Messer reduces CO2 footprint by about 40,000 metric tons*
Industrial gases specialist publishes Corporate Responsibility Report 2020
- Reduction of reportable industrial accidents by 14 percent*
- CO2 footprint from plants and logistics lowered by about 40,000 metric tons*
- 237 actions* to foster social engagement
- Alignment with UN Goals and newly defined own goals
- Plans call for reduction of specific energy consumption by 0.7 percent* per year by 2025
- Promotion of mixed-gender management teams planned; to that end, the company plans to increase the share of women in first and second management levels to 30 percent* by 2030
In the financial year just ended, the industrial gases specialist posted successes in the area of sustainability. One of these is the reduction of the company’s CO2 footprint (especially of its own plants and logistics) despite significant sales growth. It was reduced by about 40,000 metric tons* in 2020 through continuous modernization of the air separation units and installation of local plants to eliminate the need for gas deliveries in large quantities. In addition, the safety of the employees was enhanced: the number of reportable industrial accidents fell from 97* to 83*. Since 2013, the industrial gases specialist has organized an annual worldwide action day at all locations; in 2020, Messer even organized an entire safety week due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Topics varied from early identification of critical situations and raising awareness for potential dangers, to workplace orderliness and cleanliness, to operational discipline during a pandemic. To support diversity and equal opportunity in the company, Messer published an annual Diversity Report for the first time in 2020. Fostering social commitment is also an important goal for the family business; that’s why it supported a total of 237 social actions last year.
Sustainability through defined goals and continuous further development
Since 2019, the family business has been aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Own objectives complement Messer’s sustainability strategy. Better utilization of existing production plants and targeted projects that sustainably increase the energy efficiency of the plants will serve to continuously reduce the specific energy consumption of Messer’s own air separation units. To that end, Messer set itself the goal of a 0.7 percent annual reduction through 2025; this will result in a total reduction of nearly 3.5 percent. Emissions intensity is expressed as the ratio of CO2e released to sales. It is currently 1.53 metric tons of CO2e* per 1,000 euros of sales revenue.
Along with environmental protection, employee safety is one of the most important goals for Messer – and the company’s materiality matrix also clearly bears this out. Messer is absolutely convinced that every accident can be avoided. Accordingly, the company has set itself the goal of reducing the number of industrial accidents to 0*. In 2020, there were 83 reportable industrial accidents*.
Furthermore, Messer wants to promote mixed-gender management teams and increase the share of women in first and second management levels to 30 percent* by 2030. Currently, the share of women is 24.1 percent*.
To make developments in the area of sustainable action measurable and comparable, Messer’s approximately 10,800-person workforce* has been working according to defined Key Performance Indicators since 2014. These KPIs are regularly reviewed and further developed if necessary.
For the objective evaluation of its own sustainability performance, Messer actively participates in the ESG ratings EcoVadis and Carbon Disclosure Project. For even greater transparency, the company plans to publish the results of the ratings in bundled form on its website starting from 2022.
Sustainable action beyond company boundaries
But the family business wants to minimize more than just its own CO2 footprint: “We contribute to environmental and climate protection through the continuous improvement of our processes. Moreover, we also focus on developing technologies that make our customers’ production methods more efficient and eco-friendly,” explains Stefan Messer, owner and CEO of Messer Group GmbH. He goes on to add: “Through the impact of our gas applications, we achieve this with an efficient supply of gases – via on-site units, for example, or the use of green hydrogen.”
Along with entrepreneurial action, environmental and climate protection are core topics for industrial gases specialist Messer and firmly anchored in its mission statement. Driven by its own firm beliefs, the company has been reporting about its activities in the areas of sustainable business practices, environmental and climate protection, employees, customers, occupational safety and health, and social engagement in an annual Corporate Responsibility Report already since 2013.
Messer’s Corporate Responsibility Report with the current projects, key indicators and defined goals is available for download here.
* Sum of Messer Group and Messer Industries, which includes 100 percent of the at-equity holding Messer Industries since March 1, 2019