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By handling resources responsibly and using renewable energies, we aim to minimize the environmental impact of our business activities and protect the climate. In this way, we are helping establish the conditions for a livable future for all people. Our certified management systems for the environment in accordance with ISO 14001 and for energy in accordance with ISO 50001 at our headquarters in Niestetal, Germany, help us to continuously improve our processes and increase our environmental performance.
A globally sustainable, decentralized energy supply based on renewable energies is at the center of our business activities. Renewable energies also play an important role in our own energy supply. Since 2020, we have been supplying our headquarters in Germany entirely with decentralized renewable power from the immediate surroundings. Our in-house PV systems also contribute to this. By 2025, we have set ourselves the target of sourcing 100% of our electricity globally from renewable sources. We have already come very close to achieving this target, with a global ratio of 98% in 2021.
The SMA Managing Board is convinced that the target agreed at the 2016 UN Climate Summit to limit global warming to 1.5°C must be achieved in order to preserve the planet for future generations. For this reason, the Managing Board has geared the SMA
group toward contributing to the achievement of this target both with its systems and solutions and in its operating activities. Our technologies facilitate a climate-friendly energy supply all around the world. In 2021, SMA inverters with a total capacity of 113 GW worldwide contributed to avoiding the emission of around 76 million tons of CO2. We are also driving forward decarbonization within the company. By 2025, we want to supply the headquarters and the major subsidiaries worldwide with 100% climate-neutral electricity and heat. Our climate neutrality rate is currently already over 95%.
Responsible use of materials
For us, the responsible use of materials means continuously increasing the material efficiency of our products, using more environmentally friendly materials and complying with regulatory requirements at all times. Improving our products’ sustainability performance is something that we consider in the product development process already. By increasing the proportion of secondary raw materials and using fewer materials in SMA products, we conserve resources and thus protect the environment. In the past two years alone, we have reduced the specific weight of SMA inverters by more than 30%. We have undertaken to reduce the share of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) under the Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH Regulation) and the possible exceptions under the Directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS Directive) in our products. We are thus going beyond the legal regulations.
Waste & recycling
In dealing with waste, we use the measures of the waste hierarchy as a guideline. Waste prevention is thus our top priority. In the operational areas of the headquarters in Niestetal, Germany, we have set ourselves the objective of reducing the specific volume of waste per ton of product produced by 25% by 2025 compared to the 2018 base year. Where waste avoidance is not possible, we investigate measures to reduce materials. The next step involves recycling measures. Based on our globally recorded waste figures, the recycling rate for 2021 is 92% in relation to the total waste volume.