We recognise that the Earth’s climate is changing, and as an energy user we have a role to play in reducing our contribution to it. The burning of fossil fuels for power and heat is the single largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally.
At Coats, we constantly review our manufacturing processes to improve efficiency, not only to minimise the cost to our business but also to minimise the impact we have on the world around us. As such, we have focused on reducing our energy consumption and have seen a significant reduction in our carbon footprint since 2011.
In 2016 we used 829 million kWh of energy (electricity and fossil fuels) in manufacturing our products, which is an overall reduction of 0.5% in total energy use from 2015 (833 million kWh) and 3.4% from 2014 (858 million kWh).
Even though our processes are ever more energy efficient, the total carbon footprint of our manufacturing operations this year (Scope 1 and Scope 2*, **) was 319 thousand tonnes, 4% up compared to the previous year (305 thousand tonnes). In terms of the products we manufacture, we have increased slightly our greenhouse gas emissions per unit of dyed product to 4.6 kg CO2e per kg (compared to 4.5 in 2015).
Although we have used less energy across the company during 2016, the overall increase in our carbon footprint derives from:
- a shifting balance of production between countries
- an increase in in-house electricity generation in Bangladesh due to shortages in grid supply
- a 2% increase in orders for manufactured goods
Despite the latest annual fluctuation in our GHG figures, our overall carbon impact has reduced by 17% since 2011, our new base line. The reduction to date has been achieved through a combination of investment in energy efficiency – such as using better manufacturing schedules, regular maintenance and optimising building management – as well as investment in new technology. In addition, we have actively sought out increased renewable energy sources for our electricity use across our operations. Over the last six years, our renewable energy consumption has increased by over 300% compared to 2011.
*Based on IEA CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion, OECD/IEA, Paris, 2016 and the 2016 UK DEFRA GHG reporting guidance and conversion factors. Includes Scope 1 – direct emissions from the combustion of fuel (gas, coal and oil) and Scope 2 – indirect emissions from the purchase of electricity.
**Emissions reported are from energy consumption in our global operations, and exclude emissions from refrigerant usage and business air travel, which each represent less than 2% of GHG emissions resulting from our manufacturing operations.