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2020 Engagement case study: Company net-zero carbon targets

Intertek provides testing, inspection and certification services, including to the consumer goods industry where it focuses on safety testing of consumer products such as toys and clothes. The company also tests the safety and regulatory conformity of food and beverages, healthcare products, electrical goods and commodities, and supplies broader services to businesses including on sustainability and climate change.

Engagement issue

Company net-zero carbon targets

Engagement Objective

encourage portfolio companies to set a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 ideally or by 2050 at the latest.

Scope and process

We first wrote to Intertek to encourage the company to set a 2030 net-zero carbon emissions target in 2019. At that time, the company elected to reaffirm an existing target ‘to strive for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per employee by 5% against a 2018 base year’.

With a strong practice in this carbon measurement and advisory, we felt that Intertek was well positioned to set a more ambitious emission reductions target for their own business. We responded to the company encouraging them to set a target that is aligned to the Paris Agreement and consistent with a business that has a leading approach to sustainability. We also led a collaborative initiative with another investor to jointly put this issue to the company.

Outcome: Successful

Intertek has since announced more progress. It has now committed to achieving a net-zero carbon target by 2050 and fully offset its carbon emissions in 2020. Furthermore, it will ensure that the 2050 target is science-based. We continue to engage the business to encourage it to publish detailed plans and set interim carbon-reduction targets.

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