Towards an ambitious goalWith our goal being climate neutral, we have embarked on a long and challenging journey. But we have already completed the first milestones.
Technology changeThe goal of climate neutrality requires a massive upheaval in glass production. The greatest challenge is technology change, along with the time factor. In the long term, we want to completely abandon the use of fossil fuels as far as technologically possible. In developing new technologies, we are focusing on the most energy-intensive process step of glass melting. Here we are pursuing two main transformation paths: electrification and hydrogen technology. In both approaches, electricity from renewable energies plays a decisive role.
Improvement of energy efficiencyThe continuous improvement of energy efficiency and the associated reduction of energy consumption has been an ongoing task for us for decades. As part of our proven energy management system, we are constantly working to identify and utilize energy efficiency potential. New impetus is coming from the digitalization of the melting process and artificial intelligence. With new types of sensors and technology in the field of big data, we can improve the structure of the mass data we collect at the glass melting tanks, analyze it automatically, and use it for process improvements.
100 percent green electricityIn the future, our goal is to only use electricity from renewable sources. In the switch to green electricity, we have already achieved a share of 75 % in 2020. By the end of 2021, we aim to cover 100 % of our electricity requirements with renewable energy, with corresponding certificates of origin. In this context, we attach great importance to high-quality green power certificates that confirm a strong contribution to the energy transition. In the next step, we also want to procure green power via long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) made directly with operators of renewable energy plants.
Compensation for unavoidable emissionsWe compensate emissions that are not yet technologically avoidable by investing in climate protection projects certified to strict standards. We made a start in 2020, and are now expanding our compensation portfolio step by step. In doing so, we are focusing primarily on nature-based solutions such as afforestation and reforestation. By 2030, we want to fully compensate the emissions that we cannot avoid through technology change, further improvements in energy efficiency, and the use of green electricity to become a climate-neutral company.
Corporate Carbon Footprint
Glass production is energy intensive
As a specialty glass manufacturer, SCHOTT is an energy-intensive company. Specialty glasses and glass-ceramics are melted in large melting tanks at temperatures of up to 1,700 ºC. Until now, we have been heating the melting tanks with the fossil fuels natural gas and heating oil, and in some cases with electricity. Glass processing also requires a lot of energy. Due to this total energy demand, our climate-relevant footprint in 2019 was around one million tons of CO2e.
Our calculations are based on the market-based method of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG). To calculate our Corporate Carbon Footprint, we consider the emissions of all greenhouse gases. We currently include emissions from our own production (Scope 1 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol) and from purchased energy (Scope 2) in the calculation. For Scope 3, we also take into account business travel and employee commuting. In the medium term, we want to include the other Scope 3 emissions, which consider emissions in the supply chain. In order to establish comparability in terms of their climate impact, we report greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalents (CO2e).
Continuous process improvements to reduce emissions and energy and water consumption
Integrated EHS management system
Since 1995, we have been using an integrated EHS management system to ensure that high standards of environmental protection and health and safety are maintained at all our sites worldwide. It is based on the international ISO standards 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) and 45001 (Occupational Health And Safety).
In the meantime, the EHS standard for material compliance has also been added. These group-wide standards supplement national laws and regulations where it is important to SCHOTT to uniformly regulate relevant compliance topics and define a worldwide minimum standard.