We are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint throughout our value chain. Our Climate Policy details our strategy, oversight and response to climate-related issues within our organization and throughout our value chain. As a World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers Partner, member of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, and signatory of the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, we support the global effort to reduce GHG emissions.
We aim to reduce our GHG emissions by 70% (against our 2015 baseline) and work with our supply chain to reduce our Scope 3 emissions by 30% (against our 2018 baseline) - with an ambition of net zero by 2050.
As part of our effort to improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions, our LGM and RBIS businesses have annual energy intensity improvement targets, measured as megawatt hours of electricity and natural gas consumed per unit of production. As of September 30, 2020, our LGM business reduced the energy intensity of its manufacturing facilities by 19.2% compared to its 2015 baseline, an average reduction of 3.8% per year. Over the same period of time, our RBIS Apparel business reduced energy intensity by 36%, an average reduction of 8.6% per year.
We also continue to invest in renewable energy to reduce GHG emissions. We entered into a wind virtual power purchase agreement for the Plum Creek Wind project—an 82 turbine, 230-megawatt wind farm in Wayne County, Nebraska—in 2018. In June 2020, the project began commercial operation. Our expected annual off-take is more than 127,000 megawatt hours, with an associated reduction in market-based GHG emissions of approximately 100,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.
2020 was also the first full year of operation for solar panel installations at LGM manufacturing sites in Kunshan, China; Pune, India; Bangi, Malaysia; and Roodepoort, South Africa. Combined, they provided more than 2,400 megawatt hours of renewable energy during the year.
In addition, our RBIS team in China purchased international renewable energy certificates (I-RECs) to further increase the percentage of renewable energy in our overall energy consumption. The I-RECs cover all RBIS operations in mainland China and give them a 100% renewable electricity rate. The I-RECs reduced GHG reductions for all of RBIS by more than 50% compared to 2019.
How we Measure our Footprint
We’ve used ASPIRE, our environmental, health, and safety data-management system, since 2015. The system collects and calculates environmental, climate, and safety metrics for our operations, enabling us to track monthly progress for each of our sites around the globe.
To further measure and understand its impact, our RBIS business uses The Higg Index, a standardized suite of tools created by members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to help companies understand their environmental and social impacts. Using The Higg Index tools, RBIS completed 30 audits of its sites in the 2017-2018 timeframe.
The following are examples of other actions we’ve taken to measurably reduce our environmental footprint.
Label and Packaging Materials
Increasing our Solar Capacity
Our commitment to reducing emissions requires looking beyond energy efficiency to strategies such as generating energy from renewable sources like solar. In Kunshan, India, we installed solar panels covering about 10,000 square meters on the roof of our Label and Packaging Materials facility. The panels generate about 800,000 kilowatt-hours annually per our power purchase agreement, reducing coal consumption by 288 tons each year and avoiding 711 tons of resulting carbon dioxide emissions.
Leading by Example in Norway
Our Norway facility, which manufactures heat transfer labels and embellishments—including names and numbers for FC Barcelona uniforms— is located between glaciers and a raging river. We use cold water from the river to cool the facility, reducing its energy use by more than 95%.
The site is also certified by Eco-Lighthouse, Norway’s most widely used certification for companies seeking to document their environmental efforts and demonstrate social responsibility.
Using Wind in Belgium to Help Meet our Sustainability Goals
In 2017, in cooperation with Eneco, a supplier of renewable energy, our team installed its first on-site wind turbine. The tower went up at our Turnhout, Belgium, facility, which produces pressure-sensitive tapes and medical products. In just one year, our new wind turbine generated 4.3 gigawatt-hours out of a maximum capacity of 4.8, which is 25% of the Turnhout plant’s annual energy consumption.