DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — GEA Group is shooting for net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its value chain by 2040. The company has submitted its target commitments to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and expects them to be approved in the second half of the year.
Once confirmed by the SBTi, GEA Group’s climate strategy will contribute to the 1.5-degree global temperature increase limitation put in place by the Paris Agreement.
The company’s owned operations achieved climate neutrality at the beginning of 2021, as it uses “clean energy” generated by wind, solar power, biomass and waste gasses. The company uses a Gold Standard certification, established by the World Wide Fund for Nature, to benchmark its climate strategies and measure the impact of its projects.
“GEA is taking bold action to support the global transition to a net-zero economy,” said Stefan Klebert, chief executive officer of GEA Group AG. “Our new climate strategy positions GEA as the leader in our peer group. We are pursuing the most comprehensive and ambitious climate strategy in the mechanical engineering industry. We are incorporating our entire value chain into this effort, tackling both direct and indirect emissions. And by doing so, we are taking clear action in line with GEA’s purpose: ‘engineering for a better world’.”
The company has also submitted 2030 targets, which include reducing GHG emissions from its own operations by 60% and GHG emissions by customers using its products by 18%.
“Carbon offsets for the emissions that we cannot yet avoid is, of course, only the first step on our net-zero journey,” Klebert said. “That is why we are working to transform our business operations to effectively contribute to limiting global warming.”
To achieve net-zero GHG emissions in its own operations, GEA Group will use renewable energy and improve energy efficiency across its global network, including office space and manufacturing facilities. GEA has prioritized 29 of its most “energy-intensive” production facilities, which make up for 80% of the company’s total energy consumption.
The company has also committed to a “green fleet,” providing 100% electric incentive cars for GEA managers in Germany.
“We want to lead by example,” Klebert said. “Our transition to a zero-emission fleet – starting with the cars for our management in Germany – shows we are taking clear and visible action.”
Additionally, the company will work with its customers to help them achieve their own sustainability goals in order to reduce its indirect emissions, which account for more than 95% of its total GHG emissions, according to GEA. Going forward, it will analyze its equipment and processing portfolio to identify areas and solutions where it can provide more environmentally friendly solutions to its customers.
“Product innovation will be the key lever to reach our 18% reduction target for Scope 3 in 2030,” Klebert said. “It’s an ambitious goal, but I’m convinced we’ll achieve it… For instance, we are already equipping customers such as smoothie-producer innocent with machinery that enables the carbon-free production of beverages. Going forward, we will employ such climate-smart solutions on an ever-increasing scale.”
GEA Group will continue to “decarbonize its infrastructure,” with one project being a climate-neutral manufacturing plant in Koszalin, Poland. The facility will be self-sufficient for energy, heat and power, and will include other lighting, insulation and functional features to improve energy efficiency and reduce its environmental impact.
“The Koszalin expansion is more than just a build; it is an opportunity to create a ‘Factory of the Future’ – a competitive, climate-neutral production center in Europe based on GEA’s needs and industry best practice,” said Johannes Giloth, chief operating officer of GEA. “GEA’s Factory of the Future concept exemplifies our purpose of ‘engineering for a better world’.”
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