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7 September 2022

Another step forward in AB Sugar’s decarbonisation journey – committing to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)

Another step forward in AB Sugar’s decarbonisation journey – committing to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)

Building upon AB Sugar’s 2030 commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2030 

Today, AB Sugar announces that it has committed to setting a near-term science-based emission reduction target in consultation with The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). 

Transparent and defined by The SBTi’s independent climate scientists, the resulting emissions reduction target will look to take urgent action to tackle climate change for future generations. The commitment further demonstrates AB Sugar’s long-standing focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and driving forward throughout its operations. 

Commenting on the news, Dr Mark Carr, Group Chief Executive, AB Sugar commented: “We’ve focused on improving our energy efficiency for decades by constantly assessing our performance, investing wisely in new technologies and focusing on the areas where we can make the most impact to reduce our carbon footprint”.

“We’re acutely aware of the challenges presented by the current climate situation. Our businesses are currently working to recover from the damage caused by Cyclone Eloise in Eswatini and Cyclone Ana in Malawi, on building resilience in our small holder farmers in South Africa and investing in technologies within agriculture and plant processing systems to make us even more resilient in the face of climate volatility. Our decision to take this important next step and commit to these SBTi targets reflects a desire to drive forward in our fight against climate change and support the change that is needed to stay within a 1.5°C temperature rise world”.

Data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change[1] shows that it is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Over the last forty years, British Sugar in the UK has reduced its energy consumption per tonne by 48%1 through a focus on continuous improvement, improving energy efficiency and fuel switching. AB Sugar launched 2030 commitments in 2018 and is targeting a 30% reduction in scope 1 and scope 2 emissions against a 2018 baseline.  

Through its sustainability programme, global mind, LOCAL CHAMPIONS, AB Sugar works with thousands of employees across three continents to drive environmental, social and economic benefits for the communities in which it operates. By promoting sustainable practices across both sugar beet and sugar cane farming, it produces 100% quality assured sugar and a range of products by using every stick of sugar cane and root of sugar beet within its manufacturing processes. These products range from ethanol – which is produced to mix with petrol or used within alcoholic drinks – to a range of animal feed products benefiting from molasses, betaine, raffinate and vinasse - an ingredient for use within children’s medicine from our horticultural operations.  

AB Sugar are also a renewable power generator, selling surplus electricity to local grids, and much more 



[1] IPCC Special Report on impacts of global warming of 1.5°C

Notes to editors:

About AB Sugar 

  • AB Sugar has many firsts within the sugar industry. We were the first to publish a global sourcing map, enabling us to unlock transparency in the supply chains of our industry. We stepped up our awareness around modern slavery.  We redefined sustainability with our 2030 commitments, and we launched the first consumer campaign ‘Making Sense of Sugar’ to help provide access to objective scientific advice on sugar. We have also been recognised by our customers and others on our Health & Safety performance, the talent within our businesses and the Group’s approach to sustainability. 
  • To hear more on how we are going to achieve our 2030 commitments within our supply chain, find out more here
  • At AB Sugar, we adhere to the highest ethical standards to ensure our sugar is sustainably assured, and we do this by following a number of models including Fairtrade, Red Tractor, The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform, SUSFARMS and VIVE. Details can be found here
  • Dr Mark Carr recently presented at ABF’s investor briefing in May on AB Sugar’s decarbonisation plan, alongside Paul Kenward, Managing Director of British Sugar, demonstrating how British Sugar is decarbonising their four plants. Full presentations can be found here
  • Associated British Foods plc is a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and as one of their divisions, AB Sugar is included within their annual submissions on our carbon and water footprint performance. More information can be found here.  

About the Science Based Targets initiative 

  • The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a global body enabling businesses to set ambitious emissions reductions targets in line with the latest climate science. It is focused on accelerating companies across the world to halve emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions before 2050. 
  • The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets.  
  • Once AB Sugar has submitted its target for approval, it will be reviewed by the SBTi before the target can be officially validated. Full details of the SBTi process can be found here


Media contact details: 

Sharon Fisher, Group Communications Manager, AB Sugar
Email: /

Mobile: 07809 697906

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