Solar Appreciation Day is celebrated every March. This is a good opportunity to learn more about solar technology. Solar energy is a leading source of green energy and helps to mitigate climate change. According to the International Energy Agency, solar energy from photovoltaic cells (PV) accounted for ~3.6% of global electricity generation and remains the third-largest source of renewable energy, behind hydropower and wind
The multinational construction company Hilti, shares how they use their recently created solar park to reduce CO2 and create more benefits for employees.
Hilti takes the climate change challenge seriously
Head of Corporate Sustainability at Hilti, Peter Rupp shares: “Why are we investing our resources in solar energy? Simply because it is good for the environment, highly motivating for our employees, and it typically comes with a good business case. This will benefit both the environment and our team members. Hence, we highly appreciate the abundant solar resource and plan to increase the usage of green energy in a future.”
Hilti takes the challenge of climate change seriously, supporting a secure and sustainable future for all. Recently, we elevated our climate ambitions to an even higher level, committing to the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). We made this significant promise because we want to contribute to the construction industry’s transformation to net zero and to support our customers in the race to decrease their carbon footprint. Pledging to set both, short- and long-term targets, our commitment dovetails with our efforts as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, which we joined more than 15 years ago.
Operating in construction, Hilti has provided solutions and tools for construction professionals in more than 120 countries around the globe for over 80 years. We serve society through our industry, which provides people with the very basic need of a roof over their head. But construction is also known to generate around 40 percent of the world’s carbon footprint. We recognize this problem and we are actively working to decrease our carbon emissions.
CO2 reduction and green energy at Hilti
It's a tall order, to be sure. How do we resolve this need in our energy consumption strategy while also serving our employees? Easy. It’s very much in line with Hilti’s environmental values, a fact that attracts professionals who share our sustainability values, making them direct participants in our efforts to make construction better.
We continuously reduce our direct CO2-emissions through efficiency measures, by using green electricity and, where possible, climate-friendly heating alternatives. Over the last two years, we have doubled our installed worldwide solar capacity every year, and we will continue to do so in the future. In areas where reducing energy consumption is not feasible, we aim to replace current energy sources with greener alternatives. Since 2020 we have been in the process of converting our global vehicle fleet to run on more environmentally friendly technologies, such as electricity, and we are constantly increasing the quantity of our PV systems.
Solar energy to engage in sustainability and offer eco-friendly employee benefits
With an eye towards both the environment and our employees, Hilti recently installed 88 new charging stations for electric vehicles, fueled by the sun, at corporate headquarters in Schaan, Liechtenstein. Since January 2023, our colleagues have been able to charge their e-vehicles at no cost. At any one time, the charging stations situated in Hilti’s HQ parking garage are generally two-thirds full.
We have also created a local Microsoft Teams-based internal community of electrical vehicles users to make charging station usage even more efficient. This community helps to prevent charging bottlenecks, shares user insights and increases the engagement rate of our employees in sustainability, giving them an additional benefit.
100% green electricity for local needs
Our new solar park is the largest in Liechtenstein. More than 4600 solar modules are installed on an area the size of 1.5 football fields. The system is installed on the roofs of the Hilti parking garage and the Hilti Innovation Center (IC), as well as on an open area next to the IC. With a total output of around 1.7 MWp, the generated electricity corresponds to the electricity consumed by approximately 700 households.
All of this green energy is used by the company and covers about 10% of the total energy demand at headquarters. The remaining amount is exclusively covered by certified green electricity, which we have sourced for all Hilti locations worldwide since 2020. This PV initiative is part of the green mobility concept that offers environmentally friendly alternatives for our employees to commute to work, for example by using bicycles, electric bikes, public transportation or carpooling.
Author Olga Zharkova
Hilti Group | firstname.lastname@example.org
About Hilti The Hilti Group supplies the worldwide construction and energy industries with technologically leading products, systems, software and services. With about 32,000 team members in over 120 countries the company stands for direct customer relationships, quality and innovation. Hilti generated annual sales of more than CHF 6.3 billion in 2022. The headquarters of the Hilti Group have been located in Schaan, Liechtenstein, since its founding in 1941. The company is privately owned by the Martin Hilti Family Trust, which ensures its long-term continuity. The Hilti Group’s strategic orientation is based on a caring and performance-oriented culture and the goals of creating enthusiastic customers and building a better future.