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RESPONSIBILITY FOR A BETTER CLIMATE

Corporate success and responsibility for the environment and society merge into one in the Vaillant Group.

Our SEEDS sustainability programme – successfully entering the second round

Responsibility is anything but a passing fancy for the Vaillant Group; it is part of our DNA. We firmly believe that we share a responsibility for the environment, society and our employees. This is what led us to develop the SEEDS sustainability programme. After all, we are committed to taking care of a better climate. Inside each home and the world around it.

The Vaillant Group is becoming climate-neutral

“SEEDS” stands for “Sustainability in Environment, Employees, Development & Solutions and Society”. The sustainability programme sets specific, quantifiable targets in these four focus fields. What began back in 2011 with targets for 2020 is now entering the second round. We have taken on a lot for 2030 and set specific targets in all four focus fields. One particular goal: the Vaillant Group is becoming climate-neutral. The company wants to halve its CO₂ emissions by 2030. We will offset unavoidable emissions will be offset by afforestation projects. As such, the Vaillant Group will contribute to achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which include a target to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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Ambitious targets and specific measures

We launched SEEDS at the company in 2011. SEEDS is also characterised by specific key performance indicators. These make it possible to quantify and verify the targets, allowing us to ensure maximum transparency.

Our sustainability programme SEEDS is set to bear further fruit by 2030 – and help an entire forest grow. Join us!

Protecting resources, saving energy, reducing emissions and avoiding waste

Environment

Every day, our environmental managers like Nazife Yaman work on conserving resources and using them responsibly, consistently focusing on green electricity and cutting energy consumption. That’s because the Vaillant Group wants to halve its own CO₂ emissions to actively protect the climate. We will offset unavoidable emissions through afforestation projects. By doing so we will become a climate-neutral company as of 2020.

It makes sense: sustainability targets set for and by colleagues

Employees

The Vaillant Group has set itself the goal of becoming the employer of choice. Our employees form the foundation and soul of the Vaillant Group – each and every one of them makes a personal contribution to the success of our family-owned company.

It cannot get any greener. Or can it?

Development & Solutions

With the 6 Green Rules the Vaillant Group is ensuring that sustainability criteria are already taken into account during the product development process, from the first sketch throughout the entire product life cycle. This applies both to the efficient use of energy and to the selection of environmentally friendly materials. A milestone for more sustainability.

Taking on social responsibility through our core business

Society

The Vaillant Group assumes social responsibility. The commit ourselves to social advancement and improving the welfare of others – for instance through our strategic partnership with “SOS Children’s Villages worldwide”. We pay particular attention to the recognition of the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and the protection of human rights in our supply chain.

An interview with Claudia Altenrath, Head of Sustainability Management

“Being a climate-neutral company is a big challenge. We see it as part of our responsibility.”

Ms Altenrath, how have the ten years of SEEDS changed the Vaillant Group?

Claudia Altenrath: We have definitely become a more sustainable company since 2011. We succeeded in reaching most of the targets we set for 2020. Above all else, however, we managed to include many different company divisions and partners. Examples include the sustainability ambassadors in the central company divisions and the national sales companies. They are committed to the SEEDS philosophy and make it possible to embrace sustainability across the board. This is the prerequisite for being able to take the next step.

Let’s be specific. How would you summarize the situation following the first stage of SEEDS?

Claudia Altenrath: We have achieved a large number of the targets we set ourselves for 2020. In the field of Environment, we had made such good progress by the halfway stage that we set ourselves new, higher targets in 2016. We also achieved these. The same goes for the field of Society: as part of our cooperation with “SOS Children’s Villages worldwide”, we have realised 76 projects in 21 countries – a truly impressive achievement by our employees and installation partners. We have signed up to the UN Global Compact, committed all suppliers to recognise the Ten Global Compact Principles – and haven’t had to record any critical cases in our audits. But, of course, there are targets that we have only partly achieved.

Which targets are these and what do you intend to do about it?

Claudia Altenrath: Without doubt, we continue to work on achieving them. One key target in the Development & Solutions field of focus was to increase the share of product revenue attributable to high-efficiency technologies and technologies based on renewable energies to 80 per cent. Since 2010, the year taken as a basis for comparison, we have increased the share by around 15 per cent, but we are still short of the target. We have managed to more than halve the accident rate per 200,000 working hours since 2011, but that isn’t good enough for us. We want to avoid occupational accidents completely if possible.

The next phase is now getting under way. What can we expect from SEEDS 2030?

Claudia Altenrath: To begin with, SEEDS still consists of the four focus fields of Environment, Employees, Development & Solutions and Society. In these four focus fields, SEEDS sets new ambitious, specific and quantifiable targets that we will regularly track. One particular goal stands out here: we want to be a climate-neutral company.

Climate neutrality is a big challenge for a manufacturing company. How do you intend to achieve this goal?

Claudia Altenrath: We will gradually halve our own CO₂ emissions by 2030. At present, the annual figure is around 56,000 tonnes, attributable to the company’s own electricity and gas consumption as well as running the vehicle fleet. The aim is to reduce these emissions to 28,000 tonnes per annum by 2030. We want to achieve this by using more green electricity in our plants and branch offices, by producing even more efficiently, by implementing efficiency measures in our buildings and by increasing the number of electric vehicles in our fleet. Emissions that we are not yet able to avoid are offset via afforestation projects.

This will take a great deal of time and effort, not to mention money … why is the Vaillant Group doing this?

Claudia Altenrath: We are convinced that it will pay off – both for the climate and ourselves. We are aware of our responsibility. By exercising it, we will contribute to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, in which the nations of the world have agreed to cut carbon emissions to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and, if possible, to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As a family business, we see these challenges as part of our responsibility. Put simply, we are taking our vision seriously: “Taking care of a better climate. Inside each home and the world around it.”

Thank you for the interview, Ms Altenrath!