Climate Protection and climate change

Climate change

Assessing physical climate risks: our climate change early-warning system

One of our primary objectives in all our sustainability activities is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve the 1.5°C target.Nevertheless, we have to consider the possibility of stronger warming and learn how to handle and adapt to the effects. This includes being aware of the very different risks at our sites distributed around the globe.


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Reliable data for forward-looking action

In 2022, we launched a pilot project where we identify physical climate risks for all Brenntag sites throughout the Group. More specifically, our Swiss partner Sustainaccount analyzes the future potential risk arising from fluvial and coastal flooding, water availability, hail, flash floods, heat waves, storms and fire.

The risk assessments are based on different temperature scenarios. This means that we calculate risks where global warming is 1.5°, 2.0° and 4.8° Celsius. The result has a value ranging from 0 – that is, very low risk – to 1, very high risk. Potential risks can thus be determined specifically for each site. This approach helps us to assess possible risks and take appropriate precautions.

To this end, all sites are shown on maps where they are marked in color according to their respective risk classification. The scenarios are thus easy and intuitive to understand. The physical risk assessment is an innovative and very important step for our industry.

On the basis of the data obtained, we can take preventive precautions, make structural changes or, in the most extreme case, even switch sites in a timely manner. We bear particular responsibility as we handle chemicals, which could – in the event of natural disasters due to flooding, heat waves or storms, for example – cause hazards. We also use this information in selecting new sites for our company.

Solar energy

Climate protection

New climate protection strategy in line with Brenntag’s high-level ambitions in sustainability

The topic of climate protection plays a key role in our new ESG strategy. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions generated by our own activities, we are committed to reaching a net zero target by 2045 in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

A key milestone on our path to achieving this goal is our aim to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 40% in absolute terms from 2020 to 2030 (Relative reduction, only including those sites which were already included in the base year 2020. New sites will be tracked separately). Our objective is to be climate neutral by 2025, which entails offsetting the remaining Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

We are currently looking at suitable measures to reduce indirect emissions that arise along our value chain, i.e. Scope 3 emissions. We also want to procure 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025. In summer 2021, we joined the RE100 initiative to underpin our commitment and help raise awareness for this topic within the Brenntag Group. RE100 is a global initiative that brings together businesses aiming to source 100% renewable energy for electricity in the medium term.

Carbon management program gives the organization a clear climate protection signal

Taking responsibility for actions within one’s own sphere of influence and setting incentives – that is one of the central ideas behind the carbon management program. Each year under this program, Brenntag’s own Sustainability Council sets a virtual, intracompany price for CO₂ emissions (Scope 1 and 2) that is used to translate each company’s greenhouse gas emissions into internal costs.

This steers the transformation toward low-emission business practices, as the higher the price, the higher the incentives to save emissions. The Group-wide total calculated using the carbon price is paid into a climate protection fund, from which the companies, in turn, are provided with a budget for new carbon-saving projects. Last year, 16 sites worldwide had applied for this type of internal funding by submitting the project ideas they had developed for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and eleven of those sites were selected by the Sustainability Council. By purchasing electric cars, electric trucks and the related charging infrastructure or installing heat pumps, the companies not only wish to reduce their carbon footprint: The shift in vehicle, heating or air-conditioning technologies associated with these measures is a catalyst for change.

Our site in Traun in Austria is even aiming to complete the switch to being a zero-emissions site in the next few years.

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Environmental Protection Best Practices from the Brenntag regions