With our Mission Statement and our Code of Conduct, we clearly commit to responsibility for society and the environment. Our business model consists predominantly of services provided by our employees or subcontractors at customers’ sites. We also have a number of workshops for on-site repair work, as well as smaller production facilities that manufacture special plant components, depending on customer requirements.
Bilfinger attaches particular importance to climate protection. Although we use significantly less energy than manufacturing companies, we want to contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gases.
In addition, we intend to make a contribution with our product portfolio and support our customers in their energy transition efforts. This is presented in our website Customer.
In the Bilfinger Group, energy consumption data is collected at the level of the operating units. 39 Group companies with 131 locations are certified in accordance with the international environmental management standard DIN EN ISO 14001. That is how operational units have been meeting the requirements of their regional and local customers for many years.
To calculate the associated GHG emissions, we have established a structured data collection process and enabled internal reporting of energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.
We have thus implemented the concept developed in the 2020 financial year for reporting in 2021. We work with WeSustain’s Enterprise Sustainability Management (ESM) software.
Energy requirements have the greatest direct impact on our greenhouse gas emissions. The most significant share of energy requirements comes from our properties as well as the Bilfinger vehicle fleet.
We distinguish between the energy that we primarily generate for business processes and that which we purchase from utilities. Primary energy sources include, for example, natural gas, which is used to generate heat in properties, or diesel, which is burned as fuel for vehicles. As secondary energy, we procure electricity, steam and cooling at our Group-wide sites from local suppliers.
Compared with the previous year (2020), the Group’s total energy consumption increased by 9 percent to 217 GWh (2021).
The lower level in 2020 is predominantly due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation led to a reduction in activities at some sites in 2020, with these activities resuming again in 2021.
Primary and secondary energy consumption is reported here, which, in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, has been classified as relevant for Scope 1 and Scope 2 of GHG emissions. In the case of non-calendar billing, for example if the annual billing was not yet available, the data was completed for the 2021 values based on the 2020 values. For fixed-rate leases, the average consumption value per square meter was calculated in the same way as for similar sites.
For GHG reporting, we established organizational boundaries in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology. We have adopted the financial control approach. This means that reporting is based on the financial organization and takes into account all fully consolidated companies with the exception of those that are in the process of being sold (Other Operations).
Direct greenhouse gas emissions originate from sources that are owned or financially controlled by Bilfinger, including purchased in leases relevant to IFRS 16.
For Scope 1, this refers to:
- Combustion of natural gas, oil and other materials for heating the properties
- Emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from the use of air-conditioning systems in the properties
- Combustion in owned or leased vehicles and machinery
Scope 2 includes greenhouse gas emissions from the generation of electricity, steam, heating and cooling purchased by the company from utilities (indirect emissions).
- Electricity consumption in properties, fleet and machinery
- Purchased district heating, steam and cooling
In reporting on indirect emissions (Scope 2), we distinguish between market-based and site-based methods, following the GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance. For financial years 2020 and 2021, we have reported Scope 2 emissions using the site-based method. This method uses emission factors as an average country value for the relevant sites. We use a database from the provider Ecoinvent for this purpose. The basis for the calculation is the value from the methodology developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013-climate change-GWP 100a-(kg CO2-Eq) per 1 unit of reference product. Emissions are reported in CO2 equivalents.
The additional determination in accordance with the market-based method, in which the actual electricity mix is taken into account by the respective supplier, will be added gradually beginning in 2022.
Net-zero emissions by the end of 2030 at the latest
Within the scope of our sustainability strategy, we have set the goal of gradually reducing our GHG emissions and achieving net-zero emissions by the end of 2030 at the latest. In terms of unavoidable emissions, this includes the offsetting mechanism of investing in additional CO2-reducing projects as well as carbon credits. In the coming financial year, we intend to conduct a detailed analysis of the data that was collected for the first time in 2021 in order to derive appropriate measures and sub-targets and to manage the development of our GHG emissions.
Internally, we rely on a participatory approach. It is important to us to involve the entire workforce in the implementation process at all levels. This also enables us to take account of regional differences in regulations and legislation. Various instruments will be used to ensure the goals are firmly anchored, for example by defining personal goals accordingly or positioning the sustainability strategy as a focus topic at management events and executive development programs.
From today’s perspective, the main levers for achieving the net zero target are the electrification of the fleet - especially passenger cars - and a change in the purchased electricity mix toward more renewable energies.
In addition, we want to further develop the collection of our GHG emissions. We plan to design the setup of Scope 3 data collection and then implement it step by step in our system. However, due to the significantly greater complexity compared to Scope 1 and Scope 2, this is not expected to be completed in 2022. This applies equally to the definition of differentiated sub-targets. In this context, we also want to address the requirements of the science-based targets initiative and evaluate the possible implications for Bilfinger.