Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change are among the three focus topics of the company’s corporate responsibility, with the clear target to reach net-zero GHG emissions in scopes 1+2 by 2030. HUBER+SUHNER for many years has determined its carbon footprint in all three scopes. Since 2017, the company has had reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In the reporting year, HUBER+SUHNER Group has committed to set near- and long-term company-wide emission reductions in line with science-based net-zero with the SBTi. In 2023, the company plans to submit its near- and long-term targets to the SBTi for approval. These new targets will replace the existing emission reduction targets that the SBTi approved back in 2017.

The scope 2 emission data in this report as well as related targets are market-based. Location-based data do not play a role in our present GHG emissions reduction strategy. They have been and will be published on the CDP platform.

As a first step on this journey, we drafted our Net-zero Roadmap 2030 that outlines which actions we have to take at which site to minimize our GHG emissions in scopes 1 and 2 by 2030. The year 2023 will see a refinement of the draft roadmap including a green electricity purchasing strategy.

The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in scope 1+2[1] decreased to 9500 t in 2022 (–17 % year-on-year) despite the expansion of the geographical boundaries. GHG emissions in scope 3[2] sharply increased by 50 % year-on-year mainly due to the changed data collection method and the inclusion of purchased commercial goods, which is an important step on the way to reliable and realistic Scope 3 data. Figure 6 shows the development of total GHG emissions during the past five years and reflects the consistent expansion of the system boundaries and improvement of data quality in scope 3 as well as the reduction of scope 1+2 emissions.

Figure 7 shows that copper, commercial goods, and all other materials (including packaging), product transports to customers and between sites account for 89 % of our carbon footprint. Business traffic, which played an important role before the pandemic, increased again year-on-year in 2022, but only amounted to about 45 % of its 2019 GHG emissions.

Figure 8 shows that direct emissions (scope 1) and emissions from purchased energy (scope 2) account for only 5 % of our carbon footprint. The main contributors are purchased goods and services accounting for three quarters of our carbon footprint.

To reduce its GHG emissions in scope 1+2, HUBER+SUHNER has further increased the share of electrical energy consumed worldwide from renewable sources (hydro, wind, and solar power plants) from around 12 % in 2019 to 42 % in 2022 as planned. Presently, the company is focusing on the country with the highest electricity consumption (Switzerland) and the countries with the highest share of coal in electricity generation (Poland, India, and China). When it comes to energy attribute certificates, HUBER+SUHNER makes sure that they come from power plants in the country where the electricity is consumed.

HUBER+SUHNER sites also contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions through various energy efficiency initiatives: replacement of fluorescent lamps with LED lights, replacement of obsolete machinery, optimisation of control mechanisms, closed cooling systems, heat recovery, and building insulation.

Present science-based targets

In 2016, HUBER+SUHNER committed to achieving a science-based GHG reduction target in scope 1+2 by 2025. This target was validated by experts from the SBTi. It was initially designed to support limiting global warming to 2 °C. In 2019, the CO2 reduction target was adapted to the more stringent criteria for limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. It reads: “HUBER+SUHNER Group commits to reduce scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50 % per added value by 2025 from a 2015 base year.” In scope 3, HUBER+SUHNER has defined a voluntary, non-validated reduction target: “HUBER+SUHNER Group also commits to reduce scope 3 GHG emissions per added value 30 % by 2025 from a 2015 base year.” In the base year 2015, the scope 1+2 greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 16 700 t, in scope 3 to 47 900 t. The added value generated was CHF 296.5 million.

The graph shows that the company is still fully on track regarding its target in scope 1+2. Due to the availability of considerably more scope 3-related data, the comparison with the base year 2015 is no longer meaningful. In 2015, the intensity of Scope 3 emissions was 166 percent of the base year value.

As already described above, HUBER+SUHNER is planning to replace these targets by new near- and long-term company-wide emission reduction targets, in line with science-based net-zero as defined by the SBTi.

[1] Scope 1 emissions come from emission sources within the company, such as its heating systems or vehicles. Scope 2 emissions result from the generation of energy that is sourced from outside the company. These are mainly electricity and heat from energy services.
[2] Scope 3 emissions are emissions caused by the company’s activities but not under its control. The following greenhouse gas emission sources (including extraction, production and transport to the HUBER+SUHNER sites) were accounted for (cf. figure 1 on page 43); purchased goods and services: raw, auxiliary, operating and packaging materials, commercial goods (as far as reliable data were available), water; fuel-and-energy-related activities (not included in Scope 1 and 2) like heating and transport fuels, and electricity production; waste generated in operations: waste, wastewater; business traffic; downstream transportation and distribution: transports between the sites and transports of finished products to customers; commuting traffic.

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