Reducing emissions

with “Lean & Green”

The “Environmental Roadmap 2020–2025” calls for a variety of different measures to help the SFS Group reach its CO2 reduction targets. One of those is optimizing its in-house performance in line with the “Lean & Green” program. Numerous measures from several divisions and countries were implemented over the past year that were designed not only to reduce energy consumption, cutting waste and emissions but also to use renewable energies and promote biodiversity.

Added value

  • Use of renewable energy expanded
  • Further progress made in efforts to reduce energy consumption and direct emissions
  • Biodiversity promotion projects launched
Photovoltaic system in Hallau (Switzerland)

Use of renewable energy expanded
The four Swiss production facilities in Heerbrugg, Altstätten, Flawil and Hallau decided in 2021 to have their future energy needs met through the use of climate-neutral electricity. A substantial expansion in the photovoltaic system at the Group’s headquarters in Heerbrugg (Switzerland) will put SFS in a position to satisfy around 10% of the current energy requirements of its Swiss production facilities on its own. SFS meets the remainder of its electricity requirements through hydropower.

New photovoltaic systems were built and existing systems expanded at several different SFS locations. One example is the new system at the Unisteel site in Malaysia. They produce 1,720 MWh of renewable energy, enabling Unisteel to reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 1,200 tons per year. Another example is the photovoltaic system in Hallau (Switzerland), which has an installed capacity of 260 KWp. Those in charge expect this system to produce around 240 MWh per year, which translates to a reduction in CO2 emissions of around 30 tons.

The Helmond (Netherlands) facility also relies fully on renewable energies: This location obtained 100% of its electricity from Dutch wind energy throughout all of 2021, which corresponds to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 65,200 kg per year. The German site in Oberursel also obtains 100% renewable energy from hydropower. This green electricity is also used for the two e-charging stations.

Our production facility in Valence (France) is also going to great lengths to reduce its CO2 emissions. This location has shifted fully from gas to biogas, which is produced through methanation. That change has enabled Valence to reduce its CO2 emissions by around 75%.

Progress made in efforts to reduce energy consumption
More than ten production facilities have switched to the use of LED technology for lighting and reduced their energy consumption in the process. At the Torbali (Turkey) site, for example, around 450 florescent lamps were replaced by LED lamps. This results in a 4,500 W reduction in the amount of electricity consumed while still achieving the same level of brightness.

The Swiss site in Altstätten also cut its energy consumption. Injection molding machines are now being replaced by fully electric machines or machines that work in hybrid mode. This change is calculated to reduce the site’s energy requirements by around 50%.

Three sites have already initiated a process aimed at reducing compressed air consumption: Pordenone (Italy), Leeds (United Kingdom) and Heerbrugg (Switzerland). This can also result in energy and cost savings.

E-charging station in Heerbrugg (Switzerland)

Environmentally friendly mobility promoted
Several different locations, for example Leeds (United Kingdom) and Torbali (Turkey), are renewing their company vehicles exclusively with hybrid or fully electric cars. In Heerbrugg (Switzerland), visitors and employees now have the opportunity of charging their vehicles at the new charging stations that use solar power generated on-site. Due to the low cost of operating the charging stations, these investments have already paid off.

Beehive in Oberursel (Germany)

Biodiversity promoted
A project aimed at promoting biological diversity was implemented in Heerbrugg (Switzerland): An ecological compensation area came to life in front of an office building on an employee’s initiative. This newly created habitat for a multitude of animals and plants is appealing to employees, as well, and even requires less care and maintenance.

That bees actively contribute to a healthy environment is a well-known fact. The facility in Oberursel (Germany) has now established a colony of bees on the company’s premises that is cared for by a trained beekeeper. This exciting project, one that also produces an extremely appealing client gift, is currently envisaged to last two years.

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