Compared to 1990, Swissmem’s member companies have lowered their CO2 emissions by 55% (as at 2021). This alone means they have already met the reduction target set by the federal government for 2030. This target relates to reducing scope 1 emissions (explanation below). Currently, scope 3 emissions are increasingly coming to the fore.
Scope 1 emissions come from sources which are under the direct responsibility or control of the business. These include emissions from the use of energy sources in production processes, emissions from the company’s own vehicle fleet, and fugitive emissions.
Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from purchased energy such as electricity, steam, heat and cooling which are consumed by the company.
Scope 3 emissions cover all other indirect emissions occurring at other points within a company’s value chain. Examples of these include emissions arising from making a product available to a customer, emissions generated by suppliers, or emissions resulting from the energy consumed by the product when being used by the customer.
In collaboration with consultancy Roland Berger, Swissmem has surveyed its member companies on what importance they attach to scope 3 emissions and what goals they want to achieve. 60% of the participating companies intend to cut their scope 3 emissions by up to 20%. The other 40% are setting themselves even loftier goals. 76% of the companies want to implement these measures by 2030. The key measures here relate to buying more environmentally friendly goods (cited by 73% of companies) and developing more energy-efficient machines (62%).
The reasons companies mention most commonly for the accelerated reduction in scope 3 emissions are investor expectations (55%), pressure from customers (41%) and the opportunity to position themselves as attractive employers (41%).
However, businesses lack a coherent methodology for capturing the data. There are no reliable benchmarks for this at either the national or international level. More than two thirds (71%) of the companies name this as the most significant obstacle to implementing the measures. Nevertheless, 60% of them already have what they consider to be a workable reporting system.
Businesses not waiting on policy
The survey results show that the Swiss technology industry1 is taking on a leadership role in cutting scope 3 emissions compared with industries in other countries. This is in the industry’s DNA, as it develops and manufactures innovative solutions for the challenges of our time – whether for combating climate change, ensuring sustainable mobility or developing resource-saving and efficient ways to generate and use energy. Jean-Philippe Kohl, Deputy Director of Swissmem, is impressed: “Compared with companies in other countries, Swissmem’s member companies are setting themselves very ambitious goals. I am particularly delighted that SMEs are also fully on board with this.” Sven Siepen, Senior Partner at Roland Berger, adds: “Although most of the framework conditions are basically well-known, an internationally coordinated framework would make it much easier to measure and compare progress on scope 3 emissions.” But it is clear that the companies of the Swiss technology industry are not about to let a lack of globally recognized benchmarks and measurement methods slow them down. “Once again, we can see that the market mechanisms are working”, comments Jean-Philippe Kohl. “Companies are not waiting on policy; rather, they are already taking purposeful action.”
For further information please contact:
Ivo Zimmermann, Head of Communications
Tel. +41 44 384 48 50 / mobile +41 79 580 04 84
Philippe Cordonier, Communications Manager, French-speaking Switzerland
Tel. +41 21 613 35 85 / mobile +41 79 644 46 77