News & Analysis

RS Group climate reduction targets get SBTi thumbs-up

19th October 2023
Mick Elliott

RS Group has announced that four of its near-term climate reduction targets have received validation from the SBTi.

The SBTi is a global body that drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling organisations to set science-based emissions reduction targets.

RS is committed to helping fight the climate crisis through genuine actions to reduce its emissions, from ensuring its distribution centres generate and use renewable electricity, to cutting the distance its products travel and switching to deliveries by road or sea rather than air.

And by working with its suppliers to offer customers products that save energy and reduce the carbon footprint of their operations, through its new Better World product range.

The Group’s ambition is to reach net zero in its direct operations by 2030 and across its value chain by 2050. It is uniting the whole of RS, its 1.1 million customers and 2,500+ suppliers behind this goal, to develop and implement scalable solutions that lead to genuine emissions reductions.

RS Group has set four science-based targets covering its most important emissions areas - operations, logistics, products and suppliers. These targets and their supporting initiatives drive the organisation’s decarbonisation approach and support the target to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Following extensive engagement and a thorough validation process, the SBTi has validated its four near-term climate reduction targets as science based.

These include:

  • reducing absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 75%*
  • reducing Scope 3 transport emissions by 25% per tonne of product sold*
  • reducing Scope 3 emissions from the use of RS PRO products by 20% per tonne of products sold*
  • committing that 67% of suppliers (by spend) covering purchased goods and services will set science-based targets by 2024/2025

* from a 2019/20 base year by 2029/30.


The Company is already making good progress against these targets with a 58% reduction in its direct carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) since 2019/20, achieved by switching to renewable electricity, energy management in its distribution centres and the adoption of electric vehicles into its company car fleet. Furthermore, this year the Company launched its Better World product range in 15 markets, to help customers make more sustainable product choices, save energy, and cut their operational emissions.

Andrea Barrett, VP of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at RS Group said: “The SBTi validation is an important landmark in our 2030 environmental, social and governance (ESG) action plan – For a Better World. RS Group is one the first global providers of industrial product and service solutions to achieve this milestone, giving our stakeholders real confidence that we are committed to driving emissions reductions and progressing towards net zero.

“Of course, setting the targets is easy in comparison to the journey ahead, but we have a brilliant team assembled who are driving towards results – helping RS and our customers and suppliers achieve their climate goals.”

The SBTi classifies targets against the long-term temperature pathways of well below 2°C and 1.5°C. The SBTi’s Target Validation Team classified RS’ Scope 1 and 2 target ambition in line with a 1.5°C trajectory – the most ambitious designation available through the SBTi process.

A short video and blog on this major milestone is available at and further information about RS’ progress towards its climate goals is available in its ESG reporting materials at

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