ABB has released its Sustainability Report 2019 outlining the company’s performance in its key areas of Leading Technology, Responsible Operations and Responsible Relationships. Last year, ABB reached or exceeded more than half of its sustainability targets ahead of schedule.
“ABB has a clear commitment to society. This translates into enabling our customers to become cleaner, safer, more resilient and less resource intensive. It also means that we have to operate in a responsible way,” said ABB Chairman Peter Voser. “I am encouraged that we have reached so many of our targets already and that we are on track to deliver most of the remaining objectives. I know our CEO Björn Rosengren is looking forward to present a new set of ambitious targets in the second half of the year.”
Most recently, ABB has received the prestigious EcoVadis 2020 Platinum Medal for its Corporate Social Responsibility, which puts ABB in the top 1 percent of all rated companies. ABB’s sustainability efforts were also recognized during the year by other organizations including the FTSE4Good Index Series, Ethibel Sustainability Index Excellence, the Corporate Knights Global 100 Index and the Corporate Knights magazine’s list of the World’s 100 Most Sustainable Corporations.
ABB’s eco-efficiency portfolio, which enables sustainable smart cities, industries and transport systems to mitigate climate change and conserve non-renewable resources, accounted for 57 percent of total revenues in 2019. The company is on track to reach 60 percent of revenues by the end of 2020. Solutions in the portfolio included digital offerings for buildings, infrastructure, clean energy, mobility systems and energy efficiency, targeting a potential market of $5 trillion1.
In Vietnam, for example, Ho Chi Minh City’s local utility, SAWACO, uses the ABB Ability™ Symphony® Plus supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA) to reduce water leakage from 30 percent to 10 percent. Elsewhere, the ABB Ability™ Digital Powertrain solution leverages digitalization to improve factory operations, while robotics and other factory automation solutions increase efficiency and reduce waste and energy consumption. Further examples can be found in the report.
ABB continues to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability as the title partner to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship racing series, the world’s first fully electric international FIA motorsport series. The partnership is about more than a race: It’s about accelerating the pace of development and adoption of smarter e-mobility solutions for a more sustainable future.
As a supporter of the 2015 Paris Agreement and the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative, ABB aims to limit global warming and allay the potentially devastating consequences of climate change. Last year, ABB reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 41 percent compared to 2013, already exceeding the 40 percent target that was set for 2020.
With the long-term ambition of making the company fully carbon-neutral, ABB last year inaugurated its first carbon-neutral factory in Lüdenscheid, Germany, as an example of what can be done to make industry truly sustainable. Equipped with a solar power station and digital technologies, the factory is on its way to become energy self-sufficient. The factory shows all the advantages of intelligent, digitally controlled industrial ecosystems.
Furthermore, ABB became a safer workplace in 2019, with the worker injury rate (TRIFR) dropping further to 0.47 from 0.58 last year. It was also below the less-than 0.7 rate that was set as an objective for 2020. Regrettably, one ABB employee and one contractor died in 2019, as a result of accidents at work.
Last year, ABB reached or exceeded three of its four responsible relationship objectives. Integrity is the cornerstone and backbone of how ABB does business. This will continue to be the case and it will be even more essential as ABB transforms and simplifies its operations and governance model for the future.
It is ABB’s goal that human rights are well understood and managed in all its operations and integrated into its daily business by the end of 2020. To achieve this goal, ABB has undertaken initiatives, focused on capacity building, risk identification, performance improvement in its supplier base and by limiting exposure to conflict minerals.
ABB has pushed forward with its equality and inclusion program. Implementing the EmbraceDifference pledge, which was developed by the European Roundtable for Industrialists, and signed in 2018, ABB linked its 2019 initiatives to the six focus areas identified by the pledge: Inclusive Culture, Inclusive Leadership, Aspiration & Goal Setting, Clear Responsibility, Equal Opportunities & Societal Engagement, and Responsibility.
ABB is an active sponsor of the Special Olympics Germany, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Around 3,000 ABB volunteers have helped to organize the bi-annual event, taking personal vacation time to participate.
The company made modest progress toward its diversity targets over the past year. In 2019, 11.7 percent of the senior managers at ABB were women, up from 10.5 percent in 2018 and 10 percent in 2017. ABB continued to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers for girls and women in a variety of ways, including targeted scholarships and mentoring programs in Hungary, India, Poland, Sweden and other countries.
1 Business and Sustainable Development Commission, January 2017