Business Leaders Show Commitment to Tackling the Dual Nature and Climate Crisis at a Future of Business Event Hosted by WWF CEE and The VELUX Group

Business leaders from across the Central Eastern Europe region attended a roundtable event hosted by The VELUX Group and WWF CEE.

Topics discussed at the event ranged from the importance of prioritising biodiversity in climate commitments to the business arguments for investing in science-based sustainability targets.

In the midst of global climate negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow, UK, the VELUX Group, the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and WWF CEE nature conservation organization have joined forces to inspire the business community across the CEE region to be nature positive in their approach to tackling climate change.

The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report is clear in its direction. Unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions the world cannot achieve the target set by the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Many of us are already feeling the consequences of global warming. This year in Hungary, after an exceptionally dry spring, a record-breaking summer followed: the average temperature in the first two summer months has exceeded 23 °C which never happened since the start of measurements some 120 years ago.

Now is the time to act if we are to avoid the most devastating consequences of climate change and biodiversity loss. Guided by Science-Based Targets and in cooperation with WWF, VELUX is showing how a major company can take action within its own operations and beyond to address the overarching challenges facing our civilisation,
said Andreas Beckmann, Regional CEO, WWF-CEE and panellist at the event

The regional event was the third in a series of roundtables hosted by WWF CEE and VELUX, aimed at making clear the opportunities for businesses in the CEE region who set goals that are supported by science and aim to be climate- and nature-positive. The virtual event now moves to Slovakia (30 November) and Czech Republic (1 December). A science-based method is the foundation of The VELUX Group’s pioneering approach to addressing the dual climate and nature crisis – the Lifetime Carbon Neutral commitment. This means the Group has committed to capture its historical carbon footprint through nature-based solutions, reduce its future carbon emissions in line with and beyond the prevailing climate science behind the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C scenario, and partner with (WWF) on forest conservation projects around the world.

The first VELUX funded forest project with WWF International – in Uganda’s Albertine Rift – officially commenced in August of this year. The project will serve as Uganda’s largest ever contribution to its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The approximately 34,000-hectare project is expected to provide a saving of around one million tonnes of CO2.

The buildings sector is responsible for 39% of the world’s carbon emissions. At VELUX, we had to be ambitious in our plans if we wanted to make a meaningful impact. Importantly, the work is already underway with our Uganda forest project. VELUX Lifetime Carbon Neutral commitment is proof that with strong partnerships climate ambition can be realised. We chose forestation as our focus, because not only do forests have the greatest natural potential for capturing carbon, which is essential in the fight against climate change, but they support a dizzying array of biodiversity. We believe we need to act now to prevent further nature and biodiversity loss, across all groups in society from consumers to businesses to governments. It’s not an easy task but by working with others we can all achieve our goals,
said Krisztián Mészáros, Vice President VELUX CEE Region

Through the partnership with WWF, the VELUX Group will address 5.6 million tonnes of CO2 (with a 25% buffer included) emitted since the company’s foundation in 1941. VELUX IS also pursuing the ambition to be a 100% carbon neutral company by 2030 (Scope 1 and 2), which it is doing in partnership with Schneider Electric. The partnership, which has been extended to three years, will see all VELUX factory sites successfully reduce their energy use and scale renewable capacity. Schneider Electric is supporting VELUX by implementing a global monitoring system and to deliver Zero Carbon Action plans. The first plans are to be piloted at two of the company’s top energy-consuming plants, which represent approximately 25% of all energy used in VELUX production: JTJ Sonneborn Industrie GmbH in Germany and NM Polska Sp. z o.o. in Poland. VELUX has also created an Energy Excellence programme in accordance with ISO50001. The Group is working to halve carbon emissions across its value chain (Scope 3) by 2030. These targets have been approved by the SBTi. 
The first VELUX funded forest project, in its 21-year partnership with WWF International, has officially commenced. The ‘Natural Forest Regeneration for Enhanced Carbon Stocks in the Albertine Rift’ (FRECAR) project will be led by WWF-Uganda in partnership with the National Forestry Authority of Uganda. The approximately 34,000-hectare project is expected to provide a saving of around one million tonnes of CO2. All carbon emissions reductions or removals generated from the project funded will serve as a contribution to the government of Uganda, Uganda’s largest ever contribution to its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The FRECAR project is located in the Albertine Rift in Uganda, an area of exceptional faunal and moderate floral endemism which spans five nations. It is the first of five forest projects which will see VELUX capture its historical carbon footprint since the business was founded in 1941.


About the VELUX Group

For more than 80 years, the VELUX Group has created better living environments for people around the world; making the most of daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product programme includes roof windows and modular skylights, decorative blinds, sun screening products and roller shutters, as well as installation and smart home solutions. These products help to ensure a healthy and sustainable indoor climate, for work and learning, for play and pleasure. We work globally – with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 36 countries and around 11,000 employees worldwide. The VELUX Group is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by non-profit, charitable foundations (THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS) and family. In 2022, the VELUX Group had total revenue of EUR 2.99 billion, VKR Holding had total revenue of EUR 4.29 billion, and THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS donated EUR 181 million in charitable grants.

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