International Paper plays a significant role in responding to the global climate challenge, as reflected in our ambitious commitment to improve our climate impact. We recognize that we have a responsibility to manage our climate-related risks and an opportunity to advance a low-carbon economy in support of decarbonizing the planet. We will strengthen our resilience to the risks of a changing climate by advancing our commitment to our Company’s Vision, Vision 2030, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, and a deliberate global transition to a low-carbon economy.
As part of our Vision 2030, we have committed to a Sustainable Operations goal that includes a target to reduce our Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 35%, building upon our significant progress since 2010 in reducing our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by over 20% from 2010 to 2020. Our Vision 2030 target is an absolute reduction, which means that we are committed to reducing our total GHG emissions per year, regardless of company performance.
Our Vision 2030 Climate Impact Framework:
- Healthy and Abundant Forests – Every product we make begins in the forest. Not only are trees a renewable resource, but sustainable management, conservation and restoration help mitigate climate change through carbon storage in forests.
- Sustainable Operations – Our greenhouse gas target to reduce emissions by 35% encompasses the footprint of our entire value chain, aligning with the trajectory of the best-available climate science and approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi).
- Renewable Solutions – We go beyond recycling with our commitment to advancing the circular, low-carbon economy. Our products are made from renewable raw materials, and we aim to create products that are 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable.
Meaningful GHG Reductions will take a Deliberate and Determined Effort
Our goal is ambitious, and it will take time. We have created a great foundation from which to continue our progress. We’ve continually reduced fossil fuel use and GHG emissions since 2010, and our progress has enabled us to build momentum and develop the forward pathways to achieve our GHG reduction target over the next decade.
Reducing our Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 35% is one of our most ambitious Vision 2030 goals and the most challenging part of our climate strategy. We still have many questions to answer, but we know the direction in which we must head. It is going to take a deliberate, determined effort to meet the challenge across the three scopes – a challenge that we accept as we strive to build a better future for people, the planet and our company.
Key Objectives of our Climate Approach:
- Ensure the long term sustainability of IP – Protect IP assets and supply chains through assessment and mitigation of our operational/sourcing risks. Identify opportunities for positive climate impact through modeling, research, planning and ultimate integration in decision making.
- Meet and exceed our stakeholder expectations – Recognize and accelerate the business opportunity of low-carbon forest products to differentiate IP as a “supplier of choice” for packaging and pulp product solutions. Support policies that enable climate adaptation, such as carbon neutrality for biomass residuals.
- Advance our Vision 2030 goals – Minimize our direct negative climate impacts by reducing GHG emissions by 35% from 2019-2030, optimizing the use of biomass residuals and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Mitigate negative climate impacts aligned with best-available climate science and long-term stewardship of natural capital.
- Communicate our progress – Transparently report to key stakeholders by disclosing climate-related information in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and through our annual Sustainability Report and CDP disclosure.
Our GHG Emissions Reduction Target is Approved by the Science Based Target Initiative
Our 35% GHG emissions reduction target for 2030 is aligned with the best-available climate science. As an industry leader, we have committed to a science-based emission target that was approved by the Science Based Target initiative in 2021. We are one of the first North American pulp and paper companies to have an approved SBTi target.
Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly-defined trajectory to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals to limit global temperature rise to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
The SBTi is a global collaboration of NGOs and experts that has defined best practices and scientifically-informed methodology for emissions reductions. We used the SBTi-approved methodology to develop our target and to inform the strategies we need to implement to reduce our contribution to climate change. We will continue to use the most current and accepted science available to adapt our strategy for responsive impact.
Assessing Emissions throughout our Value Chain
We assess GHG emissions across three scopes, or categories, that encompass our value chain.
SCOPE 1: Direct Emissions – These are our GHG emissions from sources that are directly controlled by International Paper, such as burning fossil fuels for energy.
SCOPES 2 & 3: Indirect Emissions – Emissions that result from the activities of International Paper, but are generated at sources owned or controlled by another organization.
- Scope 2 emissions refer to GHG emissions from the generation of electricity, heat or steam, which International Paper purchases for use.
- Scope 3 emissions are all other indirect emissions that occur in our value chain, both from the supply-side (upstream) and on the customer-side (downstream). Upstream examples include the transportation of trees to our mills and the chemicals and other inputs used for our manufacturing. Downstream examples are all the ways our products contribute to GHGs after they leave our facilities, such as transportation to our customers and the further processing and final disposal of our products.