Sustainability

Becoming carbon-neutral by 2020

    At Philips, we see climate change as a serious threat. One that is expected to cause some 250,000 additional deaths per year globally. Therefore we have to take action to rethink our business models and decouple economic growth from the impact we have on the environment. This will not only benefit the environment, but will positively impact social and economic aspects as well.

    Carbon performance


    As part of our company vision to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation, we have already made significant advances in minimizing our impact on the environment. We’ve reduced our operational carbon footprint, including emissions from our sites, business travel and logistics, by one third since 2007. This is good progress, but we need to do more in order to become carbon-neutral by 2020.
    Operational carbon footprint in kilotonnes CO2e
    Carbon performance graph
    Science based targets logo

    Carbon reduction targets


    Philips has set new long-term CO2 emission targets assessed and approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) – a collaboration between the CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) aimed at driving ambitious corporate climate action across the value chain. The approval confirms that Philips’ targets are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2°C.
    Towards 100% renewable electricity

    Towards 100% renewable electricity by 2020


    In 2018 we increased the proportion of our global energy requirement that is provided by renewable electricity to 90%, up from 79% in 2017. With the opening of Windpark Krammer in the Netherlands in May 2019, we took a big step towards reaching our climate reduction targets, with 100% of our Dutch operations now being powered by renewable wind energy. Philips closed long-term contracts with the Krammer and Bouwdokken windfarms in the province of Zeeland through its renewable electricity purchasing consortium with Nouryon, DSM and Google. Combined with the 100% target already achieved in the United States through the Los Mirasoles windfarm, Philips is now firmly on course to achieve its global carbon neutrality ambition.
    Carbon offsetting

    Carbon offsetting


    Although reduction is key to carbon neutrality, unavoidable carbon emissions require offsetting in order to drive down our emissions to zero by 2020. In 2018, we compensated 330 kilotonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to the annual uptake of approximately 9 million medium-sized oak trees. This covers the sum total of the direct emissions from our sites, all our business travel emissions, and all our ocean and parcel shipments within logistics.

     

    We do this by financing carbon reduction projects in emerging regions that have a strong link with health and well-being (UN Sustainable Development Goal 3) and sustainable consumption (UN Sustainable Development Goal 12).


    We have selected projects in emerging regions that, as well as reducing emissions, drive social, economic and additional environmental progress for the communities in which they are rolled out. For example, by financing high-efficiency cookstoves in Kenya and Uganda, less wood or coal will be required for cooking, leading to lower carbon emissions, a reduction in diseases caused by indoor air pollution and a lower deforestation rate in these regions. The local production of these cookstoves provides jobs for hundreds of people.

     

    Carbon reduction projects in Uganda and Ethiopia will provide millions of liters of safe drinking water and will improve public health by reducing water-borne diseases and indoor air pollution. Clean water does not require boiling for disinfection, reducing the need for wood from already degraded landscapes and reducing carbon emissions.

     

    In India a project in the Dewas region will reduce the demand-supply gap and provide renewable energy to more than 50,000 households. It will also provide a mobile medical unit in 24 villages, giving diagnosis and medicines free of charge twice a month. Additional funding will be provided to educational programs and improving sanitation facilities in five local schools to maximize the social impact.

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