More protection for a liveable climate and healthy nature

More protection for a liveable climate and healthy nature

We aim to contribute to climate and resource protection and thus minimize the negative environmental impacts of our business activities.




Providing services and innovations, we help our customers to drive environmental and climate protection in line with our corporate purpose. At the same time, we strive to make our own business activities as eco-friendly as possible and minimize negative environmental impacts. We need resources like electricity, heating, paper, and water in our offices and in the operations of our laboratories and testing facilities. In addition, our employees are on the road a lot to get to the customers, which also causes emissions.


Although our ecological footprint as a technical service provider is considerably smaller than that of companies in other industries, we are nevertheless determined to contribute toward climate and resource protection and to take responsibility for the ecological consequences of our business activities.


TÜV SÜD is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and to curbing global warming. With our services, we make an important contribution to decarbonising the economy. But climate protection is also of central importance within our company. The greenhouse gas balance (GHG balance) provides us with a reliable data basis for targeted measures.

In preparing our GHG balance, we are guided by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) and the international standard ISO 14064-1, without fully complying with it. A fully comprehensive survey of our entire value chain (Scope 3 GHG emissions) is currently underway and we aim to verify our corporate carbon footprint in accordance with ISO 14064-3.

Following the financial control approach, our GHG balance 2022 includes the data of the fully consolidated subsidiaries in Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, the USA, China, Japan and South Korea, which account for more than 90% of our sales volume and workforce.



As the majority of our carbon footprint is accounted for by our energy consumption and the associated greenhouse gas emissions, our actions to mitigate the climate impact of our business operations accordingly focus on this area.

In 2022, 41.2% of the electricity required by TÜV SÜD was sourced from renewable resources with corresponding guarantees of origin (green electricity). As in the previous year, the share of renewably generated electricity in TÜV SÜD's total electricity consumption in Germany was around 80%. Electricity whose origin could not be clearly verified was included in our GHG balance as grey electricity. Particularly abroad, we want to further increase the share of green electricity in total consumption.

We are specifically promoting the use of photovoltaic (PV) systems. In Germany alone, we want to install PV systems with a total annual capacity of around 2,800 MWh in the next few years. At our international locations, an annual output of around 1,500 MWh is to be generated by additional PV systems.





The framework for all environmental action activities is set by our environmental policy, which applies globally and is annually revised and updated. The current areas of focus of the policy are reduction of energy consumption and consumption costs, procurement of resource-efficient products and services, and training for our employees to raise awareness of the use of natural resources. 


Our environmental policy also sets out our short-term climate target. This was further concretised in 2022 and a separate climate strategy was formulated: our goal is net zero emissions.


We want to achieve this goal in several stages:

  • From 2025 onwards, we want to be carbon neutral within our business operations (Scope 1, 2 and 3: business travel). To achieve this, GHG emissions must be avoided as far as possible and resource consumption must be reduced. All GHG emissions still occurring in 2025 are to be offset with the help of certified compensation projects.
  • By joining the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2022, we committed to operate within the 1.5°C target and to continuously reduce GHG emissions. We are currently developing science-based targets and adequate measures to achieve this.
  • Our long-term goal is to achieve net zero emissions in business operations by 2050. To achieve this, we aim to reduce GHG emissions along the entire value chain (Scope 1, 2 and 3) by 90% compared to the base year 2022. The remaining, unavoidable GHG emissions are then to be offset with climate protection projects that permanently bind carbon and thus remove it from the atmosphere (removal projects).





Since 2021, energy data has been collected via energy management software for all German locations and, since 2022, also for all international locations. This enables us to centrally analyse the energy consumption and optimisation opportunities of currently more than 30 countries. The type and scope of data collection is based on the ISO 50001 and ISO 14064-1 standards. We also use regular energy audits to further optimise data collection.



Economical use of resources


In 2022, we estimate that around 371 tonnes of paper were consumed at TÜV SÜD's sites included in the reporting. The share of our German sites account for around 34% of TÜV SÜD's global paper consumption. We attach particular importance to sourcing only FSC-certified copying paper from sustainable forestry. At the same time, we want to use more recycled paper in the future and are working on specifications to this end. To reduce paper consumption, we are promoting the digitalisation of our processes, for example through the use of cloud solutions.


In 2022, we expanded our Group-wide environmental data collection to include waste. The environmental guideline, which has been supplemented by a circular economy strategy, sets the guidelines throughout the Group. For 2022, we estimate the waste volume of paper and cardboard at 4,000 t (Germany: 3,380 t). We estimate the recycling and reuse rate at 70 % (Germany: 80 %). The volume of mixed municipal waste (so-called "residual waste") was modelled at 6,480 t, of which 1,760 t is accounted for by the German sites. As far as possible, this is sent for thermal use.


Even though we use comparatively little water in the company, we want to use it sparingly. In 2022, a total of 206,616 m³ of fresh water was consumed within the countries under consideration. This results in water consumption of 8.8 m³ per employee. At TÜV SÜD, only a small proportion of water is used for testing processes; it is mainly used as process water at the office locations. Oil separators and other purification methods are used in laboratories or technical service centres, where contamination can occur as a result of testing processes. The water cleaned in this way is returned to the cycle via the sewage system.


Here are some impressions of our activities:

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