Climate-neutral production

shutterstock

Sustainability, energy efficiency, CO2 neutrality and climate protection are steadily and rapidly gaining in social, political and corporate importance. Europe has set itself the goal of being climate-neutral by 2050. The framework conditions and roadmap for this are detailed in the European Green Deal.

Against this background, an online event was held by the VDMA Baden-Württemberg regional association on 23 February 2021. To start with, a general overview of the Green Deal was given and the current main drivers for climate neutrality were presented. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol was used to explain which company activities are necessary for successful implementation. This was followed by an introduction to the VDMA practical guide "Climate Neutral Production". This contains a whole series of useful steps and measures, starting with the preparation of a greenhouse gas balance and the definition of company climate targets, through energy efficiency measures, the purchase of environmentally friendly energy and the compensation of unavoidable emissions, to the integration of the entire value chain.

The expert presentations from the industry looked at valuable practical experience from the point of view of both a large corporation and a medium-sized company, and explained procedures for the successful implementation of climate-neutral production.

Daimler AG: High importance of energy efficiency measures

First, the strategic perspective of the Green Deal and its effects on Daimler AG were presented. It was also made clear that in connection with the EU climate agenda, a further number of strategic initiatives and regulations from the European side will affect the economy, such as the circular economy action plan, the strategy for sustainable and intelligent mobility, the CO2 border adjustment mechanism, the taxonomy regulation or the submission of the climate law, to name just a few. Timely action is therefore becoming increasingly relevant.

In the second practical presentation, the strategic orientation and experiences for the establishment ofCO2-neutral production plants on the part of Mercedes-Benz AG were discussed. Through an intelligent combination of in-house generation and external procurement, Germany-wide consumption coverage with 100% green electricity is guaranteed at all times (24/7). In the long term, suitable measures should also achieve the decarbonisation of the heat supply. The high importance of energy efficiency measures was pointed out, because ultimately the non-production of energyrepresents the largest and best CO2 saving. Furthermore, some principles and examples of qualified projects for compensation were presented for unavoidable emissions.

elobau GmbH & Co. KG: Diverse aspects and activities

The third practical presentation came from elobau GmbH & Co KG and presented in an impressive way which activities and measures have been introduced and implemented throughout the company in recent years. Starting with the creation of a master plan and the development of climate targets, climate accounting, the switch to green electricity, the reduction, avoidance and compensation of emissions up to the long-term strategy of a holistic climate protection, among other things, for the future inclusion of other company areas, such as product development in terms of life cycle assessments, optimisation of material selection, the integration of the entire supply chain, etc., the diverse aspects and activities were illustrated.

The approximately 50 participants were given detailed insights into the topic and industrial practice, and they had the opportunity to discuss extensively with the experts and speakers throughout the event and to exchange their experiences among themselves. The VDMA's guide "Climate Neutral Production" also provided a practical step-by-step guide to getting started on the road to climate neutrality. Although the year 2050 still seems a long way off, the experts agreed that companies should get to grips with the topic as soon as possible and start balancing greenhouse gases, defining their own ambitious climate targets and deriving a corresponding strategy for achieving the targets as soon as possible.