CLIMATE-NEUTRAL SINCE 2020
The Vaillant Group is climate neutral in its own operations since 2020 (Scope 1 and 2). With the relaunched SEEDS sustainability program, the company has set itself concrete targets in all focus areas of the program.
"Green" electricity, a "green" vehicle fleet and green forests
The goal is ambitious: the Vaillant Group is using its SEEDS sustainability programme to pursue the goal of halving CO₂ emissions (Scope 1 and 2) directly attributable to the company by 2030. As such, we will contribute to achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which include a target to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
How will we achieve this?
With electricity from renewable energy sources, efficiency measures in production and within buildings, a “green” vehicle fleet and lots of ideas. That is how we intend to gradually reduce our own CO₂ emissions from the current annual level of around 56,000 tonnes a year in 2018 to less than 28,000 tonnes by 2030. We have been offsetting the remaining emissions through afforestation projects since 2020.
By the end of 2020, the company had already reduced its CO₂ emissions by 35 percent compared to the base year 2018. The remaining 36,000 tonnes of CO₂ from 2020 were offset by certificates from a Gold Standard certified afforestation project in Panama.
We work on the basis of valid data and scientifically backed targets
Reducing and offsetting CO₂ emissions may sound easy, but behind this strategy is painstaking data analysis. The Vaillant Group has been calculating its carbon footprint since 2018 in order to gain a valid data set and understand how many greenhouse gas emissions are caused by specific activities. As we do so, we observe the requirements of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a globally recognized standard for determining and balancing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Vaillant Group's own CO₂ emissions include greenhouse gases that result from the use of gas and electricity in production and at our administrative sites, as well as from the use of vehicles. In the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, these emissions fall into Scope 1 and Scope 2. In addition to CO₂, the Vaillant Group also considers all other relevant greenhouse gases of the Kyoto Protocol in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Emissions of these gases are converted into so-called CO₂ equivalents and taken into account when determining the Vaillant Group's CO₂ footprint.
We are taking our lead from the requirements of the Science Based Targets initiative to halve our own greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. These scientifically sound requirements define the extent to which a company needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions – and the time frame in which it needs to do so – in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Reducing CO₂ emissions
A major factor in terms of reducing CO₂ emissions is “green” electricity, which – especially when used at production sites – enables an annual CO₂ saving of up to 18,000 tonnes. Our plants and branches in Germany have been running completely on green power since 2017, with the plants in the French city of Nantes and the British town of Belper following suit in 2018. Since 2020, all Vaillant Group sites have been sourcing electricity from renewable energy sources.
A second key factor is reduced energy consumption within the production processes and buildings of the Vaillant Group. Efficiency measures in production and within buildings are designed to help lower gas consumption at the Vaillant Group and thus significantly reduce the associated CO₂ emissions.
A third factor is the vehicle fleet. Their CO₂ emissions must fall significantly by 2030 – thanks to more economical vehicles and, wherever possible and reasonable, electric vehicles.
A complete avoidance of CO₂ emissions requires that after 2030 renewable energies are available in the electricity and gas grid in sufficient quantities.
A forest grows from SEEDS
We are committed to the long-term offsetting of CO₂ emissions that we are (as yet) unable to avoid by setting up our own afforestation projects. That’s because forests are able to capture the climate-damaging greenhouse gas CO₂ from the atmosphere and store it over the long term.
As part of long-term projects, the Vaillant Group will plant areas of forest in emerging countries. The company is a partner in new landscape and reforestation projects in Peru and Costa Rica. Until these planned new areas of forest capture all the company’s emissions remaining after the reduction measures, the Vaillant Group will purchase CO₂ certificates from an existing and gold-standard certified afforestation project in Panama.
And what about emissions under shared responsibility?
Our climate strategy relates to emissions for which the Vaillant Group is directly responsible – in other words, the emissions we generate ourselves and over which we have an influence (Scope 1 and 2). In addition, there are emissions that are generated in the upstream or downstream sections of the value chain and over which we only have an indirect influence (Scope 3). We share responsibility for these emissions with suppliers, employees and customers. These include emissions connected with purchased goods and services, as well as those that are caused by transport, business trips and our employees’ commutes to work.
Scope 3 emissions also include emissions that are caused by the use of Vaillant Group products. The extent of the emissions generated during the operation of a heating system depends on the energy source, the energy standard of the building concerned and personal heating habits. With highly efficient products and state-of-the-art control technology, the Vaillant Group enables its customers to save energy and CO₂ emissions.