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A few days ago, I read about an alarming balance: From 2000 to 2014 alone, the glaciers of the Alps lost about one sixth of their ice volume; This is shown by a recent study by the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Another news item on a subject that is well known, you might think: The fact that the climate is changing and that global warming threatens our future has been scientifically undisputed and indisputable for years. Eco and bio, climate protection and sustainability are all not new topics. But the urgency with which we must address them has taken on a new dimension – in our private lives, but equally in the social, political and economic spheres. Of course, companies have a special responsibility here. We at ENGIE also take this responsibility very seriously and want to do everything we can to counteract climate change. "Zero Carbon Transition as a Service" is our self-defined mission. Perhaps you have already noticed it, dear readers: This is so important to us that even our digital magazine, in which you are reading this article, is called "Zero Carbon".

With "Zero Carbon" into a sustainable energy future

"Zero Carbon" is at the top of our agenda. What does that mean in specific terms? On the one hand, it means that at ENGIE we support our customers on the transition to climate neutrality – every customer, everywhere in the world. Be it through resource-saving energy generation with the help of photovoltaics, through the use of climate-friendly technologies such as heat pumps or through efficient energy-saving contracting models. This know-how alone has saved us over 1.2 million tons of CO2 emissions since 1994 in Germany alone – an excellent achievement that makes me proud.

Our ambition is clear:
In the spirit of our 'zero carbon' strategy, we want to be pioneers in terms of climate neutrality.

On the move on our decarbonization path

On the other hand, it is a matter of course for us that "Zero Carbon" starts with us internally. That's why we have questioned many things over the past few months and put nearly every process and project to the test. Not an easy task, as you might know from your own experience. But one that is extremely important to us at ENGIE. Our ambition is clearly defined: In the spirit of our strategy, we want to be pioneers in terms of climate neutrality. To this end, we have launched the "ENGIE Carbon Neutral (ECN)" project and developed clear goals and obligations for our own actions. By the way, not only for ENGIE Deutschland – but for all ENGIE Group companies worldwide. Two renowned, scientifically based methods play a central role: the Green House Gas (GHG) Protocol and the Science-Based Targets (SBT). In line with these, we address our customers' emissions as well as our own. Among other things, we would like to achieve net zero emissions in our operation by 2030, including compensation limited to 200 kilotons of CO2 equivalent (CO2eq). You think that's ambitious? Yes, indeed it is. But it is possible. And the whole ENGIE group is working every day to make this happen.

Our mission: Filling "Zero Carbon" with Life

In addition, we have made other commitments within the ENGIE Group, which the illustration above shows you. There are three concrete sub-projects for the implementation of the objectives:

  • "Decarbonize Our Clients"
  • "Decarbonize Our Assets and Activities"
  • "Ways of Working (WoW)"

At this point, I would like to give you an insight into what concrete activities we are currently pursuing at ENGIE Deutschland. I have already mentioned a few examples of the project "Decarbonize Our Clients" above and many of you know these from the cooperation with us, dear readers. The two other sub-projects concern our internal activities. We have contributed to the overall goal of "Decarbonize Our Assets and Activities" at the Gera power plant, where we have significantly reduced CO2 emissions through more efficient heat generation – around 74,500 tons of CO2 per year. In addition, we are switching from coal to natural gas at Energie SaarLorLux from 2022, which means that we save an additional 60,000 tons of CO2 per year.

Action starts with the first step

We also focus on our "way of working". To achieve climate neutrality, we focus on the five areas of buildings, commuting, fleet, business travel and digital. A team is currently working on a comprehensive roadmap. Particularly in the area of digitalization, we have already implemented many measures very consistently in the wake of the Corona pandemic and will now expand them: from mobile working to remote meetings and the adaptation of our company vehicle policy to increase the use of e-vehicles to the reduction of paper consumption. Although I was very surprised how little influence the subject of paper has, for example: Every measure works, every action counts. Our Facility Solutions team in Hamburg has now purchased five e-load bikes for the servicing of our customer properties in the city center – a great initiative! I am proud and grateful for the intensive involvement of our employees. Because it is important that we get into action – only in this way can we achieve progress together and shape a sustainable future.

Warmest regards

Manfred Schmitz
CEO ENGIE Deutschland

Our Expert

Manfred Schmitz
Once a month, Manfred Schmitz, CEO of ENGIE Deutschland, shares his view on current topics in our column Impulse.

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