Berlin/Remscheid, 29 March 2023
Joint information campaign on climate-friendly heating with heat pumps
WWF and Vaillant are further developing the heating technology specialist’s sustainability strategy
Support for WWF conservation projects for biodiversity and species diversity as of April
The environmental protection organisation WWF and the heating technology specialist Vaillant are entering into a partnership. The cooperation will start in Germany and will initially be extended to five other European countries in April 2023. One goal of the cooperation, which will last at least three years, is to successfully shape the heating transition and add weight to the topic of climate-friendly heating in the energy and climate debate. To this end, the two partners are launching a nationwide information campaign. The heating transition is the term used to describe the switch to climate-friendly heating systems to decarbonise the buildings sector. In addition, WWF and Vaillant will further develop the company’s sustainability strategy, which has been in place since 2011. Starting in April of this year, Vaillant will support a WWF project to preserve biodiversity and species diversity.
A successful heating transition is key to achieving climate targets
Around 15 per cent of CO2 emissions in Germany are generated in the buildings sector.1 In order to achieve the climate targets set for the sector, its greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by more than 65 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990.2 According to plans by the German federal government, this requires the installation of at least 500,000 environmentally friendly electric heat pumps every year.3 In 2022, 236,000 heat pumps were installed in Germany.4 Oil or gas heating systems are currently still in use in around three-quarters of properties in Germany.5 With their joint information campaign, entitled “Making the heating transition happen together”, WWF and Vaillant want to inform consumers about the climate protection potential of switching to environmentally friendly heat pumps and thus drive forward the heating transition in Germany.
Greenhouse gas reduction and biodiversity
A second focus area of the cooperation is the further development of the Vaillant Group’s sustainability strategy. Initially, the focus will be on further reducing greenhouse gases in the company’s operations. The development of a long-term strategy to conserve biodiversity and strengthen species conservation is also planned. Vaillant has consolidated its sustainability activities in a strategic programme since 2011. The company’s ambitious sustainability targets include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and fully decarbonising business operations by 2050. In 2022, the company joined the Science Based Targets initiative, and regularly reports on the progress of its sustainability activities.
Conservation of habitats in Germany’s rivers
As part of the partnership, WWF and Vaillant are committed to biodiversity and species diversity in rivers. Ecologically intact bodies of water are the basis for biodiversity in river ecosystems. As a natural area, they contribute to the well-being of society, protect against flooding and are the basis of life for a variety of plants and animals. From April 2023, Vaillant will support the WWF initiative “Living Rivers in Germany”. One of the first flagship projects is the renaturation of Wielenbach am Lech in Bavaria. Artificial barriers that affect the ecosystem of aquatic life are being dismantled there, regaining a near-natural habitat for many species.
Heike Vesper, Chief Conservation Officer Transformation & Policies at WWF Germany: “The buildings sector has missed its climate protection targets for the third time in a row and remains a problem area for climate protection in Germany. More than two-thirds of the CO2 emissions caused in a household can be attributed to heating. Heat pumps can change that. They have the potential to accelerate the end of fossil fuels and be part of a socially just heating transition. Together with the market leader, Vaillant, we want to launch an information campaign throughout Germany to promote climate-friendly heating and set the company itself up to be more sustainable.”
Dr.-Ing. Norbert Schiedeck, CEO of the Vaillant Group: “The heating transition is one of the most important levers for climate protection. Well-informed consumers, stable framework conditions and sufficient installation capacity are among the essential prerequisites for the heating transition to be successful. Installing the high number of heat pumps required will only be possible as part of a joint effort. In the process, we are contributing to achieving the United Nations’ 1.5-degree target. With WWF, we have a strong, expert partner at our side.”
The Vaillant Group is an internationally active company based in Remscheid, Germany, which operates in the fields of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technology. As one of the global market and technology leaders, the Vaillant Group develops and manufactures customised products, systems and services to provide a comfortable living environment. Its product portfolio ranges from efficient heating devices based on conventional energy sources to system solutions for using renewable energy. In the financial year 2021, the company, which has been family-owned since its foundation in 1874, generated sales of around 3.3 billion euros with its workforce of 16,000. Since 2011, the Vaillant Group has consolidated its sustainability activities in a strategic programme, within which the company is implementing an ambitious, long-term climate strategy with the target of halving greenhouse gas emissions generated from its business operations by 2030. More information on the topic of sustainability at the Vaillant Group can be found here.
WWF Germany is part of the international environmental protection organisation World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). For more than 60 years, the WWF network has been working around the globe to stop environmental degradation and create a future in which people and nature live in harmony. WWF Germany is currently committed to the preservation of biodiversity and our natural resources in more than 100 national and international projects with the help of over 500,000 supporters. WWF Germany works constructively with companies to solve environmental problems through projects, new industry approaches and bilateral partnerships. Further information on WWF can be found here.
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