The environmental performance indicators shown below were determined for all HUBER+SUHNER sites with significant production activities and therefore cover Switzerland, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Poland, Tunisia and the UK. Germany is also included as a country with substantially high net sales. Each site is considered as a unit, in which energy and material enter (input), and emissions and waste, as well as wastewater, leave (output). Only those flows of energy and material are considered, which are used in high amounts, which are suspected to have an important environmental impact, or which are scheduled to take measures. Land use and infrastructure (real estate, apparatus, vehicles etc.) are not considered, nor is the impact of use and disposal of products at customer level.
Environmental performance indicators 2018
In 2018, total energy and water consumption increased only slightly compared with the previous year, while the volume of waste – at a virtually constant recycling rate – grew more strongly than the production volume. The dismantling of two old buildings at the Herisau site in Switzerland played a significant role in this sharp increase. A heterogeneous picture emerges for greenhouse gas emissions. The total volume of greenhouse gases caused by the activities of HUBER+SUHNER increased by ten percent compared to the previous year, less than the company’s organic net sales increase. However, this moderate increase is due solely to the drastic reduction in greenhouse gases in Scope 1+2* (–26 %). On the other hand, there is a considerable increase in the greenhouse gases caused in Scope 3**. The main reasons for this growth were the significant increase in the consumption of plastics and copper for the manufacture of low-frequency cables and the increased transport volume, especially of air freight.
Greenhouse gas emissions
This mixed picture is also reflected in the greenhouse gas reduction targets to which HUBER+SUHNER has committed itself under the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI) in 2017. HUBER+SUHNER returned to the reduction path in 2018 for greenhouse gas emissions that the company can directly influence (Scope 1+2), while in Scope 3 the interim target for 2018 was missed.
HUBER+SUHNER achieved its return to the reduction path mainly in three areas:
- After a technical malfunction in the electron beam crosslinking facilities at the Pfäffikon site in 2017, during which a large amount of the insulating gas sulphur hexafluoride*** (SF6) was released, the corrective measures introduced resulted in a very small amount of SF6 being released into the environment in 2018.
- The electricity for the Pfäffikon site was generated from renewable resources (hydropower plants).
- By installing a heat pump to generate heating energy, the Pfäffikon plant was able to save a considerable amount of fuel oil.
* Scope 1 emissions come from emission sources within the company, such as the company’s own 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.
** Scope 3 emissions are emissions caused by the company’s activities but not under its control, for example from suppliers or service providers.
*** Sulphur hexafluoride is the strongest known greenhouse gas (one kilogram of SF6 corresponds to 22.8 tonnes of CO2).