• Susan

Herma goes climate neutral in 2021

Self-adhesive solutions specialist Herma GmbH is continuing to take climate protection very seriously. Its headquarters in Filderstadt in southwest Germany has committed the company to a carbon neutral footprint within its sphere of direct influence from 2021. The policy refers to the Scope 1 and 2 emissions described in the internationally recognised Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Managing directors Sven Schneller and Dr Thomas Baumgärtner have announced that, from this date, Herma will be developing and producing adhesive material, labels and labelling machines without leaving behind any CO2 footprint. According to their joint statement, ‘With this step we are probably the pioneer in our industry in this field. First and foremost, however, we are eager to deliver significant results quickly. The accelerating climate crisis poses an almost inconceivable threat to humanity. Companies and private consumers alike have to apply the brakes with every means at our disposal.’

Herma is implementing a series of measures in order to reach its climate neutral target. It has been procuring exclusively green electricity, for instance, for several years. Taking this action alone reduces CO2 emissions by around 10,000 tonnes a year. The use of fossil fuels for heating and other purposes, however, currently gives rise to a CO2 output in a similar amount. For this reason, the company will be purchasing green gas in future, which its supplier has already placed on a carbon neutral footing. But emissions are still being produced in the gas production and distribution chain, by the green electricity transmission infrastructure, and through the consumption of oil. In order to achieve actual climate neutrality as per Scope 1 and 2, explained the two directors, Herma will be completely offsetting emissions that remain unavoidable for the foreseeable future by way of compensation measures. Through the Swiss foundation myclimate, it is investing worldwide in social and ecological projects.

The adopted measures are based on a carbon footprint analysis undertaken by the company in collaboration with myclimate. It is based on the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and encompasses the climate affecting greenhouse gases for which the company is operationally responsible (Scope 1 and 2 emissions). The actions it has already taken or is now initiating in the drive to achieve climate neutrality apply initially to its plants in Germany, all of which are situated in Filderstadt. ‘Given that our manufacturing takes place almost exclusively in Germany and practically all of the climate affecting emissions arise here, for the time being we have excluded the international subsidiaries from the carbon footprint analysis, which requires considerable input,’ states the directors’ statement.

Herma has a long standing record of applying innovation to the task of reducing CO2 emissions. In recent years, for example, it has reduced the energy consumption per square metre of adhesive material produced by around 20% – in its division that consumes by far the largest amount of energy. In the new coating facility that was commissioned in spring 2020, a combined cooling, heat and power plant is among the provisions that have significantly curbed energy consumption, measured against the figures posted by the factory that was built in 2008. In consequence, the company is now saving a quantity of electricity roughly equivalent to the annual consumption of 200 family homes. The heat savings offset the annual consumption of around 100 homes.

The policy statement outlining the company’s overarching environmental protection strategy concludes, ‘In every new investment and innovation project we are seeking to maximise sustainability, and we also intend to deliver further substantial outcomes by way of additional interim steps’.


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