Sustainability strategy 2030
The need for action on climate change is becoming ever more urgent. The hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998 and they are increasing in frequency. At the same time, overuse of the earth’s resources and environmental degradation are jeopardizing the health and future prospects of huge numbers of people around the world.
Over the coming decades, the pressure on our environment will only increase: today’s global population of 7.8 billion is expected to expand to 9.7 billion by 2050 (UN). Some 80 percent of people will live in cities, placing enormous burdens on already stretched water, food, energy and transport systems.
With our 2030 sustainability strategy, we are actively enabling a low-carbon society as well as working with our customers and suppliers to implement sustainable practices across our value chain and the lifecycle of our products and solutions. We are equally committed to driving social progress, along with our suppliers and in our communities.
Our sustainability focus is part of ABB’s commitment to responsible business practices, which are at the center of our comprehensive governance framework, based on integrity and transparency. Our framework is underpinned by our five integrity principles in our Code of Conduct, which guides our employees and suppliers to do the right thing and contains a commitment against retaliation.
A key part of our sustainability strategy is to contribute actively to a low-carbon society, in line with the 1.5°C scenario of the Paris Agreement and following the guidelines of the Science Based Targets initiative. ABB has committed itself to setting science-based targets in the coming months.
To ensure that we are focused on achieving our goals, our sustainability targets are integrated into our decision-making processes and we have accountabilities and incentive plans in place to drive action.
Main sustainability targets in overview
At ABB, we actively contribute to a more sustainable world, leading by example in our own operations and partnering with customers and suppliers to enable a low-carbon society, preserve resources, and promote social progress.
We enable a low-carbon society
We are helping to reduce carbon emissions.
Our technologies target sectors that account for three quarters of global energy consumption.
We preserve resources
We embed circularity across our value chain.
Our solutions reduce waste, increase recycling and foster reusability.
We promote social progress
We take care of our employees and promote progress around the world.
We create safe, fair and inclusive working environments and support community building.
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Our 2030 commitment:
- We will support our customers in reducing their annual CO2 emissions by at least 100 megatonnes, equivalent to the annual emissions of 30 million combustion cars.
- We will achieve carbon neutrality across our own operations1.
- We engage with our suppliers to extend our impact in reducing emissions across the entire supply chain.
1 We have currently identified areas where we can reduce our scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by at least 80 percent and we continuously work on opportunities to do more.
Our 2030 commitment:
- At least 80 percent of ABB products and solutions will be covered by our circularity approach.
- Zero waste from our own operations will be disposed of in landfills, wherever this is compatible with local conditions and regulations.
- At least 80 percent of our supply spend in focus countries will be covered by a supplier sustainability framework, which will include environment, but also social and governance performance (ESG).
Our 2030 commitment:
- Zero harm is caused to our people and contractors – we aim for a yearly reduction in lost time from incidents.
- We will double the number of women in senior management roles to 25 percent, within our comprehensive diversity and inclusion framework.
- We are targeting a top-tier employee engagement score in our industry.
- We provide impactful support for community-building initiatives.
At ABB, we want to do the right thing and be transparent at every level of our value chain. Performance is measured not only by the results achieved, but also how these results were achieved.
A culture of integrity is a prerequisite for a world-class business and ABB’s strength and future success depend on our reputation as a trusted and reliable business partner.
We remain firmly committed to our integrity program and activities to support transparency in our global communication. Different aspects of our governance and policies ensure that our integrity program is adopted by our employees, suppliers and partners, and that we also embed this behavior in all of our business processes with our customers through prevention, detection and resolution.
The main pillar of our approach is our recently updated ABB Code of Conduct, which guides our employees to do the right thing – follow the law, act honorably and treat each other with respect – and underpins our commitments to ethical behavior and human rights. The code contains a commitment against retaliation.
We want to make sure that people can speak up at any level of our organization and value chain and help continuous improvement.
ABB Code of Conduct
Our Code of Conduct provides practical guidance to our workforce, our suppliers and business partners on how we conduct business worldwide. It expresses our strong commitment to integrity.
Policies, statements and declarations
From human rights, to our health, safety and environment management system, and from social topics to labor and tax, we embrace several standards, statements and policies to demonstrate and embed our commitment to sustainability.
Responsible sourcing has been a focus area for ABB for many years. We have a series of policies and programs in place to strengthen performance and partnerships across our supply chain. Our efforts are underpinned by governance measures such as the ABB Supplier Code of Conduct and global initiatives like the Supplier Sustainability Development program.
Sustainability organization and governance
Our sustainability strategy and objectives are supported by clear governance, covering senior management involvement to the deployment of resources at business, country and operational levels. Our incentive policy also ensures that sustainability priorities are part of employees’ performance objectives.
Supplier Code of Conduct
We regard our suppliers as part of our “extended enterprise” and expect them to conduct business respectfully and with a high standard of integrity, in line with the ABB business principles. Our Supplier Code of Conduct is part of our terms and conditions.
Our sustainability focus areas are determined through a thorough materiality analysis of the expectations and requirements of key stakeholder groups, including customers, government and civil society representatives, analysts, suppliers, local communities and others. Our materiality matrix is subjected to regular reviews and we regularly ensure that our strategy and reporting are in line with expectations by engaging with an external stakeholder panel, representing key stakeholders. We also benchmark our practices and objectives against standards provided by industry organizations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) as well as peer companies.
The most recent stakeholder engagement process was conducted in early 2020. Some 300 stakeholders of our Business Areas were consulted, providing more than 400 hours of interviews. In addition, more than 40,000 comments from our annual employee Engagement Survey were analyzed. The process resulted in the following materiality matrix.
Enabling the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals
Through our technologies and responsible business practices, we contribute to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular to goals 7 (affordable and clean energy), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 6 (clean water and sanitation), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 12 (responsible consumption and production) and 17 (partnerships for the goals).