Altria Accelerates Its Progress Toward Environmental Impact Targets
The company aims to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030, along with reduced emissions.
RICHMOND, Va. — Altria Group Inc. took another step forward in achieving its environmental impact targets with the signing of its first-ever Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA).
The company signed a VPPA for energy that will be produced by Inertia Wind Energy Center, a new wind farm project that’s being established in Texas’ Haskell and Throckmorton counties. Altria’s contracted portion of the Inertia Wind Energy Center is intended to address the emissions from 100 percent of its annual purchased electricity demand across all of the company’s U.S. facilities.
“This is our first-ever VPPA and marks significant progress toward our science-based environmental targets — achieving 100 percent renewable electricity and reducing operational greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030,” said Sal Mancuso, Altria’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.
“When the project is operational, we expect we will hit both those targets — ahead of schedule. We’re proud to support a project that will bring additional renewable energy to the electricity grid, contributing to positive climate action,” Mancuso added.
Overall, the agreement equates to approximately 400,000 MWh of renewable electricity per year, the equivalent of more than 51,000 homes' annual electricity use; and it is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 283,000 metric tons, equivalent to the emissions from more than 61,000 passenger vehicles being driven each year.
The Inertia Wind Energy Center will be developed, owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC. The project is expected to be operational by the end of 2022 with a total generation capacity of 301 megawatts.
To address the effects its companies and their products may have on climate change and the environment, Altria has made a significant commitment overall to reduce its environmental impact, both in its direct operations and in the value chain (supplier to retailer).
Between now and 2025, Altria and its companies will: align operational and value chain business practices with science-based methodology to limit the damaging impacts of climate change; conserve the natural resources on which its businesses rely; and reduce the environmental impact of using its products.
The company also has set 2030 environmental impact targets against a 2017 baseline. They are:
In February, Altria was recognized as a member of the CDP 2021 Supplier Engagement Leaderboard for climate change, highlighting the company's work in sustainable supply chain management as well as that of its subsidiaries. CDP is a nonprofit that runs a global disclosure system on managing environmental impact. It assesses performance on supplier engagement using company responses to select questions on governance, targets, Scope 3 emissions, and value chain engagement. Altria ranked in the top 8 percent of companies that disclosed to CDP's full climate questionnaire.
Richmond-based Altria’s wholly owned subsidiaries include manufacturers of both combustible and smoke-free tobacco products, including Philip Morris USA Inc., John Middleton Co., U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. LLC, and Helix Innovations LLC. Altria also holds equity investments in Juul Labs Inc., Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, and Cronos Group Inc.