chris sheppard emr ceo
Chris Sheppard, CEO of EMR

EMR seeks to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 with new strategy

The company’s sustainability strategy outlines emission reduction goals by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions across its value chain by 2040.

Global metal and plastic recycler European Metal Recycling Ltd. (EMR), which is headquartered in the U.K., has launched its sustainability strategy, which establishes its target of net-zero carbon emissions across its entire value chain by 2040.

Our Decade of Action details the measures EMR will take over the next 10 years on its journey to become carbon net-zero across the group with key targets and milestones.

The strategy establishes a 2030 net-zero target for indirect emissions created by the purchase of electricity or steam, defined as Scope 2 emissions under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, and a 2040 target for direct emissions from all owned and/or controlled sources and indirect emissions upstream and downstream in the value chain, defined as Scope 1 and Scope 3 emissions, respectively.

To drive progress toward groupwide net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, EMR says it has joined three key initiatives from the nonprofit The Climate Group, with European offices in London. These include RE100 to accelerate the transition to renewables, EV100 to switch to electric vehicles and EP100 to improve energy productivity across its global portfolio.

EMR says its net-zero commitment is underpinned by targets set out in four pillars: renewable electricity, energy productivity, movement of people and material handling and movement.

The 2030 targets for each of these pillars include:

  • 100 percent of operations operating on renewable electricity;
  • the electrification of 100 percent of cars and light commercial vehicles and 50 percent of small goods vehicles;
  • committing to procure 20 percent of new site-based fixed and mobile plant that is powered by electrical, hybrid, fuel-cell or biofuel sources; and
  • 10 percent energy productivity improvement for total kilowatt per ton of material handled.

The company says all of its targets apply to its operations worldwide and are aligned to its vision of becoming a global leader in the provision of sustainable materials.

Chris Sheppard, EMR Group CEO, says, Our Decade of Action marks the start of an exciting journey for all of us at EMR. We’re proud to set out our commitment to tackling climate change and conserving natural resources with a series of ambitious, groupwide targets.

“Using recycled materials to create new products has a huge environmental impact, saving between 50 percent and 90 percent of the energy and water consumed when creating the virgin equivalent. We recycle around 10 million tonnes of metals and plastics every year, resulting in savings of around 10 million tonnes of CO2,” he continues.

Sheppard adds, “However, our products don’t come without some environmental cost. Imagine being able to say that we create these sustainable materials with a net-zero carbon footprint? To achieve this, we need to go on a journey that explores new technologies and ways of working, to design carbon out of our business.

“Now more than ever, improving environmental performance while supporting people and businesses to be more sustainable is essential,” he says. “Committing to decarbonisation is key to driving the green recovery of the global economy in a post-COVID world, creating jobs and driving investment while delivering on global climate objectives.”

Sheppard concludes, “As a global business and a family company, we have a responsibility to minimize our impact and help build a circular economy where both people and the environment can prosper. Authentic change requires authentic efforts to implement more sustainable operations. If you put your mind to this, it’s amazing what you can achieve. We’ve already transitioned 80 percent of our U.K. energy usage to renewable electricity and we already have plans to go further faster.”

EMR’s Sustainable Business Strategy can be accessed here.