STIHL To Become Climate Neutral
STIHL is working on its pledge to eliminate its global carbon footprint. The company has now set out its guidelines covering actions to protect the climate in the short, medium and long term. In an initial step, all plants in Germany (Waiblingen, Fellbach, Ludwigsburg, Weinsheim, Wiechs am Randen) and the distribution centre in Dieburg will become climate neutral from 2021. The focus will be on the direct and indirect CO2 emissions that can be directly controlled (scopes 1 and 2 as outlined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol).
In future, the entire scope of electricity needs will therefore be covered by the use of 100 percent green electricity. CO2 emissions which cannot be avoided in the short term will be compensated by support for international climate protection projects certified with the internationally recognized independent Gold Standard. In the longer term, emissions will be reduced through the implementation of sustainable energy efficiency measures, and generation of the company's own green energy will be significantly increased in order to steadily reduce the amount of CO2 compensation.
The STIHL Climate Strategy
"As a family business with a commitment to sustainability, STIHL is conscious of its responsibility to the environment. We are committed to the target set in the Paris Climate Agreement of reducing global warming to less than 2° Celsius. With our climate strategy we want to play our part and expand our range of climate protection activities," says Dr Michael Prochaska, Executive Board member for Human Resources and Legal Affairs, whose responsibilities at STIHL include the Sustainability department.
After STIHL Germany – the main producer of CO2 emissions in the STIHL Group with around 40,000 tonnes – all the other global production companies will follow in 2022: Austria, Switzerland, China, the U.S., Brazil and the Philippines. The distribution companies around the world will be integrated successively into the climate audit from 2023 to 2028 at the latest. In terms of emissions from up- and downstream processes (scope 3) outside STIHL's actual area of activity, we are currently evaluating the potential for reductions with the ambitious aim of reaching climate neutrality well before 2050 and ahead of the schedule set out in the Paris Agreement.
The Pillars of Climate Neutrality
STIHL's climate strategy is built on the following pillars:
Green Electricity: in future, STIHL will only use green electricity in Germany, in other words electricity generated from renewable sources. This will enable energy-related CO2 emissions of the German plants to be immediately cut by some 50 percent.
Energy Efficiency and Generation: "In principle, our approach is to conserve resources in our production processes to the greatest extent possible: using materials efficiently, conserving water, electricity and heat, as well as designing buildings and spaces with sustainability in mind – these are all mainstays of our strategy. We will now intensify our efforts and resolutely make the most of further potential for conservation," explains Martin Schwarz, Executive Board member for Manufacturing and Materials. By 2030, energy efficiency is due to be increased by at least 40 percent as compared to 2019. STIHL will also increase its own generation of green energy, for example by adding to the numbers of solar installations.
Compensation: On the whole, STIHL believes in the principle that reducing emissions comes before compensation. However, unavoidable emissions – for example, from combustion processes or electricity in countries where there is only limited availability of green electricity or none at all – are mitigated via compensatory measures. STIHL is supporting a Gold Standard certified climate protection project in Gatsibo, Rwanda. The local population has to boil water on open fires in order to be able to use it as drinking water. Burning wood, which first has to be cut, releases greenhouse gases. This is where the project comes in: it funds the renovation of drinking water boreholes, combined with the introduction of efficient cooking stoves. This means on one hand that less CO2 is released and the level of deforestation is reduced, and on the other hand that the local forests are conserved and biodiversity maintained. It also means that people have a safe supply of drinking water and are protected from disease. Furthermore, the lives of women and girls in particular are improved significantly.
Further and more detailed information on the STIHL climate strategy can be found on our website at: stihl.com/climatestrategy