Sasol denies backslide on greenhouse gas emission target

Sasol’s annual general meeting is scheduled for November 17, 2023. Picture: File/Independent Newspapers

Sasol’s annual general meeting is scheduled for November 17, 2023. Picture: File/Independent Newspapers

Published Nov 3, 2023


Just Share has asked Sasol’s shareholders not to endorse the fuel-and-chemicals-from-coal groups’ decarbonisation strategy because it claims Sasol doesn’t expect to meet its 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) targets, but Sasol says this is incorrect.

Sasol’s annual general meeting is scheduled for November 17. In its 2023 reporting suite, Just Share said yesterday, Sasol had conceded that it might not meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. It blamed external “vagaries and variables”, and “headwinds” which were “resulting in an emerging gap to targets” and needed “to be managed to achieve competitive returns”.

However, Sasol said in response to Business Report questions that Just Share was incorrect, and Sasol had maintained its commitment to its 30% reduction and decarbonisation levers, while advancing progress against this commitment with tangible initiatives.

Just Share said that in 2021, Sasol published a decarbonisation plan, including targets to reduce GHG emissions by 30% by 2030. In its 2021 Climate Change Report, Sasol indicated it had “identified opportunities that exceeded expectations” and its “tailored target setting and roadmap approach” would “ensure a scientifically sound, robust and credible process”.

It reported then that the energy business would meet the 2030 target by decommissioning boilers, increased use of renewable energy, and the introduction of 40 – 60 petajoules per annum of liquified natural gas (LNG) to reduce reliance on coal.

“Sasol is the biggest private emitter of GHGs in South Africa. Its Secunda facility is the world’s largest single point source of GHGs. Sasol’s decarbonisation strategy and targets… are crucial to the decarbonisation trajectory of the country,” Just Share said yesterday.

“Sasol now reports it is ‘moving beyond a predominant focus on addressing climate change’, even though it has not shown any meaningful progress in meeting its emission reduction targets. In fact, its scope 1 and 2 emissions had increased in the past reporting year, and it expected emissions to increase further in the near term,” Just Share claimed.

Sasol said, however, that to date it had exceeded its 2026 renewable energy commitment. These commitments were linked to executive remuneration incentives. In addition, energy and process efficiency improvements on South African sites had been made and total Sasol group GHG emissions had been reduced by ~5% to date, off a 2017 baseline.

“Sasol also committed to short-term targets, which are clearly outlined in all the climate change reports, which includes a 5% reduction of GHG’s by 2026 for the energy business in SA. In FY23, the energy business achieved a ~4% reduction relative to 2017 (contributing towards the total Sasol group reduction),” the group said.

“Lastly, Sasol has not changed its emission reduction target, levers and strategy,” the group said.