Through its new taxonomy, the EU wants to promote sustainable investment in business. For the Swedish NIBE Group, this approach is entirely in line with its values, as NIBE has been working on sustainability for several decades.
NIBE has extensive experience of working on energy-efficient solutions. NIBE is currently collaborating with both the Nobel Prize Museum and the National Museum of Science and Technology via the Science Center in Markaryd, where there is both a Nobel exhibit and an energy exhibit explaining different types of energy together with interactive experiments. One obvious aim of these exhibitions is to inform people about NIBE’s work involving energy and sustainability, as shown here by SQA Manager Helene Olsson (on the left) and Sustainability Coordinator Jenny Karlsson (on the right).
The EU has pinpointed product groups and sectors within the taxonomy that could make a big difference to efforts to counteract climate change. Heat pumps figure among the products included in the taxonomy – an area in which NIBE is a world leader.
“Of course, it is a positive thing for us that we are covered by this regulation and that we can be involved and contribute. It can only strengthen the transition efforts already under way at NIBE,” explains Jenny Karlsson, Sustainability Coordinator at NIBE.
Karlsson’s role involves acting as a bridge between sustainability efforts and financial results.
“These aspects run parallel to one another; we should both drive profits and be climate-smart. They are two different but vital ways to be sustainable,” she adds.
Having a sustainable approach is nothing new for NIBE, however. Since the company was founded seventy years ago, efficient use of energy and resources has been one of the key pillars of its efforts.
“Having worked on energy-efficient solutions for a long time before they reached the top of the public agenda is a major advantage for us. It offers us a great basis from which to continue our work as we develop and enhance the efficiency of our products and choice of materials,” explains Elin Edvardsson, who works on product compliance in NIBE’s sustainability team.
“I grew up in Hässleholm, not far from NIBE’s facility in Markaryd, and have known for a long time what the company stands for. After I got my qualifications, I wanted to join a company with a future, which is what NIBE has. Smart energy solutions are something I can really support,” she says.
Today, Edvardsson works closely with product development and ensures that a sustainability approach is incorporated throughout the entire value chain. She also offers guidance to NIBE’s subsidiaries in their sustainability efforts.
“What happens to a product when its lifespan is over is just as important to us as developing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers. This means taking responsibility for recycling and reusing anything we can,” notes Edvardsson.
In order to be sustainable and work in line with the requirements of the EU’s taxonomy, it is not sufficient to only examine our own operations – the entire value chain needs to be monitored.
“We work very carefully to ensure that our suppliers live up to our requirements and our values – that they work in a sustainable manner and act in line with human rights.
This involves, in part, reviewing our existing partners, but also ensuring that we select the right supplier from the start,” says Helene Olsson, Supplier Quality Assurance manager at NIBE. She concludes:
“An important driver for us in our efforts is the knowledge that we are a part of the solution in counteracting climate change. We are already starting from a strong base today, but we also need to think proactively and look ahead for the next steps to take. To do this, we need new skills, which is why we proactively seek out the next generation of engineers. Together with them, NIBE will be a company of the future.”