Industrial thread company Coats has received validation of its ambitious climate targets for 2030 by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Coats says the independent verification demonstrates it has a credible roadmap for the early stages towards reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

Coats committed to the Science Based Targets initiative at the beginning of 2021 under the Business Ambition for 1.5 degrees Celsius campaign to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial targets, the highest level of ambition on climate under the SBTi.

The company’s targets for 2030 (from a 2019 base year) are:

  • Reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46%
  • Increase annual sourcing of renewable electricity from 5% to 100%
  • Reduce absolute scope 3 emissions by 33%

“Taking meaningful and effective climate action is vital and to have our ambitious targets validated is excellent. The future of Coats is net zero and circularity. We have the ambition and intent and are already translating those into actions and deliverables by investing in scaling up with speed. This validation confirms we are on the right trajectory,” says Coats Group chief executive Rajiv Sharma.

Coats is expanding the use of biobased materials and chemicals to support its focus on net zero and circularity. By 2030 all products will be made completely independently of new oil-extraction materials such as polyester and nylon.

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It has also committed to invest US$10m over the next five years to develop and scale green technologies and materials and its Innovation Hub – Asia, in Shenzhen, China, is being repurposed to focus on bio-material development.

Coats will reduce its emissions by increasing the use of cleaner and renewable sources of energy to power operations. Solar, wind and biomass are already in use across parts of its global footprint with rooftop solar panels at a site in Vietnam and plans underway for similar projects in Indonesia and Thailand. There will now be greater impetus to explore further opportunities for both onsite and offsite energy generation facilities together with sourcing renewable providers as existing electricity contracts expire.

Alberto Carrillo Pineda, managing director, Science Based Targets at CDP, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners, says: “We congratulate Coats on setting science-based targets consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement. By setting ambitious science-based targets grounded in climate science, Coats is taking action to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change.”

Science-based targets provide companies with a clearly defined pathway to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, thus helping to prevent the worst expected impacts of climate change while future-proofing business growth. The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets. It is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Coats launched its sustainability strategy, ‘Pioneering a sustainable future’ in 2019, when it laid out ambitious targets for 2022 and 2024. It remains committed to those targets and has built on them to accelerate its sustainability journey and recently announced higher ambitions, with a focus on net zero, social impact, eco materials and circularity.

Coats recently launched a circular range of eco-friendly water dissolvable threads called Ecocycle.