The VELUX Group is ready to implement its ambitious climate strategy to cut CO2 emissions by 20% by 2012 – eight years before the EU target. Pre-studies have shown surprisingly fast payback time on several of the necessary climate investments.
While an average VELUX investment has a payback time of three to four years, many climate investments are recouped after two to three years.
Earlier this year, the VELUX Group drew up a far-reaching climate strategy. To implement it, VELUX has decided to carry out a thorough investigation of the company’s potential for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The ensuing analysis of the company’s 25 factories in Europe, USA and Russia shows a possible and immediate cutback on energy consumption of up to one third. Combined with the unexpected fast payback time on the climate investments, the outlook for implementing the strategy is very encouraging.
“We are able to reach our high target with far more favourable payback times on investments than anticipated. Consequently, we are able to move faster on the climate agenda than expected. This is surprisingly good news because corporate climate investments make extraordinarily good sense when they are equally favourable for both the climate and business,” says VELUX Group Director David P. Meyer.
The goal of the climate strategy is to reduce the Group’s 2007 global CO2 load by 20% by 2012 and 50% by 2020. To reach this goal, the company is making investments of up to DKK 400 million over the next few years in a series of energy-improving initiatives.
“To reach the first 20% reduction, the requisite investment was initially estimated at about DKK 100 million. However, it is now clear that this target can be reached with an investment of just in the region of DKK 80 million. At the same time, savings on electricity are greater than expected, thus creating a win-win situation for us,” says David P. Meyer.
Real reductions and no use of carbon quotas
Unlike many other companies, the VELUX Group’s CO2 reduction targets are nominal (as laid down in the Kyoto protocol) and not relative to the company’s growth. This means that the VELUX Group will reduce its carbon footprint despite growth. Furthermore, the Group has decided not to buy CO2 quotas in order to fulfil the climate strategy.
“We believe our approach is the proper way of reducing our impact on the climate. It would be possible for us to buy CO2 quotas, but we need to clean up our own act before seeking forgiveness elsewhere. The climate challenge is a global, not a local, issue; so actual, real CO2 reductions are required. The quota system is very complex and we are not convinced that approach will deliver the desired effect,” says David P. Meyer.
According to the VELUX Group’s CO2 accounts, emissions in 2007 amounted to 100,000 tons. In contrast to many other companies, the figure contains the Group’s entire global CO2 load – not just the domestic account for Denmark. 95% of all VELUX CO2 emission is generated in production. Accordingly initiatives to cut that figure are aimed primarily at reducing the energy consumed by production facilities. Based on the above-mentioned analysis, each factory now has its own investment plan and its targets. So far optimisation of wood-chip suction and compressor technology is being carried out and several wood-chip-fired boiler units are being put into commission.
“We started out by selecting the most attractive projects with the largest climate effect. When we have picked the low-hanging fruits, we are aware it will be more complicated to reach the next milestone. We will need to take a close look at our factory equipment and products in order to halve our CO2 emissions in 2020,” says David P. Meyer.
The implementation of the climate strategy will take place over the next decade. But the core of the strategy is two-fold: while the Group will save energy as a company, it is committed to supplying roof windows and sustainable solutions that can help others to save energy as well.
VELUX creates better living environments with daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product programme contains a wide range of roof windows and skylights, along with solutions for flat roofs. In addition, VELUX offers many types of decoration and sun screening, roller shutters, installation products, products for remote control and thermal solar panels for installation in roofs. VELUX, which has manufacturing companies in 11 countries and sales companies in just under 40 countries, is one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector and its products are sold in most parts of the world. The VELUX Group has about 10,000 employees and is owned by VKR Holding A/S. VKR Holding A/S is a limited company wholly owned by foundations and family.
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