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The Goal Firmly in Mind: Four Steps to Carbon Neutrality
Freudenberg Sealing Technologies plans to be carbon-neutral by 2045. That’s why we developed a multistep sustainability strategy focusing on reductions and efficiency. We expect to mainly reach this objective with innovative technologies and a more conscious use of resources.
Responsible, fair and forward-looking conduct has always been deeply anchored in the company culture at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. Resources are finite, so it makes sense to keep the planet livable for future generations. This is also sensible from a business standpoint. “Entrepreneurship and responsibility go hand in hand,” said Dr. Matthias Sckuhr, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies‘ COO. “Especially when it comes to society’s future.“
To protect humanity and the planet, we have set concrete, measurable goals. From 2020 to 2025, we want to cut emissions by 30 percent compared to 2020, the base year, in terms of tons of CO2 per million euros of revenue. Until 2030, we will use exclusively electricity from renewable sources. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, along with the entire Freudenberg Group, plans to be completely carbon neutral by 2045.
Four Steps to CO2 Neutrality
Even with the path to carbon neutrality defined, we know that our goals are ambitious and technological obstacles have to be overcome. In harmony with the Group, we are adopting a program called “Sustainability Drives Climate Action,” which envisions a multistep strategy consisting of reduction, electrification, green electricity, and compensation for CO2 emissions. To some degree, the steps run in parallel.
Steps One and Two: Reduction and Electrification
In any case, reduction is the order of the day on climate protection. It starts off with analysis: Where is the consumption taking place? What is being consumed? Where can we reduce our use of energy and materials and become more efficient? Based on this information, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies plans to cut its energy consumption and its direct and indirect CO2 emissions, by optimizing processes and modernizing facilities and equipment, among other measures.
More efficient processes, innovative methods and materials from renewable sources, for example, help us avoid or recycle waste; water consumption can be reduced with a more conscious use of the resource and measures to reprocess industrial wastewater.
Since we want to cut down on our use of fossil energy carriers such as oil and natural gas, the electrification of all our technologies is running in parallel with other measures. In this case, the goal is already within range. “At Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, we are in a good position: We have already converted 85 percent of the energy we need to electricity,” Sckuhr said.
Steps Three and Four: Green Electricity and Compensation
Electrification is the foundation for the next step: the switch to electricity from renewable sources (green electricity). We plan to either produce it ourselves or purchase it.
Here reduction and conversion run in parallel. The plan is to reduce demand for energy with a range of different measures. The rest of the demand will be met with solar, wind and water power, and the company intends to compensate for the remaining CO2 emissions with offsets (compensation).
Five Key Themes
To reach these goals, we want to generate as little carbon dioxide and waste as possible during production. Every company in the global Freudenberg Group is taking this approach. At the same time, the idea is to use as little material, energy and water as possible.
With these fields of action in mind, we are focusing our sustainability activities on waste, energy efficiency and emissions. Group-wide performance metrics have been defined so each business unit’s successes can be verifiably measured and compared. They also make it possible to derive additional measures.
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