In October 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the website of AG Barr and its Annual Report 2020, looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change. Ethical Consumer was looking for the following:
1. a) For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future:
It stated: "We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and strive for opportunities to play our part in reducing the effects of climate change. Supporting our carbon neutral ambition we have signed a deal with Swedish energy group Vattenfall to introduce fossil-free electricity across all our sites.
The ten-year contract will supply us with 22GWh per year from Vattenfall’s wind farms in the UK – the equivalent electricity used by 6,000 UK homes annually.
Using home grown renewable energy is a big step towards reducing our carbon footprint and delivering our ambitious sustainable business goals.
1 b) For the company to not be involved in any particularly damaging projects like tar sands, oil or aviation, to not be subject to damning secondary criticism regarding it’s climate actions, and to have a policy to avoid investing in fossil fuels.
It was not involved in any of these things.
2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company):
It reported its CO2e scope 1 and 2 emissions for 2019 and 2020.
3. and to go some way towards reporting on its scope 3 emissions (emissions from the supply chain, investments and sold products).
There was no mention of scope 3.
4. For the company to have a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements (counted as the equivalent of at least 2.5% cut per year in scope 1&2 emissions), and to not count offsetting towards this target.
It had a target of a 40 % reduction in scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 fro 2015 baseline, ie 4% a year - 36.2% achieved by 2020
If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO2e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.
Overall, AG Barr received Ethical Consumer’s middle rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a half mark under Climate Change because it did not report on scope 3 emissions.