ABB has released its Sustainability Report 2020 outlining the impact that the company and its solutions have on the environment and in the communities, it serves, as well as how ABB is contributing to a more sustainable development. In a year dominated by the effects of the global pandemic, ABB exceeded most of its environmental, social and governance targets covering the three areas of leading technology, responsible operations and responsible relationships. Each area has a direct or indirect impact on ABB’s business success.
2020 marked the concluding year of the sustainability strategy adopted by ABB for the previous decade. The significant achievements reached over the past 10 years form the strong foundation for the company’s new 2030 sustainability strategy launched in November 2020, with even more ambitious targets. There is a clear focus on areas with the biggest impact – enabling a low-carbon society by reducing emissions, preserving resources, and promoting social progress underpinned by a strong commitment to integrity and transparency. As part of the 2030 strategy and starting in 2021, ABB is also adding specific targets related to sustainability into its senior management remuneration.
“During an extraordinary year that was dominated by the global pandemic, ABB’s handling of COVID-19 reflects our long history of sustainable and responsible business practices, which we began reporting on in 1994. I am proud that we delivered a good performance against our environmental, social and governance targets and exceeded most of them,” said ABB CEO Björn Rosengren. “With our great people, leading technologies and the support of our stakeholders, I am confident that we will meet our new targets for 2030 and be a leading contributor to sustainable development and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
ABB’s 2020 target for climate action was to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from a 2013 baseline. In 2020, the company’s total greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) amounted to 561 kilotons, representing a 58 percent reduction from 2013. Transitioning to green electricity is an increasing contributor to these reductions with a 27 percent increase from 2019 to 2020 alone. Another notable achievement were reductions in water consumption in water-stressed areas and less waste sent to landfills.
Sustainability key part of ABB’s Purpose and the value it creates for all stakeholders
Theodor Swedjemark, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer, said: “Our sustainability track record over the last decade is strong but we are now looking to raise the bar, focusing on where we can have the biggest impact. To help enable a low carbon society, we will work with our suppliers to reduce their emissions, become carbon neutral in our own operations and enable our customers to reduce their CO2 emissions by 100 megatons per year through our leading technologies. Our new ambitious strategy will benefit all our stakeholders, across our value chain.”
ABB also improved gender diversity, increasing the number of women in senior management roles to 13.5 percent and thanks to the company’s strong focus on safety, the number of serious work injuries among employees and contractors continued to decrease in 2020. In addition, the company also overachieved its integrity-related target with almost 98 percent of its employees having taken part in integrity trainings.
ABB’s sustainability performance continued to be recognized around the globe with the company’s inclusion in the 2020 Corporate Knights Global 100 Index, the 2020 FTSE4Good Index Series, the 2020 Ethibel Sustainability Index Excellence Global and Europe and the 2021 ISS ESG Prime Status.
Taking responsibility in response to the global pandemic
As a global company with operations in more than 100 countries, ABB also helped address the COVID-19 crisis around the world with health and safety as the first priority for all stakeholders, and above all its employees. The ABB Board of Directors, Executive Committee and over 200 senior managers decided to voluntarily donate 10 percent of their fees or salaries for a six month period during 2020, and thereby raising over $3 million to support their ABB colleagues to offset the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
ABB serves society by supplying and maintaining critical infrastructure for many essential goods and services. To support customers further, ABB decided to make some of its software services available for free to ensure uninterrupted power for critical healthcare applications and to strengthen the management of commercial and industrial facilities. In 2020, the company also worked with governments to support the manufacture of critical equipment, such as ventilators and masks, as well as to support other aspects of the pandemic response.
As well as protecting its people and supporting customers, ABB also helped efforts to limit the spread and impact of COVID-19 in communities around the world. This included donations to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Childhood Foundation.
The full Sustainability Report and further details on the 2030 sustainability strategy are available on ABB’s website.
ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries. www.abb.com