Sustainability Target Setting

International programs to set your sustainability targets

Reducing your greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change is one of the most urgent challenges of our time, and society is looking for ways to define the contours of a sustainable world.

More and more companies are setting targets to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to their activities and the supply chain. International frameworks exist to help companies calculate their GHG emissions and set targets. An example is the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) for monitoring and reducing GHG emissions.

Sustainability target setting starts with a complete analysis and reduction plan of GHG emissions of the entire value chain. This challenging task asks for profound knowledge of agri-food value chains and quantitative environmental analysis and acquires high-quality data.

As the leading consultancy agency for quantifying sustainability in the agri-food sector, Blonk can help your organization set the targets and reduce your GHG emissions.

Insights in your scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions

The first step in developing a sustainability target is an inventory of emissions through the entire value chain. The international GHG protocol has been designed to support this and distinguishes between scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. Scope 1 and 2 emissions are the direct emissions arising from your organization's activities, such as fuel combustion, transport vehicles, and purchased energy. Gathering data and setting targets for these emissions is relatively straightforward. It is more difficult to compile an inventory of scope 3 emissions because this requires data from other actors in the supply chain.

For most companies in the agri-food sector, scope 3 emissions significantly contribute to their environmental impact.

Environmental hotspots in the agri-food sector

The cultivation of crops and animal production are among the environmental hotspots in the value chain. Nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer application, methane emissions from rice cultivation and enteric fermentation, and food losses throughout the life cycle significantly contribute to the overall scope 3 GHG emissions. However, gathering the necessary data can be challenging because you need to investigate the supply chain thoroughly. Moreover, actual farm emission data is not available. Modeling the emissions is needed, adhering to the correct standards, such as the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF).

Science Based Targets initiative

The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration between the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Science-based targets offer companies a clearly defined pathway to future-proof growth by specifying how much and how quickly they need to reduce their GHG emissions. Targets adopted by companies to reduce GHG emissions are deemed science-based if they are in line with what the latest climate science says is necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. According to this agreement, global warming should not exceed 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and all stakeholders should make an effort to limit warming to no more than 1.5°C.

Forest, Land and Agricultural (FLAG) Science Based Target Setting Guidance

For some industries, separate sector-specific methodologies, frameworks, and requirements have been developed by SBTi. Also, for companies in land-intensive sectors SBTi is currently developing a guidance. Almost 25% of global GHG emissions can be attributed to agricultural, forestry and other land use practices. 
For this Forest, Land and Agricultural (FLAG) Science Based Target Setting Guidance provides a standard method, including land-related emissions and removals, in line with the Paris Agreement. A draft version for public consultation has been published in January 2022. For meat products and commodities like soy, wheat and palm oil, specific reduction targets for 2030 have been set. The final FLAG guidance is expected to be launched in June 2022.

20+ years of experience in quantifying emissions

Blonk has more than 20 years of experience quantifying emissions in agri-food value chains. We developed Agri-footprint, the leading database for high-quality environmental footprint data of agri-food products. Also, we developed a European Farm to Fork database containing the environmental impact of more than 160 consumer food products, such as cheese, sauces, instant coffee, fruits, chocolate, pasta, ready-to-eat soups, and prepared salad mixes. We have an in-house software tool development team that can collect data and develop environmental footprinting tools.

Blonk helped an array of companies set up their scope 1, 2, and 3 carbon footprint inventory and reduction plan or assisted in their SBTi application. We are happy to help you analyze your scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, set up your sustainability targets, and develop supplier engagement programs together.


case study

Carbon footprint of Nature's Pride

Blonk carried out a CO2 baseline measurement (carbon footprint) for Nature’s Pride, a company based in the Netherlands. Nature’s Pride supplies 230 different fruit and vegetable products from 59 countries, such as avocados, berries, ginger and papayas. One of their aims is to make the world healthier and more sustainable. In pursuit of this aim the company runs various projects on packaging and reducing food losses and also supports projects to improve living conditions in communities where they source their products. The results of our baseline study will help Nature’s Pride to understand how they can best reduce their CO2 emissions and set goals to achieve this.

More information

Janjoris van Diepen
Senior Consultant | Blonk Consultants

Please get in touch with Janjoris if you would like to learn more about how we can help you analyze your scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, set up your sustainability targets, and develop supplier engagement programs.