Show, don’t tell: Corporate climate action with VELUX

Posted on November, 17 2022

WWF Climate Business Network lead Seán Mallon speaks to the VELUX Group about the action the company is taking on the climate crisis.
The window to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C is closing fast. If we have any chance of keeping global heating below catastrophic levels, every business must play its part.
As part of our efforts to encourage businesses to show what credible action they're taking instead of just talking about it, we’ve asked some of our corporate partners to share what they have learned with others. We are doing this to show what is possible and give companies real-world examples of what can be done. We want to take the conversation from words on a page to actions businesses can visualize, adapt and replicate.
We asked VELUX to share their story: 

Taking responsibility for past and future emissions

The latest Emission Gap Report from the UN Environment Programme found that the international community is falling far short of the goals of the Paris Agreement, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C currently in place. With the accelerating impacts of climate change, taking action together has never been more important. The VELUX Group recognizes the importance of WWF’s climate leadership vision and we engage actively with all seven actions put forward in the corporate climate leadership project.

We have decided to take responsibility for both past and future carbon emissions and we have had our targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Through forest projects developed and driven by WWF, VELUX will capture at least 4.5 million tonnes of CO2e, equivalent to the group’s historical CO2 emissions since it was founded in 1941 and until its 100-year anniversary in 2041 (scope 1 and 2). The projects will be designed with a 25% buffer, bringing the total estimated carbon capture to 5.6 million tonnes of CO2.

In addition to the partnership with WWF, VELUX is furthermore committed to reduce its own carbon footprint to near zero and to halve its value chain emission by 2030.

Collaboration and partnerships are critical to drive the needed transformation. We will use our presence at COP27 to continue the dialogue with partners in both the public and private sectors to learn from others and share our experience.

Ambitious climate targets well on track

VELUX have set ambitious climate targets and we are working hard to deliver. In our twenty-year partnership with WWF, we aim to capture 100 years of CO2 emissions via a portfolio of forest projects in tropical forest landscapes with high biodiversity value. Our first forest project in Uganda is progressing as expected with 100,000+ seedlings of native tree species planted in Kagombe Central Forest Reserve – an area which has experienced a 73% deforestation rate in the past decade. Validation is underway and will conclude in 2023. The additional forest projects to complete the portfolio in the partnership will be communicated in 2023.

With the majority of our emissions in scope 3, partnerships and collaboration with our value chain partners is key. Boaz Basigirenda, Range Manager, National Forestry Authority, Uganda puts it very nicely when he says, “conservation of natural resources is not a one man’s dance.”

We have taken steps to collaborate with key players in our value chain. One such partnership is with our supplier Norsk Hydro to reduce carbon in aluminium. With more than 62% of the VELUX Group’s carbon footprint stemming from materials used in our products, value chain collaboration is critical. By using low-carbon material, our emissions per kilo of aluminium used in the manufacturing of VELUX roof windows and accessories will be reduced.

We seek to inspire through leadership actions

The building industry – where VELUX operates – is responsible for over a third (38%) of the world’s entire CO2 emissions. As a leader in the building materials sector, we take our responsibility seriously and with our sustainability strategy, have set our roadmap for the ‘decade of action.’ We know that no one can tackle this global challenge alone and an important part of our strategy is to engage our organization and suppliers.

WWF’s climate leadership vision sets out seven actions that are expected from a corporate climate leader. We engage with all seven actions and we are committed to act as a leader and strive for improvements in all seven areas. We encourage our suppliers and peers in our industry to maximize their contribution to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C and to set ambitious targets aligned with the SBTi.

Leadership action number 5 – ‘engage responsibly and actively in climate policy’ is a particular focus at the moment. Business is a key part of the solution. Policymakers can and need to set a firm and ambitious direction, but it rests upon business to deliver a lot of the impact and thus action. For this, the private sector needs clear and transparent rules and regulations from policy makers in order to fully support delivery of their climate strategies. This will create a positive base for development and execution of required changes as quickly as possible. The right policies are essential for climate change mitigation, long-term planning, stability and co-ordination between different actors in society.

COP27 might be our last opportunity to make a difference on climate change. Now is the time to turn words into action and to put forward concrete measures on climate action. Business must help lead the way through their actions.
Learn more about VELUX's sustainability actions ‘It’s our nature.’
WWF and the VELUX Group's ambitious partnership commits the company to take responsibility for both its past and future emissions.
© WWF Denmark / Jonas Lysholdt Ejderskov