thyssenkrupp has set some ambitious greenhouse gas emission goals as it looks to fall in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
The group aims to cut 30% of its emissions from production and outsourced energy by 2030, and become “climate neutral” by 2050, it said.
thyssenkrupp CEO, Guido Kerkhoff, said: “The threats posed by climate change affect us all. As an industrial company with operations around the globe, we are in a particularly good position to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable products and processes. We take this responsibility very seriously and have received several awards for this in recent years. Now, we are setting ourselves clear targets for 2030 and 2050 as the next logical step.”
In February, thyssenkrupp was named as a global leader in climate protection for the third year in a row by the non-governmental organisation, CDP, which assesses whether companies have formulated a coherent strategy on how to further improve their own environmental performance as well as that of customers and suppliers. The company, once again, achieved the highest score possible and was placed on CDP’s global ‘A List’, it said.
The targets now announced take in thyssenkrupp’s own production operations, the energy it purchases and its products. In steel production, for example, thyssenkrupp is currently pursuing two approaches to reducing CO2 emissions: The Carbon2Chem project, which is expected to be available on an industrial scale before 2030, and the so-called hydrogen route, which should take full effect by 2050 and make the biggest contribution to directly avoiding CO2. Carbon2Chem converts steel mill emission gases, including the CO2 they contain, into valuable chemicals.
thyssenkrupp’s hydrogen route, meanwhile, involves replacing coal with ‘green’ hydrogen as the reducing agent for blast furnaces so that, in the long term, no CO2 is created in the production of steel. These technologies are being funded by the German federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Under its Climate Action Program for Sustainable Solutions, thyssenkrupp will also systematically work to make its products carbon neutral. The group already offers a technology for the cement industry that permits CO2 emissions from the combustion processes to be captured for subsequent storage or processing. In the area of sustainable mobility, thyssenkrupp is working with European partners to produce fuel from biomass. These fuels reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% compared with conventional fuels, according to thyssenkrupp.
Other key areas include the e-mobility sector, where thyssenkrupp supplies battery production lines and special steels for electric motors. The group is also actively involved in the development of energy storage solutions, for example with electrolysis systems that convert electricity into hydrogen. These storage systems allow a constant supply of electricity from renewables regardless of the weather, thyssenkrupp says.
Dr Donatus Kaufmann, thyssenkrupp Board member responsible for technology, innovation, sustainability, legal and compliance, said: “Our goals are ambitious but achievable. Our strategy for our steel operations alone will cut production-related emissions there by 80% by 2050. But if we are to achieve our climate targets, we need to make significantly more use of renewable energies. Also, there are no internationally harmonised financial incentives for investments in CO2 abatement technologies. These are basic requirements for making a real change.”