Focus on emissions
Sustainability as a
strategic priority has further gained in significance. This underscores what will be important in the future: sustainable business and action for a stable and prosperous society that can exist in harmony with the environment now and in the future. In addition to economic and social objectives, the protection of our environment is also of particular importance. Processes are therefore designed to be energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and resource-conserving so that the environmental impact and, in particular, GHG emissions are reduced to the lowest possible level. The goal is to cut Scope 1 and 2 emissions by more than 90% by 2030 in comparison with 2020. In Scope 3, the target is a 90% reduction by 2040 (both in terms of emissions in tonnes of CO2e per Swiss franc of value added; the base year for the Scope 3 target has yet to be determined).
The strategy focuses on optimizing resource consumption and using renewable energy in order to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions. The share of renewable energy will initially represent the greatest point of leverage as a result of the procurement of renewable electricity and the in-house generation of renewable electricity. Around 70% of Scope 3 emissions, i.e. across the entire value chain, stem from the purchase of products. Cooperation with suppliers will play a major role here.
First steps have been taken
In 2021, Scope 1 and 2 emissions were reduced by –4.5% in absolute terms year on year (total emissions of CO2e in terms of Swiss francs of value added). The purchase of renewable electricity increased from 6% to 36%. Investments in photovoltaic installations at the sites in Switzerland, Sweden, Malaysia, China and India also made a positive contribution. As a result, the share of electricity produced in-house rose to 2.5%, up from 1.4% in the previous year. The overall result did not improve as the data collection process was being completed at the same time (Scope 1). In Scope 3, the focus continued to be on completing the data collection process, meaning that it will be possible to show the reference year by 2023 at the latest.
Initiatives to protect the environment
In addition to purchasing renewable electricity and investing in photovoltaic installations at various locations, many small and medium-sized projects are underway. These include:
- replacing heating systems with heat pumps – in India, the water for the washing facilities is heated efficiently in this way.
- treating water with reverse osmosis systems – this has already reduced water consumption by more than 4% in China and Malaysia.
- projects for detecting compressed air losses – a global project that, for example, will save more than 20 MWh at the site in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, in the future.
- replacing conventional lighting with efficient LED lighting systems – in Hungary, this has saved more than 70% of the electricity consumption for lighting. This corresponds to around 43 t CO2e per year.
- oil preparation by centrifuges – trials are currently underway at the site in Heerbrugg, Switzerland.
- replacing specially used parchment paper with reusable plastic mats in the drying process – at the US site in Wyomissing this led to around 18 m3 of waste being avoided.
- Initiatives have also been launched to reduce emissions from the vehicle fleet. This will steadily increase the share of electric vehicles and reduce the average WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure) consumption in the fleet.
Operational life cycle assessment drawn up
SFS aims to reduce not only emissions but also environmental impact in a holistic manner and has therefore drawn up an operational life cycle assessment for the entire Group using the ecological scarcity assessment method. This compares and weights various environmental impacts and their effects on human health, the climate or ecosystems and is measured in so-called environmental impact points (EIP). In the reporting year, SFS succeeded in reducing the environmental impact of electricity, heating energy and water throughout the Group. In addition, the "Disposal and waste" area in particular developed positively (-53%). This is primarily due to the increased recycling rate. The increase in the categories "Auxiliary materials and supplies" (+2,858%), "Fuels" (+99%) and "Process fuels" (+98%) is justified by the extensive expansion of data recording.
Priorities for 2022
In 2022, the priority will remain optimizing the resources used and further expanding the use of alternative energy sources, e.g. through photovoltaic systems. Renewable electricity is deliberately procured at the sites with the greatest potential in terms of their environmental impact.