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Enviva announces goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030

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Enviva has announced its goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations by 2030.

The company set forward an ambitious plan to eliminate GHG emissions from its operations in keeping with international climate goals, including a Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5oC.

“At Enviva, fighting climate change is at the core of what we do,” said John Keppler, chairman and CEO of Enviva. “For more than a decade we have played a critical role in helping the world’s energy producers substantially reduce their net carbon emissions by using sustainable bioenergy, enabling them to phase out coal, support increases in forest carbon stocks, and provide reliable, affordable energy to their communities.

“The climate crisis demands urgency in action. It requires all of us to work harder. So today, Enviva is announcing its plan to reduce, eliminate, or offset 100% of our carbon emissions. Providing clean energy solutions to others is not enough. Enviva is now taking steps to dramatically reduce the climate impact of our own operations by undertaking its goal to become net-zero in its operations by 2030.”

As part of its goal, Enviva will:

Reduce, eliminate, or offset all of its direct emissions

The firm will immediately work to minimise the emissions from fossil fuels used directly in its operations – its Scope 1 emissions. In the interim, Enviva will offset 100% of its residual emissions through investments in projects that result in real, additional, and third-party verified net-carbon reductions.

Enviva will focus on forest offsets created in the US Southeast as part of its partnership with Finite Carbon and others, working directly with private landowners. The firm plans to work with key stakeholders and others who are investing in high-quality offsets that ensure real, verifiable benefits, prioritising those created from forest management, afforestation, and reforestation projects.

Source 100% renewable energy by 2030

To address the emissions arising from electricity purchases in its operations – its Scope 2 emissions – the company plans to source 100% renewable energy for its operations by no later than 2030, with an interim target of at least 50% by 2025.

While all of the fuel used in the company's pellet drying operations is already provided by 100% renewable resources, Enviva still uses electricity from the grid. Electricity generation at its manufacturing operations in the US Southeast rely heavily on coal and natural gas and where market structures make renewable energy supply more difficult than in many other parts of the country.

Enviva intends to work with renewable energy suppliers to generate zero-carbon renewable energy for its operations. The company will seek to maximise the use of on-site renewable energy generation at its facilities, as well as to develop new off-site renewable energy resources physically located in its regions, where possible. To accelerate meeting this goal, the firm joined the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, a consortium of over 200 businesses committed to large-scale purchases of clean renewable energy.

Drive innovative improvements in its supply chain

To address emissions generated as part of its upstream and downstream supply chain – its Scope 3 emissions – Enviva plans to engage with partners and other key stakeholders to adopt clean energy solutions.

The company plans to work with its stakeholders to improve the environmental emissions intensity of trucking, rail, and shipping logistics. It also plans to accelerate and advocate for the development of new solutions and to work with stakeholders to bring these solutions to market. For example, it is seeking to join Sea Cargo Charter, a cross-industry partnership of ship charterers that aims to publish a consistent global framework for transparently assessing and disclosing the climate impact of ship chartering operations.

Transparently report progress

Enviva will track and publish its progress in reducing its emissions annually and intends to disclose climate-relevant data and risks through CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) by the end of 2022.

Dr Jennifer Jenkins, vice president and chief sustainability officer, said: “This very public pledge to mitigate climate change at all levels of our operations by minimising our carbon footprint further extends our commitment to keeping forests as forests, and to responsible and sustainable wood sourcing.

“I feel privileged to be at the helm of our climate action plan, which is an important component to accelerating Enviva’s sustainability efforts.”