AAK has operations all over the world. Our production is resource intensive and our continued responsible growth is depending on our ability to balance a rapidly changing business environment with continuous reduced environmental impact.
We see improvements in our global environmental parameters such as energy and waste intensity with 5.4 percent and 50 percent reduction per processed unit, respectively. Looking ahead, we are bringing all our operational sites under the Science Based Targets initiative, which in turn also will result in significant CO2 reductions.
Setting the foundation for effective greenhouse gas mitigation
AAK realizes the urgency of dealing with global warming and we want to move faster to limit our effect on climate change by setting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. AAK has committed to the Science Based Target initiative and going forward we will work harder to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in line with the Paris Agreement.
The result for 2020 was a 4.9 percent increase in GHG emissions per processed unit, mainly due to reduced processed volumes. However, our absolute emissions decreased by 1.5 percent compared to 2019.
Physical and transition risk
During 2020, we have completed climate risk assessment at all our sites and we will continue to align the risk with strategy and investment plans to safeguard the future.
The focus regarding physical risk has been on extreme storms, tornadoes, water-stressed areas, and unforeseen temperature shifts, with an aim to continuously review any implemented actions to reduce the risk for property damage and business interruption.
During 2020, we have also been working to embed transition risk into our climate assessments. The risk impact analysis and a risk-grading tool will include policy, legal, technology, market, and reputational risk going forward.
Climate risk map
Having committed to set science-based targets, our work during 2021 will focus on developing new GHG targets and roadmaps to help us achieve sufficient reduction levels in line with the Paris Agreement.
Saving valuable energy
Overall, AAK’s energy consumption has decreased during 2020, due to both a reduction in processed volumes and continuous improvement projects.
Across all sites, we are working on energy efficiency projects such as energy mapping and sharing best practices which will lead to a higher energy efficiency. We are prioritizing the move towards renewable energy, such as biomass, and to increase the use of renewable electricity.
The total energy consumption per processed unit decreased by 5.4 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.
Reducing water consumption
We are proud to report that water consumption per unit of processed material was reduced by 63 percent in 2020, compared to 2019. The improvement in water consumption was achieved through water efficiency projects, a move to non-municipal water where possible (such as sea water) and improved accounting.
The results from different water projects have been shared across our sites to help us learn from experience. Next we will focus on our freshwater consumption, which we hope will provide further clarity regarding our impact and have the same successful outcome.
Reducing waste and increasing circularity
The waste per unit processed material decreased by 50 percent compared to 2019. The reduction was driven by lower volumes and improved waste management. Additionally, all sites have made great efforts to reduce the waste that goes to landfill, which was reduced by 16 percent compared to 2019. As we look to the future, we will continue to develop further partnerships with companies that can help us build a circular and sustainable economy.