Mitsubishi-owned Princes Group is committing carbon neutrality across its entire global operation by 2030, an ambitious project that will require significant shifts to its supply chain.

The target is part of the group's new “2030 Green Goals” initiative, which will be implemented over the next 10 years, focusing on reducing carbon emissions, increasing internal energy generation and reducing waste.

The group has already achieved a 23 percent reduction in carbon emissions since 2014, which represents a decrease of more than 34,000 metric tons of CO2.

The carbon footprint of the group’s seafood operations currently stands at 27,500 metric tons of CO2, the company estimates.

The business, one of the largest canned seafood suppliers in the UK, intends to establish a formal target for net zero and will work with customers, suppliers and industry bodies to achieve its goal.

So far Princes has successfully reduced carbon emissions across its manufacturing sites by investing in LED lighting, as well as by installing a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant at its Wisbech site and solar PV panels at its Long Sutton site.

The group said it has also seen a reduction in energy use and waste by driving environmental awareness throughout the business.

Princes intends to become carbon neutral across all its operations by reviewing all equipment and infrastructure and investing in carbon neutral solutions at all its manufacturing sites, including its seafood processing facilities.

The company is committing to 50 percent internal energy generation through using renewable energy, such as biogas from waste at manufacturing sites, and also hopes to cut water waste by 25 percent, general waste by 30 percent and food waste by 50 percent.

As an example, from a seafood perspective, by switching all branded tuna multipacks to cardboard sleeve packaging, Princes will remove 96 metric tons of plastic from its products each year, the company said.

The average recycled content across Princes’ UK manufacturing base is 45 percent, and 99 percent of the plastic in the group’s UK manufactured products is widely recyclable.

Princes’ efforts to reduce food waste, as a member of the Champions 12.3 coalition, are also moving figures in the right direction, it said, with food waste reduced by 7 percent across the group’s UK operations in the year to March 2020.

“Our ambition builds on a longstanding commitment to sustainability throughout our operations and a strong track record in reducing carbon emissions… but we must do more,” Princes COO Barry McDonnell said.

With a global supply network and a portfolio of branded and customer own brand products, Princes is one of the UK’s largest food and drink groups.

Princes’ head office is based in the UK along with seven manufacturing sites for foods, oils and soft drinks.

The company also has a presence across continental Europe, which is managed from an office in The Netherlands.

There are also dedicated sales and marketing offices in Poland and France, tuna processing facilities in Mauritius, tomato processing in Italy and edible oils production in Poland.

Japanese parent Mitsubishi has a significant presence in seafood outside of princes, including ownership of salmon farming giant Cermaq in Norway.