A green leader
Preserving the environment is one of our guiding principles. Siemens Gamesa has established several policies that outline our obligatory and voluntary commitments to protect and enhance the environment.
These policies address different aspects of environmental protection appropriate to the context of our business, including the nature, scale and environmental impacts of our operations, products and services, in addition to the interests of our stakeholders.
Our policies are regularly reviewed and apply globally, covering our entire operations. They apply to all Siemens Gamesa employees and, furthermore, are relevant to our business partners.
Siemens Gamesa is deeply committed to generating a positive effect on the environment, providing clean solutions to power our homes, schools, hospitals and keeping us moving wherever we are – from the largest cities to the most remote corners of the planet. To this end, the company has outlined our way to contribute a decarbonized economy, with the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2040. This includes emissions produced by the company’s whole value chain. Previously, the net-zero target was 2050.
- Energy reduction and efficiency measures
- Electricity supply from renewable sources
- Green mobility and fleet plan
- Offseting projects for non-avoidable emissions
- Employee awareness campaigns and idea management
- Increased engagement across the value chain
Siemens Gamesa became carbon neutral in 2019 – five years ahead of schedule. In 2020, the company became powered by 100% renewable energy and had the SBTi (Science Based Targets Initiative) verify that our emission reduction targets until 2025 are meeting the most ambitious 1.5°C scenario. To document our progress, we publish our Greenhouse Gas Emissions report annually which is externally verified according to the requirements described in ISO 14064-1:2018.
Siemens Gamesa calculates the environmental footprint of wind turbines using Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) – a method that assesses our product’s environmental impact over its entire life cycle, from raw material extraction and manufacturing, through transport, installation and operation, to decommissioning and recycling. We present the LCA results using Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).
Our LCAs and EPDs are made in accordance with the ISO 14040, 14021 and 14025 series of standards and applicable Product Category Rules (PCRs). Many of these can be found in The International EPD® System.
Our most significant efforts include:
- Reducing waste, energy and water
- Reducing and substituting materials, including chemicals
- Optimizing packaging and logistics
- Improving capacity factors for higher energy outputs
- Applying remote diagnostics to increase availability
- Adopting alternative technologies for installation and service vessels
- Reducing service time frequencies
- Protecting wildlife with integrated SCADA control systems
- Offering component upgrades and spare parts to extend turbine lifetime
- Repairing and refurbishing components
- Designing modular components to optimize dismantling and waste treatment
- Seeking alternative materials for high recyclability
While it is critical to hit net-zero targets and provide affordable, clean energy to the world, the rollout of clean energy must be done in a sustainable way, actively avoiding environmental damage and supporting the circular economy with a reduced reliance on resources.
The wind industry is still relatively young and is aware of the responsibility it holds of finding a sustainable way to deal with wind turbine components at the end of their life cycle. Increasing the recyclability of the wind components is high on our agenda, and we are committed to producing 100% recyclable turbines by 2040.
Previously, the industry has not been able to recycle wind turbine blades upon decommissioning, resulting in blades ending up as landfill. Now, thanks to our pioneering RecyclableBlade technology, the materials from our RecyclableBlade can be recycled and reused in other industries to the benefit of future generations.
Our RecyclableBlade is a simple, and robust solution, developed through technological ingenuity. The only change to the blade production process is our new resin. This means that scaling up production and rolling out this recyclable product is not only possible, it is already a reality! The first blades have already been produced in 2021.
We focus both on finding ways to demonstrate commercial value chains for thermoset rotor blades that are already installed in our fleet as well as investigating new materials with enhanced circularity for our future blades.
There are various regulatory and voluntary instruments that ensure Siemens Gamesa’s wind projects are constructed and serviced in a way that allows for co-existence, and often a net-positive biodiversity impact. This is in line with SDG 14 and SDG 15, protecting life below water and on land, respectively.
When developing a new factory or planning a new wind farm, we carry out assessments to determine potential environmental impacts. We develop adaptation and mitigation measures specific to the outcomes of these in order to minimize adverse environmental impacts according to the mitigation hierarchy, international standards, and country-specific regulation.