across its entire supply chain, products and services no later than by 2050 (scope 3).

Further, the Netherlands-based company has joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C, a global coalition of UN agencies, business and industry leaders, in partnership with the Science Based Targets initiative and the UN led campaign “Race to Zero.” 

In the past years, Ahold Delhaize and its brands have worked toward a net-zero scenario by 2050 and have taken a systems approach to building a climate strategy founded on Science Based Targets. It has conducted in-depth research on the impact of climate change following recommendations from the Taskforce Climate Related Financial Disclosure. 

“As a 150-year-old company, we are committed to do our part and ensure we can keep serving our customers and communities in a responsible way for the next 150 years,” said Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize. “We believe we are taking the right steps, through stakeholder feedback and third-party recognition like the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, ranking us in the top 10 percent of companies, and from MSCI, recently upgrading Ahold Delhaize from an ‘A’ to an ‘AA’ ESG rating.”


Scope 1 and 2 reduction levers

Ahold Delhaize’s current target is to reduce carbon emissions from its brands’ own operations by 50 percent by 2030 (2018 baseline).

Key considerations are:

  • More than half of the carbon emissions come from energy consumption;
  • More than one third of carbon emissions come from refrigeration systems; and
  • Less than 10 percent of carbon emissions originate from transport.

Therefore, the Ahold Delhaize brands continue to improve their own operations as follows: 

  • Replacing or retrofitting refrigerator systems with lower greenhouse gas alternatives, installing natural/hybrid systems and minimizing leakage from all systems; 
  • Accelerating the switch to renewable power, with a number of brands using 100 percent renewable electricity by 2023;
  • Building and remodeling stores in the most energy efficient way: installing LED lighting, adding doors to refrigerators and improving insulation;
  • Switching to low carbon heating, including heat pumps and heat recuperation;
  • Converting the light and heavy transportation fleet to zero-carbon alternatives including battery electric vehicles (BEV), and leveraging route optimization technology and improved fill mechanism to reduce overall energy use; and 
  • Applying an internal carbon price model into investment proposals from its local brands. 


Collaborating with the value chain to address scope 3

Ahold Delhaize and its brands have committed to long-term science-based targets to reach a net-zero value chain by 2050 and will advocate toward its value chain to build carbon emission reduction plans consistent with a 1.5°C degrees scenario.

The biggest opportunity to reduce carbon emissions in scope 3 can be made in agriculture, where Ahold Delhaize brands focus on partnering with farmers in this transition, by incentivizing sustainable change through longer term contracts with concrete environmental requirements and co-investments on their farms. A detailed plan for scope 3 will follow within the next 12 months.

“Ahold Delhaize’s local brands work with thousands of farmers and suppliers who create hundreds of thousands of products,” said Daniella Vega, global SVP of health and sustainability. “We consider this a huge responsibility and a huge opportunity. The brands can drive supplier engagement and work with them to protect and restore forests and other eco-systems.”

Ahold Delhaize’s Health and Sustainability strategy is built around the idea that the health crisis and the climate crisis are inextricably linked. Healthier food choices are, more often than not, better planetary choices. A more balanced diet and more sustainable shopping baskets help reduce carbon emission, improve soil health, mitigate deforestation and increase biodiversity.

For a complete overview of Ahold Delhaize’s health and sustainability achievements and targets, visit: aholddelhaize.com/sustainability.

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