Seco Tools, headquartered in Fagersta, Sweden, reports it has reached its 2030 emission targets nine years ahead of schedule, through a combination of green electricity and renewable energy certificates in the US and India.
When it came time to renew contracts with suppliers at its Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania, USA, site, the company focused on green energy. Studies had previously shown that the location was responsible for 10% of the company’s electricity requirement and resulted in 19% of its electricity-related climate impact; changes here would have a profound impact on Seco’s global footprint.
“We purchased renewable energy certificates (RECs), which allow us to offset our CO2 footprint,” stated Eric Sirianni, Generic Sourcing at Reynoldsville. “The process started for us in 2019, and previously we were only concerned with getting electricity at the cheapest price we could get it – when we turn on the light switch, the power is going to come on no matter who we buy the electricity from.”
He continued, “There wasn’t really a template, we were just asked to look at green energy the next time we were hedging electricity. Green energy costs more, but we have a CO2 goal, and from there it just took off. We were able to hedge our electricity while layering in 100% green credits, and still lower the price – once people saw that, people took notice.”
RECs are intended to enable companies to invest in energy from renewable sources, even if those sources are located elsewhere. The next step planned for Seco includes plants to investigate solutions such as on-site electricity generation through solar panels and geothermal heating for its global locations.
“Each of our locations can tell us the breakdown of the kind of power they use each month, and it varies depending on where you’re located,” added Sirianni. “From a company perspective, it’s the right thing to do. The first reaction is always ‘why should we spend the money?’ It’s tough to adjust that mindset, but once they come around, who is going to say no to helping the environment?”
At its Indian location, much of the power comes from local state electricity, which utilises coal power. With no greener options available, the company purchased RECs to offset the energy’s CO2 emissions.
“Everyone is committed to work towards these emissions targets, and promoting the use of green energy, and, apart from the RECs, we have also installed solar panels to power our strip lights and so on, which is approximately 4% of our production,” stated Nagesh Shekhadar, General Manager for Indirect Purchasing in Pune, India.
Atul Mohkhedkar, General Manager Production, Seco India, added, “We are using some solar power at the moment, and we are also exploring the possibilities for wind energy so we can create more and more clean energy. We need to work on hybrid solutions, and once the supply of green energy increases, the price of it will go down.”
Seco’s electricity purchasers have also expressed their intentions to continue to explore new possibilities for greener electricity.
“There is an added benefit from employees, who are pleased to work for a company that is taking the climate crisis seriously,” Shekhadar concluded. “It’s very powerful, very special – our families, our customers, our friends, our neighbours, they like to see us working for this kind of company.”