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First African company announces ambitious science-based emissions target

By WWF South Africa on 19 July 2018

Emira Property Fund has become the first African and South African company to have a greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The SBTi (https://sciencebasedtargets.org/) mobilises companies to set science-based targets and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. It is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UN Global Compact), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Emira’s science-based target provides a clear road map that is in line with the ambition of the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming below 2°C. It sets out how much and how quickly the company will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Specifically, Emira intends to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 13% by 2022 from a 2015 base year.

Alex Farsan, WWF Global Lead, Science Based Targets and member of the SBTi steering committee congratulated Emira on this important milestone, adding that "by setting targets that align their business with global efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, Emira Property Fund is positioning itself to thrive as the global economy transitions to a low-carbon future."

In terms of the SBTi, science-based targets are validated by technical experts and can help to safeguard a company’s growth and profitability by keeping business relevant and competitive during a transition to a low-carbon economy. These targets can also help companies buffer themselves against imminent national policy changes like the South African Carbon Tax Bill, due to be passed in January 2019.

Ten other South African companies have already committed to the international effort to limit global temperature rise with the SBTi, but have yet to have their emissions targets validated. These companies are: Exxaro Resources Ltd; Growthpoint Properties; Mediclinic Southern Africa; Netcare Limited; Pick ‘n Pay Stores Ltd; The SPAR Group Limited; Tiger Brands; Tongaat Hulett Ltd; Virgin Active South Africa (Pty) Limited; and, Woolworths Holdings Ltd.

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