Swiss-Made Appliances – Carbon-neutral production since 2020
Just as before, our business operations still produce greenhouse gas emissions. Significant contributors to this include the energy consumed during our production processes, for heating, and our logistics. V-ZUG is taking action to avoid, reduce and compensate for our emissions. For the most part, our electricity is sourced from renewable sources. We are investing in intelligent and efficient plants for energy production, optimising our power supply for transport and switching to almost completely renewable energy sources in the future.
We support sustainable business decisions with a voluntary, internal ecological incentive tax on CO2. We introduced this in 2018 in cooperation with the Metall Zug Group. The companies in the Group pay 120 CHF per tonne of CO2 emitted into a fund. This fund finances sustainable projects and initiatives by V-ZUG, such as expanding the waste-heat utilisation concept, or investing in photovoltaic facilities and the possible future transition to electric mobility.
V-ZUG is not yet a zero-emissions company, but we are constantly reducing our emissions and consistently compensating for those we do still produce. For the climate – although not for air pollution – it is irrelevant where greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere and where they are reduced. What is important is that the sum of global emissions drops.
Carbon-neutral with our V-Forest
In order to be carbon-neutral today, we have been fully compensating for our direct emissions and partially compensating for our indirect emissions since 2020 with our own forest – the V-Forest. We chose this project because reforestation is currently one of the most effective methods of removing CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestering it for long-term storage. To ensure that our compensation contributions are used as effectively as possible, we created a long-term partnership with the Ripa Gar Foundation.
Our V-Forest is growing in Glen Lochay in the Perthshire region of Scotland. The Ripa Gar Foundation has already planted 800,000 trees in an area equivalent to around 700 football pitches as part of the UK Woodland Carbon Code (WCC). The WCC is a British Standard for reforestation projects and offers independent verification and validation where claims are made about the amount of CO2 sequestered through a sustainable forestry project. Our contributions are helping to grow a native mixed woodland (42% birch, 21% pine, 16% oak and other local species). Over the next 100 years, the areas already reforested will capture and store around 210,000 tonnes of CO2. As well as sequestering the CO2, the project has other positive side effects, such as increasing biodiversity, improving local water quality, restoring the moor landscape and helping hinder floods. Native flora and fauna will be able to flourish, and nature will find its balance.
It would be hard to achieve a comparable project of this size in Switzerland. Besides the available space, there were many more reasons why Scotland was chosen. It has advantageous climactic conditions (even with increasing temperatures), good local institutions and the required expertise. It will take a little while before the CO2 certificates from the V-Forest can be used as direct compensation. The trees need to grow before they can capture and store the required amounts of CO2. Until then, the Ripa Gar Foundation is supporting another reforestation project in India and is also capturing the CO2 tonne-for-tonne. The project is certified according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and is listed on the UN Carbon Offset Platform. The required amounts of CO2 have already been captured. Our participation in this compensates for double our emissions.
Which emissions do we compensate for?
Direct emissions, such as vehicle fuel consumption or the natural gas and oil heating our buildings, are all included in our scope for compensation. These correspond to Scope 1 in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. We also compensate for our indirect emissions that arise during energy production (Scope 2), as well as those we create by taking business flights (Scope 3). This has had a partially retroactive effect since 2018 in Zug, and since 2019 in Arbon. The assembly production in Changzhou has been carbon-neutral since 2020. In 2020, all Swiss Made V-ZUG appliances were produced in a carbon-neutral way for the first time. You can find a detailed breakdown of our CO2 emissions in our sustainability report.
Internally, we are always auditing how we can eliminate, reduce or compensate for our indirect emissions (Scope 3) in the future. For example, we consider the emissions in the use phase of our appliances by allowing V-ZUG customers to participate in the V-Forest project and thus make an active contribution to mitigating climate change.