SSP’s ambitious net-zero targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative 


  • SSP announces that the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has formally approved its near- and long-term net-zero targets for all emission scopes
  • SSP’s overall target is to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its value chain by 2040, from a 2019 base year*

SSP Group, a leading operator of restaurants, bars, cafes and other food and beverage outlets in travel locations across 36 countries, is pleased to announce that its net-zero targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the global body for validating emissions reductions targets in line with the latest climate science.

SBTi-approved targets are those that meet the Science Based Targets initiative Net-Zero Standard, which ensures that the targets are credible, transparent and consistent. Importantly, SSP’s targets cover emissions across its entire value chain, including the supply chain, brand partners and client sites.

SSP first set out its net-zero ambition in December 2021. Its SBTi-approved targets include:

  • Near-term targets to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 60% by 2032, from a 2019 base year, and absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services and capital goods by 35% within the same time frame*
  • Long-term targets to reduce absolute Scopes 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions by 90% by 2040 (again from a 2019 base year)*

SSP has already made tangible progress in delivering Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions reductions. By the end of 2022, the Group had achieved a 36% reduction in absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions (from a 2019 base year).

For Scope 3 emissions, which represent nearly 90% of its footprint, SSP is working in collaboration with its clients, brand partners and suppliers. This includes selecting suppliers that have strong sustainability credentials and sourcing local and seasonal ingredients and products that meet recognised sustainability standards and certifications.  

SSP is also using its culinary expertise to design recipes and menus that are healthier and more sustainable, and increasing its range of plant-based offerings. By the end of 2022, 33% of SSP’s own-brand meal offerings were plant-based or vegetarian and 85% of its own-brand coffee units in its North America, Continental Europe and UK & Ireland regions were offering non-dairy milk alternatives.

Commenting on the SBTi validation, Patrick Coveney, CEO of SSP Group, said:

“At SSP, we are passionate about building a more sustainable food and travel system for the future. Climate change is a global issue that requires collaborative action across the entire food and travel sectors, and we believe that we have both the ability and the responsibility to take a leading role in that mission. Reaching net-zero will be a challenging undertaking and not something that we can do in isolation. We have a clear roadmap for the next decade and beyond and, with the strength of our commitment, strategy and partnerships, we believe we can, together, drive positive change across the food travel sector.”   

Sarah John, Corporate Affairs Director at SSP Group, added:

This is a very important milestone for SSP and one which recognises our strong commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain. There’s real momentum on this agenda and we have already made good progress reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Our roadmap to address Scope 3, at its heart focusses on sustainable sourcing and decarbonising our recipes and menus. This includes the introduction of more meat-free and plant-based choices and increasing our use of seasonal and locally sourced items. Continuing to embed this into our strategy will enable us to make real progress on our journey to net-zero.”

Kate Cawley, Founder of the Future Food Movement, said:

“Climate Action requires fundamental transformation from businesses, and we need Net Zero business leaders like SSP to take on the tough battles now to pave the way for others to follow. The validation of SSP’s net-zero targets by SBTi is recognition of this. This important milestone in their climate journey, alongside their focus on people power driving change from within, authenticates their commitment to driving positive change in the global food system.”

Details of SSP’s net-zero strategy and progress can be found in its 2022 Sustainability Report. Its next Sustainability Report, outlining further progress, will be published in January 2024.

* Base year and targets dates relate to SSP’s financial year end (30 Sept)