Since the beginning of fiscal year 2022, the Voith Group has left no carbon footprint at any of its worldwide locations. The company’s net zero concept comprises four fields of action: increasing the efficiency of its own processes, generating its own regenerative energy, using renewable energy sources, and offsetting the emissions that are currently still unavoidable. Progress has been made in all areas through various projects since 2012.
In Austria, for example, all Voith Paper production facilities now use electricity from their own solar power systems and also obtain electricity from 100 percent renewable sources for their remaining energy needs. In this way, Voith is sending a strong signal, as Rico Schmalz, Operations Manager at Voith Austria, explains: “The photovoltaic systems contribute to our overarching goal of operating as sustainably as possible. We see it as our duty to take measures that make ecological as well as business sense in order to make our sites fit for the future. The plant installed in Frankenmarkt alone generates a yield of around 590 MWh each year. This is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of around 150 households.”
Commitment to sustainability in many areas
Voith has taken responsibility in the area of sustainability for many years, setting ambitious goals for itself. To this end, Voith has been tracking relevant consumption indicators at its sites since as early as 2012 and initiating corresponding projects for improvement. As a result, Voith Paper locations were able to reduce waste by 33 percent, water consumption by 56 percent and energy consumption by 38 percent in relation to sales as of fiscal year 2020/21.
“By the end of fiscal 2026/27, Voith Paper’s own renewable energy generation will increase to more than 11 GWh per year,” adds Sophie Alice Fischer, Sustainability Manager at Voith Paper. “Alongside this, more efficient processes will reduce energy consumption by 2.5 percent per year in relation to sales.”
Last year, the independent ISS ESG rating agency confirmed Voith Group’s leading position in sustainability and awarded the company a premium rating of B-. Based on more than 100 criteria, Voith’s environmental, social and governance performance was rated as above average. This makes Voith one of the best companies worldwide in the area of sustainability within the plant and mechanical engineering sector.
Rico Schmalz sums up: “We are constantly on the lookout for new optimization opportunities in the area of resource efficiency and circular economy. The global expansion of photovoltaic plants is one of many activities we are undertaking.”
Sustainability program “Papermaking for Life”
Environmental self-sustainability is a key focus of the recently launched “Papermaking for Life” sustainability program. As part of the innovation and development offensive, Voith Paper is also presenting versatile technologies and initiatives that lead to more efficient and sustainable processes in paper production. The focus is on water, energy and fiber savings as well as digitalization, innovations and partnerships as levers for more sustainable production.