Harnessing the power of new technologies and nature-based solutions

27 Oct 2021
A letter from PMI’s Senior Vice President Operations Massimo Andolina *
Massimo Andolina LCTP image

Runaway climate change affects everyone and every aspect of life, and it is now well established that this is one of the most significant crises of our lifetime. Tackling it cannot be done individually; this urgent and monumental task ahead of us requires the input and collaboration of all partners across the public and private sectors. Reaching necessary greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets requires action from all parts of society. As a company with a multinational environmental footprint, we have a role to play in protecting our planet. We will do so by defining and executing strategies and initiatives that help us to reduce the environmental impact across our value chain and allow us to achieve our mid- and long-term climate-related goals.

For a business like ours—with an agricultural supply chain sensitive to climate changes—abrupt climate variations can have a profound impact on the secure supply of our raw materials. It may also threaten facilities and operations, supply and distribution chains, as well as access to power networks and water. 

We are working hard to strengthen our resilience to climate risks, implementing adaptation and mitigation measures across our value chain. We use internal carbon pricing to structurally incentivize and drive a reduction in CO2 emissions. A recent review of our approach led us to implement a shadow price to internalize environmental costs and factor them in investment decision-making, and an internal carbon levy as an incentive to reduce CO2 emissions and to generate funding for compensation solutions for unavoidable emissions. Like other sustainability leaders, our ambitious CO2 emissions reductions are assessed and validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and we have also enacted several corporate policies that guide our approach to decarbonizing our operations and value chain. The reduction of energy consumption and carbon emissions is indeed embedded in our PMI Environmental Commitment, PMI’s Code of Conduct, our Responsible Sourcing Principles, and our Good Agricultural Practices program. Our Zero Deforestation Manifesto specifies our efforts to protect forests, which play a fundamental role for climate regulation and carbon sequestration. I am proud to now be able to share our Low-Carbon Transition Plan (LCTP), which provides a transparent and detailed view on how we plan to achieve our climate ambitions, how we will measure success, and how we will report on the progress we will make.



PMI’s Low-Carbon Transition Plan


While we consider the improvement of the environmental performance of our manufacturing operations as vital, most of our ecological footprint arises elsewhere in our value chain, with upstream emissions typically being 10 times greater than those from our direct operations. We therefore believe that working collectively with tobacco growers, suppliers, retailers, NGOs, and governments is crucial for reaching our environmental goals. 

The progress we’ve made so far encourages me that we are on the right track toward a low-carbon economy. I am delighted that we are now able to expand our global climate ambition: to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across our operations and supply chain by 2040, 10 years earlier than initially anticipated. We have also set two interim science-based targets for 2030 on our way to net zero: reducing emissions across both our operations and value chain by 50 percent each. We are confident we will achieve these reductions by accelerating our use of renewable energy, increasing the efficiency of our manufacturing processes and fleet, and advancing technologies to decarbonize our supply chain.

We are also introducing a new target: for PMI’s critical suppliers to reduce their carbon emissions, adopting science-based targets that are aligned with the ones PMI will follow. By engaging our suppliers, we aim to contribute to their transition toward a net-zero economy. In turn, this will over time support PMI’s own carbon emission reduction targets for our value chain.

In addition to our internal measures, we consistently support national and global climate policies that promote a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy and help us plan for business growth. It’s our strong belief that effective climate policies provide us with more certainty for short- and long-term planning and investment, as well as help us to better anticipate regulatory trends/changes and seize economic opportunities.

PMI has been recognized as a climate leader, and we are determined to remain at the forefront of the climate-neutral agenda. It is my hope that our Low-Carbon Transition Plan will become much more than a testament of our climate actions—that it can spark a debate and serve as inspiration to others. The road toward a low-carbon economy and a better planet is one we all need to travel together.


* Massimo Andolina became President, Europe Region in January 2023.

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