We are already seeing the ecological, economic and social consequences of climate change worldwide. That’s why STIHL supports the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2° Celsius. With this in mind, we are setting ourselves ambitious goals for environmental protection. By doing so, we continue to live up to our responsibility as a globally active family business and to contribute to preserving the livelihoods of future generations.
How can we conserve resources? How do we get by with less energy? How do we supply ourselves with electricity and heat in a way that is as carbon-neutral as possible? We are working intensively on these questions in order to become more energy-efficient from year to year – and to ultimately be climate-neutral. In addition, we support international environmental protection and climate protection activities beyond the company’s boundaries.
STIHL has its roots in forestry. That’s why we are particularly committed to the world’s forests, and take responsibility in this respect. We condemn illegal logging, large-scale burning clearance and clearing with heavy machinery – and not just in tropical rainforests. We are committed to the sustainable use of forest resources worldwide.
STIHL products are made for working in and with nature, and we are aware of our particular responsibility towards sensitive ecosystems. Their protection is a key concern for us, and we have made it an essential focus area in our sustainability strategy for good reason.
Here we show you how our STIHL sites around the world have successfully increased energy efficiency by means of a wide range of projects. STIHL has already received several awards for its environmental commitment.
STIHL Tirol in Langkampfen has been operating a photovoltaic installation since 2018, saving around 14 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. In 2020 STIHL Tirol was awarded the “climate-active” title by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism’s climate protection initiative for the second time. An expansion of the installation is already being planned.
STIHL Tirol also uses groundwater to air condition the factory building. The water is routed via a cold exchanger and supplied to the ventilation system using state-of-the-art induction outlets. This achieves an energy saving of around 80 percent compared to conventional cooling systems. As a result, this process is significantly cheaper than cooling via conventional air conditioning systems.
The STIHL sales center in Austria has been a flagship for climate protection since 2012. With its green roof landscaping, zero consumption of fossil fuels and almost 100 percent green energy, it meets the highest technical and ecological standards. This innovative concept reduces operating costs to a minimum, while renewable energy enables carbon-free operation.
As part of the plant expansion and reorganization, the Ludwigsburg plant was connected to the Ludwigsburg-Kornwestheim municipal utilities district heating network in 2018. The five-kilometer-long network of public utilities is operated with heat derived from wood, biogas and the sun as energy sources. This facilitates climate-friendly heating without fossil fuels. Two heat exchangers deliver a maximum heat output of 1,400 kilowatts, which means that around 50 percent of the total heat requirement is met by district heating. As a further measure, the entire plant has been equipped with LED lighting, significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Plant 2 in Waiblingen-Neustadt has had a combined heat and power plant since 2016; this plant makes it possible to save nine million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, with six million kilowatt hours of heat generated by the power plant itself. Thanks to absorption technology, the heat energy generated is not lost in summer, but is instead converted into cold which is used to cool production processes and buildings. This not only saves on costs and resources, but is also environmentally friendly. This is because using primary energy relieves the environment of around 3,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, 400 kilograms of dust and soot and three metric tons of sulfur dioxide every year. Further measures at the plant in Waiblingen-Neustadt include a charging station for electric cars and a photovoltaic installation on the new production warehouse building.
In 2015, optimization of the burner technology on individual casting machines was initiated at the Weinsheim site. The finished part and assemblies supplier of castings introduced recuperator technology, a technical process for recovering energy. The goal was to reduce gas consumption by around 30 percent for the different types of casting machines (300 to 700 metric tons).
At the STIHL São Leopoldo plant in Brazil, industrial wastewater is treated in the facility’s own dedicated chemical and physical wastewater treatment plant. Installing the system has significantly reduced the amount of chemicals required. The wastewater is collected and treated in a targeted manner and can be reused within the process chain several times. In 2017, the production line there also received a new heating system. In practical terms, the new feature meant that electrical energy for the heating resistors was replaced by thermal energy, saving more than 50 percent on energy costs.
A state-of-the-art plant expansion was commissioned at the STIHL plant in Qingdao in China in 2013. Both the production building and the office spaces and canteen are primarily heated and air-conditioned with geothermally heated or cooled water. Heat recovery from the exhaust air from the hall, offices and test cabins, compressors and future plants is integrated into building management on a centralized basis. Domestic water heating is also part of the system.
Materials are transported between buildings via conveyor belts, eliminating the need for large doors between heated and unheated areas. In addition, the plant is almost exclusively lit by LED lamps throughout. STIHL Qingdao also uses 90 percent less fresh water thanks to the circulation water treatment system installed in 2019.
In Stenkullen, Sweden, the Scandinavian sales company STIHL Norden has invested 280,000 euros in a new solar energy system. A total of 924 solar panels have been installed on the roof of the newly built warehouse, and provide a total output of 240,000 kilowatt hours. The plant was commissioned in 2019. During the day, it operates autonomously for the site’s own consumption; any surplus electricity generated is sold regionally as green electricity. The solar power system was supported by the Swedish government.
STIHL Incorporated has commissioned six wind turbines in Virginia Beach, USA, since 2011. The turbines are almost two meters tall and weigh 110 kilograms, with each of them capable of producing up to 2.25 kilowatts of electricity, which is used directly for the company’s own consumption.
STIHL supports local and global initiatives that protect natural resources and the environment. STIHL employees are active at the respective sites and participate locally in collaborations and projects to maintain and preserve ecologically valuable green areas and forests. STIHL also supports international environmental protection organizations and projects.