A 40% reduction in emissions by 2028: The Science Based Targets initiative approves Manni Group’s new challenging goals

In 2019, Manni Group reduced the greenhouse gas emissions for which it is directly responsible by 21% compared to 2016, exceeding its own target of -15%. The Group is now aiming higher: to reduce these emissions by up to 40% by 2028 in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, aimed at keeping global warming below 2 °C, and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

In 2015, following the COP 21 conference held in Paris, the 196 participating countries unanimously agreed to reduce carbon dioxide production “as soon as possible” and to strive to keep global warming “well below 2 °C” above pre-industrial levels. Setting out to achieve the climate-changing emission reduction targets as required by the scientific community and the Paris Agreement means that “science-based targets” need to be set to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.

The role of companies in the fight against climate change

Although action is being taken by governments, companies and civil society, total anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still on the increase: average global temperatures are expected to rise between 3.7 °C and 4.8 °C[1] by the end of this century, well above the safety levels determined by the international scientific community. This manufacturing sector directly or indirectly produces most of the global CO2 emissions, which means that it has a huge responsibility in protecting the climate and ensure the transition to a low-carbon economy.

This approach benefits not only the planet but also the companies that set out to achieve the science-based targets, building long-term corporate value and protecting their future profitability. In fact, these targets:

  • promote innovation through the development of new technologies and operating practices;
  • allow companies to save money and increase their competitiveness, ensuring that they will be sustainable and efficient in the future when resources will become increasingly expensive, especially those derived from fossil fuels;
  • strengthen the credibility and reputation of companies among Stakeholders;
  • influence and prepare public policy for change: companies that lead the way in limiting GHG emissions have more say when it comes to policy choices and contribute to shaping environmental legislation.
Science Based Targets initiative

Following the Paris Agreement, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) was launched, a joint venture between the United Nations Global Compact, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF): its aim is to revise the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets that companies have set themselves to make sure they are in line with the agreements made in Paris.

Manni Group’s science-based targets

Manni Group is fully committed to fighting climate change: in 2016, the Group published its Sustainability Policy, setting itself the target of achieving a 15% reduction by 2021 in emissions for which its operating companies are directly responsible, defined as scope 1 and 2 by the GHG Protocol, and drawing up a plan based on energy efficiency and the use of energy from renewable sources.

The Group is one of the first in Italy to adhere to the SBTi protocol: it has now joined 9 other major Italian companies, including Pirelli, Barilla, Enel, Fastweb, Moncler. Since March 2017, Manni Group has been committed to setting itself new targets in line with the goal of keeping global warming “well below 2 °C”. SBTi classifies the reduction targets into three categories: 2 °C, well below 2 °C, 1.5 °C.

A new target: 40% lower emissions by 2028

In 2019, Manni Group achieved the previous target of reducing CO2 emissions by 15% by cutting 21% of category 1 and 2 emissions compared to 2016.

Also in 2019, after meeting with the Scientific Committee of the Science Based Targets initiative and collaborating with Aequilibria – owned by Daniele Pernigotti, one of Italy’s leading experts on climate change – the Verona-based steel manufacturing Group revised its targets of emission reduction. Based on the guidelines of the new UNI EN ISO 14064-1:2019 standard, the Group’s annual emissions inventory has been extended to include categories 3 and 4 concerning, respectively, upstream and downstream transport and emissions linked to purchased goods, which are extremely important as they account for nearly 99% of total emissions throughout the entire value chain. These values are certified by an audit performed by an accredited third party, Bureau Veritas Italia, and were published in the register of Carbon Footprint Italy.

Manni Group has taken on quite a challenge and is now aiming to achieve a 40% reduction in its direct and energy consumption emissions by 2028, as well as an 18% and 20% reduction, respectively, in the transport and production of materials sourced from suppliers. In July 2020, SBTi approved Manni Group’s new challenging goals, confirming that they are in line with the Paris Agreement, in the “well below 2 °C” category.

Manni Energy focuses on energy efficiency

The Group has already achieved some of these goals with the support of Manni Energy, a company established in 2011 specialising in design, maintenance and energy efficiency services for customers, which is also responsible for energy management throughout the Group.

Since 2017, Manni Energy has been in charge of implementing energy efficiency measures aimed at reducing the impact of the climate-altering gas emissions produced by the company. The project entailed conducting energy audits on all plants in Italy, and then preparing an action plan comprising the following activities, which were initiated in 2018:

  • installing Power Quality systems
  • increasing the efficiency of lighting systems
  • optimising the energy efficiency of compressed air production and distribution processes
  • replacing existing motors with inverted motors
  • optimising process heat generation activities
  • installing new high-efficiency electric motors
  • installing new systems for the self-production of energy from renewable sources

Since then, the installation of energy monitoring systems in all of the Group’s companies based in Italy has been completed, also thanks to the use of software provided by the newly-acquired company Maetrics, so as to ensure accurate measurement of consumption in order to better plan production and efficiency measures.

The challenge for a sustainable future

Now that the reduction targets have been validated by SBTi, Manni Group has passed an important test: reporting and monitoring supply chain emissions, in particular with regard to the transport and production of the goods and raw materials used by the Group’s companies. In fact, Manni Group sources raw materials from more than 170 suppliers from over 30 countries around the world and supplies nearly 100 markets.

This gives us an idea of how challenging this long-term goal can be, namely, to succeed in influencing the entire supply chain in order to achieve the reduction targets that Manni Group has set itself for these emission categories.

[1] Science-Based Targets: The Call to Action, https://sciencebasedtargets.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Science-Based-Targets-Call-to-Action-Brochure-English.pdf