Impacts throughout the value chain
Husqvarna Group strives to conduct its operations sustainably, with efficiency and care for individuals at the core of its efforts. The most positive contribution is made by innovating and manufacturing high quality, efficient products that help customers enhance their local environments. To bring value throughout the value chain the Group aim to improve working conditions by providing a safe and attractive workplace for employees, realize shared objectives together with our business partners, reduce negative impacts from the operations, and contribute to dealing with the challenges facing society. Through this holistic approach, Husqvarna Group can deliver long-term investment returns for shareholders.
1. Product design and development
The environmental impacts and safety performance of our products are determined at the design stage. This phase includes decisions on energy efficiency and emission levels and the choice of materials. Decisions are also made on the features that improve ergonomics, noise levels, safety and serviceability as well as the degree of recyclability. Husqvarna Group’s R&D centers are located near the manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.
Husqvarna Group has 2,300 suppliers. The 150 largest suppliers account for around 65 percent of the Group’s purchasing spend. Through a specific program, the Group has close ties with these suppliers. During the year, two supplier days were arranged, one in Münich and one in Shanghai.
Husqvarna Group’s Code of Conduct and Supplier Code of Business Ethics outlines the Group´s standards for doing good business. The Codes addresses concrete actions within labor, human rights, product safety, environmental and ethical business practices. Suppliers are also required to follow the Restricted Materials List. Staff from Husqvarna Group has arranged training sessions for suppliers in chemical legislations such as REACH and RoHS.
During 2015, supplier audits were conducted on suppliers in China. Four sustainability audits were made on high-risk suppliers. Additionally, 15 suppliers were revisited. Significant improvements had been made in the environmental and working conditions.
Manufacturing is conducted in 24 major production facilities in 14 countries. The facilities are situated in the US, Sweden, Germany, China and Japan. During the year, one facility was closed in China and one facility was acquired in the US.
Although manufacturing represents a minor part of the Group’s total CO2 emissions, it is important to minimize them. The Group’s most significant environmental impacts include energy consumption, the use of raw materials, water and chemical use, emissions, and waste recycling and disposal. Each production facility works to continually improve its environmental performance through annual targets.
Currently, four locations are certified according to the occupational safety and health management system, OHSAS 18001. The Group’s structured approach to health and safety continued with group-wide health and safety standards for follow-up and reporting as well as a KPI for less severe/more frequent injuries to increase focus on corrective actions.
Freedom of association is an integral part of our approach to protecting human rights among all of our employees. Approximately 40 percent of employees are covered by collective agreements. In countries that prohibit independent labor unions, several forums for employer-employee relations exist, such as consultations, environment and safety committees.
4. Transportation and logistics
Transportation of components and products contribute to the Group’s CO2 emissions which is in pair with manufacturing. Husqvarna Group continuously work to optimize packaging, improve truck fill rate and select the right method of transportation.
5. Point of sales
The Group’s products are sold and serviced via approximately 25,000 dealers and retailers in more than 100 countries. Products are marketed on the basis of quality, price and user benefits. One of the Group´s challenges is to make sure that dealers and retailers provide end-customers with information on the poducts environmental impact and how products are operated safely and efficiently.
The Group’s products have the greatest environmental impact when used. It is difficult to measure the product’s total environmental impact because it depends on how much they are used. A professional user, for example, uses the products to a greater extent than a consumer. To develop more energy-efficient products is a priority. For chainsaws, trimmers, leaf blowers, robotic mowers, battery-powered lawn mowers and power cutters, for example, the latest product generations have less fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Battery products have significantly lower environmental impact throughout their life cycle compared to petrol-powered products. Husqvarna Group is also working to improve the environmental impact of the petrol-powered products. Husqvarna professional chainsaws are equipped with AutoTune ™, where a computer chip regulates the fuel flow to optimize performance and minimize exhaust emissions. With the help of X-TORQ® technology, fuel consumption of two-stroke engines reduces with up to 20 percent and exhaust emissions by 60 to 75 percent.
To ensure that the products have good quality, quality audits and audits are conducted of both the suppliers and on the finished products. Safety is key and how the products are used in a safe manner are precisely described in the user manuals and on the websites.
The Group participates in recycling systems of packaging materials, electrical equipment (WEEE) and batteries. Recycling systems are available in some markets in North America and Europe.