On way to an ambitious goal. Jacek Siwinski, President of VELUX Poland

On way to an ambitious goal. Jacek Siwinski, President of VELUX Poland

In 2020 Velux Group announced a new Sustainable Growth Strategy. Along the way we have had difficult years dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges related to shipments. So what about the ambitious goals, any success in implementing them?

Despite many business challenges in the past couple of years, we have managed to activate projects, which allowed us to step on the ambitious patch to realizing strategic goals. New Sustainable Growth Strategy 2030 is our direction map for the upcoming decade. It assumes reaching carbon neutrality by the year 2030, reducing our products carbon footprint by 50%, or completely eliminating plastic, single use products from all product packaging. On top of that we will increase reusing generated waste by nearly 100%. It’s also important to change structure of purchased electrical power into green. Our aim is to have 100% of energy from renewable energy sources.

Projects that implement these aims have been started. By as early as 2023 VELUX factories will improve their energy effectiveness in production and will move onto 100% renewable energy sources. Additionally VELUX will begin to put to life technological innovations to decrease our carbon footprint in our products by 50% and increase the level of waste management by nearly 100%. For our company’s centennial celebration we want to neutralize our all-time CO2 emission. To realize this aim we have begun a long term partnership with WWF within which we are working on projects associated with protecting and planting forests. They will absorb huge amounts of CO2 which are equal to all-time carbon footprint, that is 5,6 million tons.

Is caring for the environment and climate, a choice for industries, perhaps a guarantee of growth, or even perseverance?

You have to be conscious that a company’s actions for climate and environment, measuring carbon footprint, striving for carbon neutrality will become a common practice, even a must in the coming few years. Companies and entire nation economies, which do not conform to these changes will not be competitive on the European market. Earlier companies competed with each other in areas such as product pricing, currently reducing ones carbon footprint is becoming the more important aspect. International counterparts demand that industries that decide on the declaration regarding reducing the carbon footprint, from which their cooperation will depend on in the long run. I think, it is the beginning of major transformation of the way companies will be managed and introducing products and solutions to the market. To remain competitive, companies will have to undertake sustainable actions, which will encompass production, supply chains, products and employees. Thanks to this strategy we not only aim to maintain a high level of competitiveness, but additionally we want to increase our substantial lead on the market.

One of the key actions in favour of the environment is striving for carbon neutrality and measuring our carbon footprint. Companies that want to measure their carbon footprint should take what necessary steps?

Achieving carbon neutrality demands actions in many fields, governing boards now have to start incorporating long term strategies and take into consideration cooperation with their partners in this regard. First order of business, I would recommend incorporating ESG strategies into their organization, with which measuring one’s own emissions could be one measure of their realization. During this process you can use the help from organizations that set standards and help companies in finding the best methods for achieving goals. We took on the Science Based Targets (SBTi) initiative. Thanks to this we take advantage of world renowned methodology which guarantees clearly defined path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have set goals for ourselves: 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from scope 1 and 2 as well as 50% reduction in scope 3 up to 2030. in turn we have selected the most ambitious path to slowing down climate change and keeping it at 1,5oC.

For many companies the main challenge in reducing the carbon footprint is the delivery chain? How does Velux cope with this subject?

Our Sustainable Growth Strategy assumes that suppliers will join in on the process, and in this manner we will reduce our products carbon footprint by 50% by the year 2030. Close cooperation with our suppliers in the field of documenting emissions is guaranteed success in achieving this goal. In order to understand and map our emissions from scope 3, along with our external suppliers and organizations within the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Carbon Trust we created a central model, which suppliers can access with the aim to document their carbon footprint. Suppliers can take advantage of our model while working with their clients and as a basis for their own strategy in reducing their carbon footprint.

What was the milestone recently while realizing your Strategy?

One of our goals for the year 2030 is to ensure materials used for packaging are manufactured from homogenous material, 100% recyclable and containing no artificial materials. Currently 90% of roof windows are packaged without using plastics. It’s a very important milestone on the road to achieving our strategic goal. Thanks to eliminating plastic materials from our packaging, our carbon footprint gets reduced to a 13% clip. On the same token we have lowered our costs, eliminating 900 tons of plastic yearly from our packaging. This change included the most popular types of windows, in time we will substitute other packaging, for example for blinds or materials for installation.

Packaging for the most popular roof windows VELUX instead of plastic now contain elements manufactured only from paper or cardboard. We replaced Styrofoam fittings, which secure windows during transport, with fittings made of cardboard with honeycomb structure. We are glad we have gotten away from Styrofoam fittings, since it is quite problematic as waste in recycling, since 98% of its structure contains air, and only 2% polystyrene. This makes not very profitable, even if only for reasons of costly transport. Very few people also know how to sort it, and the new packaging definitely makes the sorting process of waste much easier after unpacking the windows. You can dispose of all materials into the waste bin for paper materials, avoiding having to sort waste into particular categories.

More and more companies realize that, the construction industry has a monumental role in controlling the climate and environmental crisis. Ecologically friendly solutions and responsible actions for our environment are also expected from our clients. Packaging is a environmental calling card of a company, this is why more and more companies from different industries pays close attention to this.

Jacek Siwiński – General Manager of VELUX Poland, responsible for planning and implementing the development strategy of the company, sets the directions of communications and policy guidelines of corporate social responsibility. Graduated Warsaw University of Technology and management studies of Warsaw School of Economics, as well as the Executive MBA program at the Business School Warsaw University of Technology. Experienced manager, from the beginning of his career associated with the construction industry.

Last Updated on September 27, 2022 by Anastazja Lach