One-third of the global population lives under the stress of severe water scarcity for atleast one month of the year. This explains why UN has set atleast 15 of its Sustainable Development Goals to focus on water.
By embracing sustainability, Grundfos sees a realistic opportunity to positively impact the environment using its technology and build a future-proof business model.
For Grundfos, sustainability is a mind-set, a way to do business. The company pushes the boundaries of possibility in energy efficiency and water conservation. It is about bringing value to the world, to its clients, business, and employees in the most sustainable way. Grundfos’ CEO, Mads Nipper also loves addressing his company as an SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation for all people) and 13 (combat climate change) company, owing to its strong focus on sustainability.
Doing business, the sustainable path
To be able to achieve a low carbon and socially inclusive future, Grundfos has charted its path towards UN’s Sustainability Development Goalsand also advocates the concept of ‘open economy’. In 2016, Grundfos identified SDG 6 and 13 as its key focus areas. The company’s sustainable business model supports in achieving the ambitious goals set by UN.
Grundfos’ 2018 sustainability report confirms through its materiality assessment that the organisation identifies sustainability as one of the three future proof topics towards running its business.
The company approaches sustainability at three levels. Firstly, by building pioneering and innovative technologies that are highly energy efficient as they help reduce water stress. Secondly, by partnering and strengthening their stakeholder engagement in achieving shared goals. And lastly, by believing in having a sustainability mindset in everything that they do.
Innovating and building sustainable solutions
Grundfos holds a long-standing history of producing high quality and reliable water solutions and proudly boasts of its highest energy efficient pumps which are IE5 compliant which exceed the European Union prescribed standards of IE3. Since pumps consume 10% of the world’s electricity, moving to energy efficient pumps like Grundfos can help reduce this electricity consumption by as much as 5%.In 2018, the organisation has managed to successfully save approximately 7.9 kWh globally through its solutions.
The company aims to incorporate sustainability in all stages of its product life cycle. Its business model focuses on resource efficiency and utilising a circular economy strategy. It strictly adheres to maintaining that atleast 95% of the components used for making Grundfos pumps can be recycled. Grundfos has also set an internal goal that every new generation of product that it introduces to the market should be atleast 2% more efficient than the previous ones. All this is possible, given the company’s focus on Research & Development (R&D). Grundfos reinvests 5% of its profits in R&D and product development.
All products/ solutions are evaluated by applying these filters before being taken to the market:
- Minimal water footprint
- Energy-efficiency of the solutions
- Product life-cycle, which covers materials, customer health and safety and product labelling
- Impact on the environment, including energy, CO2, water and waste
It also works with its customers to help them understand how their water solutions may be optimised by conducting energy checks and comprehensive pump audits.
By partnering and strengthening its stakeholder engagement in achieving shared goals
Grundfos believes that its sustainability success relies on thousands of independent relationships it holds with its stakeholders. This includes its customers, employees, communities and other organisations like NGO’s, regulators and government bodies. Through these partnerships Grundfos is able to identify how and where the company can contribute value to the society.
Sneak-peak into Grundfos’ water technologies and its impact
Buildings: From family homes to commercial buildings, Grundfos supplies a complete range of pumping solutions that ensures optimal comfort and safety without compromising energy consumption.
Water Utility: With the entire world at the precipice of a major water crisis, Grundfos has solutions that cater specifically to water utility requirements such as raw water intake, drinking water treatment, water distribution, wastewater transport and flood control and wastewater treatment.
Industries: Offers broad range of pump systems for industrial processes, utilities, system builders and OEMs. These solutions are customised to meet the specific needs of the industries. The company is an active member of AEEE, CII, MCCI, IPA and other industry associations to promote awareness on energy and water conservation in India.
A green mindset
Grundfos takes responsibility for making a genuine difference in the world, by helping its existing and new customers meet their needs in an ever-more energy and water-efficient manner, through its work with the product life-cycle and by walking the talk when it comes to its own footprint.
Take on air pollution in cities like Delhi
Water and energy play a critical role in the development of any country be it social, environmental or economical. The two have a significant inter-dependent relationship that is commonly referred to as the water-energy nexus.Energy is critical for water. Most water supply systems, both urban and rural require power to distribute water through pipe networks and farmers need power to run pump sets and irrigate their fields. In and around Delhi, most farmers use diesel pumps due to the unpredictable nature of electricity supply. Diesel pumps emit huge amounts CO2, leading to pollution. These pumps are also largely inefficient as well, leading them to consume more energy. This along with the burning or crop waste, industrial and heavy city traffic pollution is leading to smog in Delhi.
By moving towards using energy efficient products, be it pumps, air-conditioners or refrigerators, people can save the energy the consume as well as costs. This in the long run will help with reducing air pollution as well.
Reducing Carbon footprint internally: As a company that is ‘Green at heart’, Grundfos understands the need for self-evaluation and is constantly working towards reducing the carbon footprint in its own facilities. In 2018, the company had a 31% of reduction in its CO2 emissions since 2008, which has decreased by 10.3% compared to 2017. Grundfos’ water consumption in 2018 reduced to 34% from 2008 and 1.6% from 2017.
Green buildings: Grundfos’ India headquarters in Chennai is the country’s first gold-rated green building (LEED certification by USGBC in 2005) and is energy efficient with 100% recycling of the sewage, rain water harvesting and with solar collectors and photovoltaics. Grundfos India’s factory also received the gold certification in 2011 from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). In August 2013, the Grundfos India office building was elevated to a LEED EB Platinum certification.
Digital outreach:The company runs awareness forumson Facebook called ‘EkBoondh Pani’ and ‘i Save Energy’. The objective of these forums is to create an awareness and to provide a platform for the members to share their suggestions, ideas and facts on conserving Water and Energy.
Access to Water & Restoring water bodies: Grundfos India’s CSR initiatives focus on sustainability, energy & water conservation, health & hygiene, education and livelihood. The company’s employees are also involved closely with some of these initiatives and volunteer their time and expertise to help the local communities.Some of the key initiatives Grundfos has implemented in the country include:
- The Grundfos Foundation along with Sunlit Future installed 100 solar pumps to provide clean water to 100 villages inrural India.
- Through its local CSR initiatives, Grundfos India has provided water infrastructure to villages and schools across rural areas.
- The company is also working on restoring water bodies
- Water2Life: An employee-led initiative within Grundfos. With more than €540.000 donated since 2010 and sustainable clean water solutions provided for more than 40,000 people, Water2Life is a powerful employee-initiated and employee-driven program that works to bring clean water to communities in need on every continent. In 2013, the program wrapped its first 3-year project providing access to clean water to 16,000 people in Kenya, before making its way to Vietnam to help another 27,000. It is now launching on its third continent – the Americas. Aside from making a tangible difference for low-income communities across the globe, the program helps strengthen our sustainable mindset and engage our employees in living the Grundfos values: Being sustainable, focused on people, and creating partnerships.
Sustainability and the focus on the SDGs are tremendously important to Grundfos. The company has set ambitious goals pertaining to the SDGs and to reach them, it realises that all stakeholders (political, societal and business) need to work together. Innovation and collaboration are what can help move the world in a better and more sustainable direction.
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