In 2022, STIHL cut its direct carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by a substantial margin compared to the prior year. As detailed in the family-owned company's 2022 Sustainability Report, which it published on May 25, the 43 percent decline was primarily due to the conversion of the STIHL production companies worldwide to green electricity.
STIHL has launched a variety of initiatives that are allowing it to live up to its responsibility in terms of sustainability. Switching to green electricity is a first step. By 2030, for example, STIHL intends to reduce the consumption of natural gas and oil by 40 percent Group-wide compared to 2019. To this end, the Group has identified more than 100 individual measures worldwide, with a special focus on technological advancements. In order to mitigate emissions from upstream and downstream value chains as well (Scope 3), product environmental footprints that will determine the ecological footprint in CO2 equivalents in every life-cycle phase have been drawn up for initial product groups. Plans are in place to analyze the footprint of as much of the product portfolio as possible in the near future and incorporate the findings into the product development process.
Circular products and less plastic
In line with the goal of circularity, the company aims to enhance its products to make them as circular as possible. To this end, it launched a pilot project in late 2022 to investigate the potential of a clearing saw that is fully circular. Projects to reduce plastic packaging and carbon emissions have also been initiated. One of them focuses on converting mowing head packaging from plastic to solid and corrugated fiberboard, which could help save more than 100 metric tons of plastic by the end of 2023.
Sustainable supply chains
With sustainability also set to play a pivotal role in supplier management going forward, STIHL has expanded the main purchasing criteria (price, quality, and logistics) to include sustainability-oriented aspects. One of the additional measures is a risk exposure analysis of all suppliers that classifies suppliers into different risk categories and acts as a basis for the necessary preventive measures. In addition, STIHL has introduced a self-evaluation platform that Group companies can use to check their suppliers' conformity with the relevant sustainability and compliance standards. For greater transparency and sustainability, STIHL has also started analyzing potentially critical supply chains as a whole. The current focus is on magnesium, cobalt, and textiles.
"Through our sustainability activities, we hope to make a positive contribution to climate change mitigation, work more resource-efficiently, and continue ensuring fair working conditions in order to keep making it easier for people to work in and with nature going forward," says Dr. Michael Prochaska, STIHL Executive Board member for Human Resources and Legal Affairs, who is also in charge of sustainability at the Group.
All activities, as well as the sustainability strategy and its targets, are outlined in the STIHL Sustainability Report for 2022. The online version is available at www.sustainabilityreport.stihl.com/2022.