The use of materials is an important aspect within the organisation, especially for our producing companies. It is also important outside the organisation as we need to secure our products from hazardous substances and conflict minerals. It means that the we have to start from the sourcing process to be able to fulfill our customers demands on product safety and legal compliance.
Minimising use of materials and care for natural resources starts in our product development. Minimising the use of materials in our products, lowers not only costs for material and transportation, but also waste generation.
We have increased our total use of material, but if we compare it with sales, the material intensity is lower than it used to be.
Metals such as iron, steel, copper and brass along with magnesium oxide represent 80% (76%) of our total inputs. Other inputs are stone, concrete, enamel, plastic, composite components and chemicals such as dye and glue.
In 2016, 9,580 (10,900) tonnes of packaging material were used, consisting of wood, board, plastic and steel.
Refrigerants used to fill our products amounted to 139 tonnes.
We do not have complete data to fully report the percentage recycled input material of all our materials today. We have however started to gather information on our main materials and aim to be able to report this in the future.
Energy use is a very important aspect within the organisation both concerning lowering the usage and shifting to renewable energy. Energy is also the backbone in our business strategy, as our core business is to provide the market with sustainble energy solutions. Our aim is to provide the market with products and services that increase energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions.
The approach is to work internally with our own energy use and to develop products that can support a transition to a low carbon society and less climate impact.
One of our targets is to have at least 55% of our turnover from product that are LCE classified according to FTSE's LCE-index*.
Our total energy consumption, direct and indirect (excluding transportation), was 169* (157) GWh. Of this, 3.1 (2.5) GWh consists of electricity, heat and cooling we generated from solar and wind power and heat pumps.
Our indirect energy consumption, i.e. purchased electricity and district heating, amounted to 112 (102) GWh. Of this, 105 (96) GWh was electricity consumption. Almost all our purchased electricity comes from renewable sources.
We have started to measure emissions from transportation and now we have comparable data for our own vehicle fleet for consumption of diesel and petrol. The consumption of petrol was 3.2 GWh and diesel 20.3 GWh. This is an increase on the previous year of 10% for petrol and 11% for diesel.
*Some late corrections have been made due to discovered mistakes in the reporting. The previously reported figure was 167.
Even though our total energy use has increased due to increased production, the intensity is lower due to the increased sales.
Our target is to reduce our energy intensity by 30% compared to 2013 before end of 2020. This corresponds to a reduction from 14 MWh per SEK million in sales in 2013 to <10 MWh per SEK million in sales in 2020. Consumption of energy has fallen to 10.0 (11.7) MWh per SEK million, which means that we have already achieved our target for 2020. A new target will therefore be established in 2017.
Energy audits were carried out at 5 (4) plants in 2016. We will carry out a further five energy audits in 2017.
Our target is to phase out fuel oil burning from all our own properties and replace it with heat pumps or other fossil free technology. During the last three years the consumption of fuel oil has decreased by 66%.
A ground-source heat pump can save up to 80% compared with a situation in which the building was heated with direct-acting electricity. Both economical and environmentally friendly.
Electric motors in equipment such as for example pumps, compressors and fans normally operate at a fixed speed. Inverters can reduce energy use in electric motors by matching motor speed to the changing load and system requirements. Compared to other ways of controlling partial loads, frequency inverters can in some applications, reach up to 50 % in energy savings.
Wood burning stoves
Our modern stoves has far lower wood consumption and emissions into the environment than older stoves. A test carried out in 2016 by Swedish Energy Agency showed that wood consumption can be reduced by around 20% and emissions into the environment halved or reduced by up to 85%. In the test, modern stoves were compared with two older stoves from the 1980s and 1990s. Most of the modern stoves tested have an efficiency of 75-80%, while the older stoves in the test are at 59-66%.
We know that water scarcity is a global problem that is increasing. Today we use relatively small quantities of water and our production sites are located where there is access to water. However, the circumstances can change, and that is why we want to monitor our water use.
The main source of our used water, more than 90%, is municipal water. The water volumes are taken from invoices or from flow metres at source.
One site (NIBE Biawar in Poland) is using a substantial quantity of ground water, more than 90% of the total amount of ground water used in the Group.
There are no identified water sources that are being significantly affected.
Much of the water is used as cooling water that is recirculated for a long time in a closed system. We lack sufficiently reliable methods to compile data for the time being.
Process water is also recirculated to a large extent. We have not yet found a reliable way of calculating and reporting that.
Emissions to air consists of GHG, NOx, SOx and VOC. Tracking and minimising GHG emissions is important for all companies within NIBE Group, both production and sales companies. Besides generating GHG emissions from energy use, we also use refrigerant in our products and in own installations, which generate some diffuse emissions of refrigerants to the atmosphere. These losses are calculated based on need for refilling and the climate depleting potential is calculated as CO2 equivalents according to GHG protocol.
Transportation is an area where we are developing the reporting of GHG emissions. Today we can track and report the GHG emissions from our own vehicles. We are beginning to get data for purchased transportation and business travels but do not have enough accurate data to be able to report it yet.
Depending on the type of production process other types emissions can be more or less material, but since some of the companies have air emissions as a significant environmental aspect, we regard it as important for the whole NIBE Group and as something that we should work to minimise.
We have an indirect targets to reduce our GHG emission intensity. The target is expressed in terms of reducing energy use by 30% from 2013 to 2020 (measured as MWh/SEK million in sales). We have reached that target already in 2016. Targets will be reviewed during 2017.
All our use of electricity is bought with a "green certificate", which means that it is generated from renewable sources (GoO, Guarantee of Origin).
We also aim to minimise the carbon footprint in our supply chain, as well as during the whole lifecycle of our products. We do not have sufficient data to able to report this today.
In 2016, carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in our own production plants, purchased electricity and heat amounted to 12,100 (10,900) tonnes. Natural gas, LPG and oil used in production processes stood for 88% or 10,700 tonnes. As from 2015, the Company has increased the purchase of electricity with a certificate of origin from renewable sources, which accounts for the big reduction in CO2 emissions between 2014 and 2015.
In additon to direct emissions, there are emissions from use of diesel and petrol in our own vehicles, which amount to 5,800 tonnes, an increase of 600 tonnes on the previous year. Our ambition is to gradually switch to vehicles fuelled by renewable energy.
No other indirect GHG emissions are reported.
The foremost reduction is due to the purchasing of green electricity certificates with guarantee of renewable origin (GoO).
No use of ozone depleting substances has been reported.
This aspect is mainly important for one of our production sites; Northstar Poland Sp. z.o.o. that reports 63% of our NOx emissions and 93% of our SOx emissions. Even so, we ask all our production sites to report their air emissions so we can see changes over time and monitor whether we use the best available technology.
Reference AR 13 »
Waste is an important aspect for all our production companies and there are ongoing efforts to minimise waste generation as well as recycling more. In 2016, we recycled 85% (75%) of our waste, 11% (8%) of which as energy recovery by means of incineration. A total of 17,390 (18,050) tonnes of waste were generated, 760 (1,680) tonnes of which were hazardous waste.
We sent 1,220 (1,360) tonnes to external landfill, which represents 7% of the total waste volume. This consists, for example, of process waste, which may contain contents of heavy metals that are too high for recycling or materials that cannot be incinerated, such as stone ceramics and composites.
Water discharge is considered material for a few of our production companies* from a monitoring perspective. We have chosen to ask all production companies to report their water discharge to be able to see trends and act if there would be negative changes. We are attempting to get more reliable data on water discharge.
*Backer Elektro CZ a.s., DZ Dražice - strojírna s.r.o., Backer OBR Sp z.o.o., Backer EHP (Wiegand S.A. de C.V.)
No significant spills were reported during 2016
Legal compliance is considered one of the most important aspects aswe cannot operate otherwise. All our production facilities shall have environmental management systems in place, and if there are more than 10 employees, the system shall be certified according to ISO 14001. The systematic approach and regular monitoring of environmental performance supports compliance and makes it possible to comply to environmental legislation.
No fines or non-monetary sanctions for non-compliances were reported in 2016.
We expect from our suppliers that they follow the same principles concerning precaution and environmental responsibility as we do, and therefore we also evaluate suppliers on their environmental performance. We still need to increase the number of environmental evaluations and work is ongoing to introduce new tools to support the purchasing departments to carry out evaluations in a less time consuming but still effective manner.
Of our new suppliers, 12%* were evaluated on environmental performance. That is an increase compared to 2015 of two percentage points.
*Percentage is calculated on suppliers of both indirect and direct material.
Outcome of evaluations are not reported to Group and action plans are agreed upon between the local purchasing organisation and the supplier. We have no aggregated data to report at this point.
Environmental grievance mechanisms are part of our environmental responsibility and our stakeholder dialogue. We take all complaints seriously and strive to prevent reoccurence of any event that might have caused a complaint. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the grievance mechanism is made locally within the frame of each company's environmental management system. Complaints are also reported at Group level. Should there be an unreasonable quantity of complaints, or repeated complaint on the same issue, there would be cause for an investigation and a site visit from Group sustainability.
There were two complaints registered through our grievance mechanisms in 2016: