Our Environmental Ambition
At Thule Group, we want to conduct our business with as little impact on the environment as possible. We are convinced that this is the right thing to do. But not only that, we know our entire existence as a company depends on our employees, customers, and consumers being able to enjoy an active lifestyle in a healthy outdoor environment.
To better focus and capture our various efforts supporting our environmental ambition, we have organized them into five focus areas.
Thule Group is an industry leader when it comes to product design and innovation. Right from the early design stages, we explore methods to reduce the impact our products will have on the environment over their lifetime. From design and materials to manufacturing, function, repair, and recycling – all these elements come into play.
We assess the entire life cycle impact of our products, which are built for durability and long life. By conducting Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs), our knowledge of the main environmental impact of our products increases, helping us ensure we make environmentally conscious decisions in design and product development.
We are committed to manufacturing products with materials and substances that are safe for the environment. Thule Group’s Prohibited & Restricted (P&R) Substances List includes current legislation but also our own Thule Group requirements – because we aim to go above and beyond what is legally required.
Energy powers everything we do – from the lights and computers in offices to the robotic welding equipment and forklifts at our plants. We have been taking steps to reduce our use of electricity for many years and, bundled together, all these efforts are making a real difference. But that’s never enough – we have set a target to further reduce electricity consumption by 5 percent by the end of 2016.
In 2013, about a quarter of our electricity came from renewable sources and we will continue to work hard to improve in this area. In recent years we have installed solar panels on the roof of two manufacturing and office facilities. Our target is for 60 percent of our electricity to come from renewable sources by the end of 2016.
We aim to reduce our water consumption, mostly in manufacturing but also in our offices. In 2013, we managed to reduce water consumption on a Thule Group level by 30 percent from the previous year. Moving forward, the main focus will be on reducing water consumption within factories and offices – by implementing closed loop systems in more factories, and by raising awareness in offices to minimize the water used.
Waste and Recycling
We are not only reducing physical waste as a byproduct of manufacturing, we are also recycling and improving the handling of waste in our other operations. In 2013, the total amount of waste on a Thule Group level has decreased by 2.4 % from the year before. The recycling rate has increased and we aim to improve this further with a recycling target of 95 percent by the end of 2016.
Responsible Sourcing and Logistics
Our efforts go all the way back to our suppliers, and forward to our customers. We carefully select and monitor the sourcing and logistics chain with a focus on smart and logical solutions. Working together with our suppliers is one of the key ways to reduce our environmental footprint. And it is together that we will continue to drive long-term improvements.
By manufacturing our goods as close to our consumer markets as possible, we are able to reduce the environmental impact from transportation. Sea and road transportation are the most common but we aim to increasingly replace road transportation with rail. Air transport is used to a very limited degree. Nevertheless, we strive to reduce air shipments because they have a high environmental impact compared with other modes of transportation.