GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — COFCO International’s near-term science-based emissions reduction targets, which address the company’s key greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) footprint sources and form the basis for its climate strategy, have been validated and published by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Approval of these targets by the internationally respected SBTi platform ensures their robust nature and provides transparency to key stakeholders, COFCO said. SBTi’s partners are CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, the We Mean Business Coalition, the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The platform has validated the climate targets of more than 5,000 companies worldwide.

“Climate change is already creating challenges for supply continuity in the agricultural commodities sector that in turn impact food security,” said David Dong, chief executive officer of COFCO International. “A strong climate strategy based on science will help us to mitigate these impacts and help achieve the transition to sustainable agriculture and a low carbon economy. Climate action sits at the core of our efforts to protect the cultivation of the crops we source, reducing risk and helping to ensure access to nourishing, affordable food, while strengthening the future success of our business.”

COFCO International is the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corp., China’s largest food and agriculture company. COFCO International is focused on the global grains, oilseeds, sugar, coffee and cotton supply chains, with assets in 37 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

COFCO International and the other companies involved in the Agriculture Sector Roadmap to 1.5°C have together committed to having science-based emissions reduction targets to align with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

COFCO International is committed to reducing absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions. It also is committed to lowering absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution, and downstream transportation and distribution. The target boundary includes land-related emissions and removals from bioenergy feedstocks, based on COFCO International’s current global footprint.

With the majority of its GHG footprint in its supply chain, COFCO International continues to gain deeper and more comprehensive insights into its Scope 3 emissions, prioritizing the areas where it stands to generate the most impact. 

Addressing land use change (deforestation and conversion) associated with soy production in Latin America is clearly a top priority, representing the largest source of emissions. Action to meet the new climate targets will build on existing efforts to reduce energy use, improve energy efficiency and use more clean energy, following a dedicated roadmap. In 2023, the company achieved an 8% year-on-year reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions, while 89% of its energy needs were met with renewables.

The company recently completed its first deforestation-free soymeal shipment aligned with the new EU standard from Argentina to Ireland and soybeans from Brazil to China, its first delivery to China to include a deforestation- and conversion-free (DCF) clause.