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Environmental performance

The environmental indicators shown below were determined for all HUBER+SUHNER sites with significant production activities and therefore cover Switzerland, China, Germany (Mainz and Taufkirchen sites), the UK, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Tunisia and the USA (Warren, NJ site). Brazil was no longer included in the calculation of the environmental indicators due to the closure of the site there. In 2020, the environmental impact of employees commuting to their workplaces was assessed for the first time.

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 2020

        Intensity (per million CHF added value)
  2020 2019 2018 2020 2019 2018
CO2 equivalents scope 1+2 (t) 11400 14300 17800 32 37 46
CO2 equivalents scope 3 (t) 57300 56900 62900 163 148 163
Total CO2 equivalents (t) 68700 71200 80700 195 185 209
Energy consumption (MWh) 48200 53400 53100 137 138 138
Water consumption (1000 m3) 922 1127 1098 3 3 3
Total waste (t) 3941 4604 4729 11 12 12
The Corona pandemic led to a lower order intake and turnover in 2020. Accordingly, energy and water consumption as well as the amount of waste have decreased compared to the previous year. Only the greenhouse gas emissions in Scope 3** have increased. This increase is primarily due to the inclusion of employee commuting, which was recorded for the first time at almost all locations in 2020. This alone accounted for around ten percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in Scope 3.

Greenhouse gas emissions

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, HUBER+SUHNER has increased the share of electrical energy consumed worldwide from renewable sources (hydro, wind and solar power plants) from around 10 % in 2019 to some 24 % in 2020 as planned. By 2025, the share is to increase to around 70 %. In doing so, 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 certificates of origin, HUBER+SUHNER makes sure that they come from power plants in the country where the electricity is consumed. Another contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions was made through projects at the operational level, such as the close monitoring of the electron beam cross-linking facilities, which contain the greenhouse gas SF6***.

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 Science Based Targets Initiative (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."
GHG emissions graph
As can be seen in the graph above, the company is fully on track in Scope 1+2 thanks to the increased share of renewable electricity. In Scope 3, considerable efforts are required to reach the target. The large deviation from the target path in 2020 is mainly explained by the consideration of commuting traffic already discussed.

* Scope 1 emissions come from emission sources within the company, such as 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 (total CO2 emissions minus scope 1+2 emissions) are emissions caused by the company’s activities but not under its control, for example from suppliers or service providers.

*** SF6 or sulphur hexafluoride is the strongest known greenhouse gas (one kilogram of SF6 corresponds to 23.5 tonnes of CO2).