LIXIL goes Zero
Commitment to CO2-neutral production
It´s in the news every day: Temperatures are constantly increasing; sea levels are rising and glaciers are melting. Needless to say, these developments have a major impact on our lives. Since CO2 emissions are one of the main drivers for climate change, LIXIL’s international fittings plants have now committed to produce CO2-neutral. LIXIL’s brand GROHE is a case in point: the leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings is one of the first in its industry to rely on CO2-neutral production.
Since October 2020 all eight LIXIL fittings plants are now CO2-neutral. The plants in China, Vietnam and Mexico joined the other fittings plants in Hemer, Lahr, Porta Westfalica (all Germany), Albergaria (Portugal) and Klaeng (Thailand) which already achieved CO2-neutral production in April 2020. All fittings plants and German distribution centers switched to green energy. The priority is to avoid and reduce CO2 emissions, whereby only those emissions that cannot yet be avoided are to be offset.
So far unavoidable CO2 emissions are offset through three compensation projects: two hydroelectric power stations, one in India and one in Vietnam, and a borehole maintenance project in Malawi. All are based on extremely stringent criteria, such as the Gold Standard, developed under the aegis of the WWF: Here, in addition, activities also contribute to sustainable, ecological and social development in the project environment. To reduce the carbon footprint year by year, defined KPIs are to follow.
Hydropower for clean energy: Himachal Pradesh, India
The project is located on the Satluj River between Karcham and Wangtoo in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. As a hydropower plant, the project uses the river’s natural flow to generate energy. Importantly, there is no reservoir in which the water is temporarily stored, and so the potential negative environmental impacts of water storage are avoided. In the underground turbine house, four Francis turbines are driven by the power of the river water before the water is returned to the riverbed below. All the power generated by the power plant is fed into the North Indian transmission grid and replaces conventionally generated electricity, which mainly comes from coal-fired power plants.
Restoring boreholes for clean water supply: Dowa & Kasungu, Malawi
In the project’s districts of Dowa and Kasungu in Malawi, around half of the population lives without access to clean drinking water. Part of the problem is that around one third of the existing boreholes can’t be used, due to wear and tear. Repairing damaged boreholes improves living conditions for the people who live there. In addition, the project also makes it possible to set up financing mechanisms to ensure the boreholes are maintained in the long-term by the villagers, thereby guaranteeing that they will be in a usable state for years to come. Most boreholes are operated by a hand pump. The pumped water is clean and can be consumed without additional treatment. This also reduces carbon emissions, since water would otherwise be purified using fuel to boil it.
Clean power generation on the Dong Nai river: Dak Nong Province, Vietnam
The project is located in the Dak Nong province, Vietnam. A dam provides a power supply which is independent of the weather and rainy season. This allows for constant as well as reliable power throughout the year and reduces the need for emergency generators, which often run on fossil fuels. In addition, the power supply can be controlled so that during periods of lower demand, water can be held back rather than generating excess power. The clean electricity is fed into the local power grid.