Enviva targets net-zero operations by 2030

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25 February, 2021


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WBCSD Communications

Zero-emissions goal emphasizes the company’s mission to fight climate change, pledging to become carbon neutral and use 100% renewable energy in its operations

BETHESDA, MD, 17 February 2021 — Today, Enviva, a leading global renewable energy company specializing in sustainable wood bioenergy, announced its goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations by 2030. This commitment to climate action reinforces Enviva’s core purpose to displace coal, grow more trees, and fight climate change. It sets forth an ambitious plan for eliminating GHG emissions from its operations in keeping with international climate goals, including the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Enviva’s sustainably sourced wood is used to manufacture wood pellets, a renewable fuel source that provides global power and heat generators with a drop-in alternative to fossil fuels. Enviva exports its sustainable wood pellets primarily to the U.K., Europe, the Caribbean and Japan, enabling its customers to reduce their carbon emissions by more than 85% on a lifecycle basis, helping them reach their greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets with renewable energy.

“At Enviva, fighting climate change is at the core of what we do,” said John Keppler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Enviva. “For more than a decade we have played a critical role  in helping the world’s energy producers substantially reduce their net carbon emissions by using sustainable bioenergy, enabling them to phase out coal, support increases in forest carbon stocks, and provide reliable, affordable energy to their communities.

But the climate crisis demands urgency in action. It requires all of us to work harder. So today, Enviva is announcing its plan to reduce, eliminate, or offset 100 percent of our carbon emissions. Providing clean energy solutions to others is not enough. Enviva is now taking steps to dramatically reduce the climate impact of our own operations by undertaking its goal to become net zero in its operations by 2030.”

As part of this goal, Enviva will:

  • Reduce, eliminate or offset all of its direct emissions. Enviva will immediately work to minimize the emissions from fossil fuels used directly in its operations – its Scope 1 emissions.
    • As the company’s efforts to minimize the use of fossil fuels and improve the efficiency of its operations will take time and continue to mature, in the interim, Enviva will offset 100% of its residual emissions through investments in projects that result in real, additional, and third-party verified net-carbon reductions. Enviva will focus on forest offsets created in the U.S. Southeast as part of its partnership with Finite Carbon and others, building on its experience working directly with private landowners. The company plans to work with key stakeholders and others who are investing in high-quality offsets that ensure real and verifiable benefits, prioritizing those created from forest management, afforestation, and reforestation projects.

“The Finite Carbon team is proud to support and work with Enviva to implement our shared belief that forest landowners with as few as 40 acres should have the opportunity to earn revenue from their long-term commitments to sustainable land management by keeping forests as forests,” said Sean Carney, President of Finite Carbon. “We commend Enviva for its ambitious plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.”

  • Source 100% renewable energy by 2030. To address the emissions arising from electricity purchases in its operations – its Scope 2 emissions – the company plans to source 100 percent renewable energy for its operations by no later than 2030, with an interim target of at least 50 percent by 2025.
    • While all of the fuel utilized in the pellets’ drying operations is already provided by 100 percent renewable resources, Enviva still uses electricity from the grid. Its manufacturing operations are located in the U.S. Southeast, where electricity generation relies heavily on coal and natural gas and where market structures make renewable energy supply more difficult than in many other parts of the country. The company recognizes that efforts are underway in the regions in which it operates to transition the grid to lower-emissions sources, and it intends to play a positive role in accelerating those trends.
    • Enviva intends to work with renewable energy suppliers to generate zero-carbon renewable energy for its operations. Enviva seeks to both maximize the use of on-site renewable energy generation at its facilities, as well as to develop new off-site renewable energy resources physically located in its regions where possible. To accelerate meeting this goal, the company joined the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, a consortium of over 200 businesses committed to large-scale purchases of clean renewable energy.
  • Drive innovative improvements in its supply chain. To address emissions generated as part of its upstream and downstream supply chain – its Scope 3 emissions – Enviva plans to proactively engage with partners and other key stakeholders to adopt clean-energy solutions.
    • Enviva plans to work with its stakeholders to improve the environmental emissions intensity of trucking, rail, and shipping logistics. It plans further to take steps to accelerate and advocate for the development of new solutions and to work with its stakeholders to bring those solutions to market. For example, it is seeking to join Sea Cargo Charter, a cross-industry partnership of ship charterers that aims to establish a consistent global framework for transparently assessing and disclosing the climate impact of ship chartering operations.
  • Transparently report progress. Enviva will track and publish its progress in reducing its emissions annually and intends to disclose climate-relevant data and risks through CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) by the end of 2022.

“This very public pledge to mitigate climate change at all levels of our operations by minimizing our own carbon footprint further extends our commitment to keeping forests as forests and to responsible and sustainable wood sourcing,” said Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of Enviva. “I feel privileged to be at the helm of our climate action plan, which is an important component to accelerating Enviva’s sustainability efforts. Working collaboratively across the company and with key stakeholders, we have defined this concrete and actionable plan that, consistent with our forest-based operations in the U.S. Southeast, will enable us to achieve immediate, additional, and measurable emissions reductions. I look forward to executing this innovative plan to achieve carbon neutrality in our own operations by 2030.”

More information on Enviva’s climate action plan can be found here.