The Encore Group has become one of a small pool of UK printers to have its emissions targets validated with the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi).
Science-based targets provide a clearly defined pathway for companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
Print and packaging specialist The Encore Group, which operates sites in Peterlee, County Durham; Washington, Tyne and Wear; and Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, has committed to a 46% reduction in its scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2027 from a 2019 base year.
This target is aligned with keeping global warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.
For Encore, this would mean a reduction in its annual emissions of 725 tonnes of COe – the equivalent of 355 return flights from London to New York or 2.6 million miles driven in an average car.
The business has already migrated to zero-carbon electricity and introduced electric vehicles to its sales fleet. Emissions that have yet to be reduced are offset with the global conservation charity World Land Trust through Encore’s membership of the Carbon Balanced Printer programme.
Encore Group managing director David Cooper said: “We are thrilled to have our carbon reduction targets validated by the Science Based Target initiative. The Encore Group prides itself on our ability to meet our customers’ needs. More than just quality and price, our customers expect the highest levels of environmental protection.
“With this important first step complete, our customers can be confident knowing The Encore Group can now support them on their own journeys to net-zero.”
As part of its validated near-term science-based target, Encore has also committed to measuring and reducing its scope 3 emissions.
Scope 3 – which includes emissions from purchased materials, transport, business travel, waste, and end-of-life treatment – can account for 90% of an organisation’s carbon impact.
The Encore Group will continue working in partnership with net-zero consultancy Nero to measure, track, and reduce its scope 3 emissions. Nero was founded in May by managing director Greg Selfe, previously sales and marketing director at CarbonCO.
He told Printweek of the initiative: “I’ve spent the last eight years working for Two Sides and then CarbonCO, so about sustainability specifically for the print industry, and I think that’s what built quite an inherent passion for print and paper sustainability.
“And when that evolved to carbon and carbon measurement, and the opportunities for printers there, I think it was a natural progression to look at this a little more holistically and to help printers measure and reduce their entire impacts in a way that is not going to be detrimental to business processes.”
Selfe said Encore Group had now made “a huge first step towards net-zero”.
“By having its near-time target validated by the SBTi, Encore sends a clear message to its stakeholders that it is taking climate change seriously. But the real hard work is yet to begin, and it’s great to see The Encore Group eager to move onto the next step of its net-zero journey.”
Following its first scope 3 assessment, The Encore Group is aiming to submit a net-zero target to the SBTi for validation.
These long-term targets require a 90% reduction in absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 2050 at the latest, with the remaining emissions being neutralised through carbon removals.
Nero said that, as of August 2022, there were only 14 UK companies that had such ambitious net-zero targets validated with the SBTi.
Encore Packaging Solutions, part of the Encore Group, recently invested in its fourth Bobst machine to support its growth ambitions, taking delivery of the new Expertfold 110 A2 at its Peterlee site in April.