Fighting power guzzlers

On the way to CO2 neutrality, Christian Rube and Frank Schulte turn Franz-Haniel-Platz inside out.

For Haniel, being enkelfähig also means not just stopping climate change, but reversing it – this is how it is anchored in the Future Worth Living Principles. Haniel Holding has been CO2e-neutral since 2020, meaning that measured CO2-equivalent emissions are completely offset. But that’s not all: “By 2025, we want to achieve Net Zero Status as a holding company, which includes not only offsetting, but also removing CO2e emissions from the atmosphere. In order to also ambitiously make our contribution to the extremely tight global CO2e budget from the Paris Climate Agreement in the process, we have to cut 50 percent of our emissions compared to 2019. We will achieve this together!” explains Christian Rube. He is planning extensive measures to achieve this ambitious goal: switching to an electric company car fleet, climate-friendly transformation of business trips, mobility alternatives for commuters, and a host of improvements in building management – especially in heating, air conditioning, and electricity consumption. And has already been successful: savings were on target in 2020, and things look good for 2021 as well. “I’m totally thrilled with the insane support from the Haniel team.”

In addition to team commitment, the secret to success also lies in the fact that at Haniel, the goal of reducing emissions is part of the corporate strategy: since 2021, it has been anchored in the Health of Business KPIs; every month, the electricity and gas consumption of the buildings is recorded and, if necessary, also discussed with the management team – in line with the goal of becoming enkelfähig and standing up for a future worth living.

Small adjustsments

Frank Schulte, Expert Technical Facility Management, is responsible for identifying energy guzzlers. In recent years, the team has already implemented various measures. A combined heat and power plant, which has been in place since 2015, supplies the buildings with heat more sustainably in the winter and produces electricity on the side to supply the holding company. As a result, fewer emissions are produced. Most recently, Frank Schulte and his team replaced the lighting in the outdoor area with LEDs to save electricity. Motion detectors in little-used areas, such as the underground parking garage, and timers on appliances that are only used at certain times, such as in the kitchen, further reduce consumption. Various modernization measures were also carried out on the heating system and the temperature was lowered to reduce consumption and ultimately emissions. “Two to three degrees already make a significant difference,” explains Frank Schulte. “That’s why we always have to keep at it.” Moreover, in a property that includes offices and meeting rooms, as well as a commercial kitchen and a guest house, it’s a complex process: even a small adjustment to the heating settings can mean that hot water no longer arrives in some rooms – in which case valves have to be changed. “There has been a change in thinking here, however: To become more sustainable, we first have to invest,” says Frank Schulte.

Further measures are also planned for 2022, such as replacing the lighting with LEDs in more buildings and equipping a newly renovated building with a solar system and heat pump. “That’s a lot of measures that sound small-scale at first, but in the end they have a big effect on our climate footprint together,” says Christian Rube. Frank Schulte adds, “And everyone can contribute, for example, by airing properly or turning off lights, heating or air conditioning when you leave the office.”


CO2 neutrality

CO2 neutrality means that the CO2 footprint has been measured, reduced and offset. Accordingly, the emissions caused by the company are avoided elsewhere. There are three categories of emissions that must be recorded:
Scope 1: direct emissions of a company, e.g. from vehicles or heating.
Scope 2: indirect emissions, e.g. electricity consumption in the company building, since electricity generation causes emissions
Scope 3: indirect emissions that are not within the company’s direct sphere of influence, e.g. in the supply chain

Net Zero Status

For us, Net Zero Status is the vision that no additional greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. Avoidable emissions must therefore be reduced and unavoidable ones removed from the atmosphere. When offsetting the emissions that are still unavoidable, the goal is not only to avoid them elsewhere, but to eliminate them through carbon removal projects.