Our Corporate Responsibility achievements in 2015
For more than 50 years, the Model Company Objective has been the foundation of how we ensure we run our business responsibly. The purpose of our annual CR report is to document how we act as a company and how we strive to be a Model Company.
Being a Model Company is a quest that started more than 50 years ago − and one that will never end.
This report provides an insight into our activities and a status on how we performed in 2015.
An important aspect of aiming to be a Model Company is working with products that are useful to society. The key drivers in our product innovation activities are healthy and sustainable buildings with more daylight, more fresh air and nearly-zero energy consumption. VELUX products are carefully designed to minimise heat loss through the window and to make the most of solar heat gain. Life cycle assessments document that the main environmental impact of a VELUX roof window is in the use phase. The energy savings over the lifetime of a roof window exceed the energy consumed in the production process, meaning that VELUX roof windows provide net CO2 savings over their complete life cycle.
One thing is the design and the effect of the product, another is the raw materials, which we also want to have as little environmental impact as possible. Therefore 96% of the wood we use comes from sustainable and certified forests − it is either PEFC or FSC certified – with the remainder coming from controlled sources. In 2015, we revised our wood certification strategy, defining key areas for further development and visions for the future. Our 2020 target is for 99% of our wood to be certified. Bearing in mind that only 30% of all global wood sale comes from certified forests, we believe this is a remarkable result and target.
As for the footprint of our own operations, we work hard to bring down both CO2 emissions and waste from our production. In 2015, we reduced our CO2 emission by 29% but our goal is to reduce it by 50% before 2020. To reach this goal, we have several focus areas e.g. recycle all wood waste for heating at our factories, energy management programmes to monitor, analyse and reduce our energy use, and review of energy consumption by all factories when making investments in production equipment and maintenance.
Apart from lowering our energy consumption, the environmental management systems at our production sites also help us to recycle as much waste as possible. Several of our factories are working with ‘circular economy’, intended to convert waste into value. In many of our waste streams, the waste is 100% recycled into energy or other products.
We continue to engage with key stakeholders to influence the international agenda on buildings, so that the focus of debate is not simply on energy but also on prioritising the indoor climate – we call it sustainable living in buildings. We were therefore also very pleased to see that, at COP21 in Paris, buildings were made a permanent agenda item for future COPs.
The VELUX Management Group