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  • Glass with coins and a plant and the stars of the EU

Pioneer in EU Taxonomy

As one of only four companies within the DAX index family1, the Dürr Group already voluntarily reports on taxonomy-aligned economic activities for fiscal year 2021.


1 (Status as of: May 2022)

  • Taxonomy-aligned sales revenues
    15.1%
  • Taxonomy-aligned CapEx
    25.5%
  • Taxonomy-aligned OpEx
    8.1%

Climate neutral European Union by 2050

With the European Green Deal, the European Union (EU) has set itself the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050. In order to finance this goal and to make the economic and financial system in the EU more sustainable, capital flows are to be directed toward sustainable investments. To this end, the European Commission has developed the Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth.

Six environmental objectives

The core element of the action plan is the EU Taxonomy Regulation. It represents a uniform classification system – a “green list” – for sustainable economic activities and defines six environmental objectives.

Environmental objectives valid from 2021:

1. Climate change mitigation
2. Climate change adaption

Environmental objectives valid from 2023:

3. Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources
4. Transition to a circular economy
5. Pollution prevention and control
6. Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems

Taxonomy-eligible and taxonomy-aligned economic activities

Economic activities must meet certain requirements in order to be considered sustainable within the meaning of the EU Taxonomy. Evidence is provided by compliance with technical screening criteria:

  • Economic activities are “taxonomy-eligible” if they can be assigned to certain technical screening criteria (regardless of whether the criteria are met).
  • Activities are “taxonomy-aligned” if the taxonomy-eligible economic activities also meet the technical screening criteria and thus make a substantial contribution to one of the six environmental objectives. Furthermore, the relevant economic activities must do no significant harm to the achievement of the other EU environmental objectives and must meet minimum social safeguards.

Thus, only economic activities for which technical screening criteria are already available can be classified as sustainable. Currently, there are criteria for only the first two environmental objectives. By the end of 2022, the EU Commission intends to define technical criteria for the remaining four environmental objectives.

Methodology and process

Assignment of economic activities to relevant taxonomoy criteria

The following activities defined by the EU Taxonomy Regulation have been identified for the recognition and assignment of sales revenues, CapEx and OpEx of the Dürr Group:

  • 3.1 Manufacture of renewable energy technologies
  • 3.2 Manufacture of equipment for the production and use of hydrogen
  • 3.6 Manufacture of other low carbon technologies
  • 4.11 Storage of thermal energy

The following additional activities were identified in relation to the recognition and assignment of CapEx and OpEx for the Dürr Group:

  • 6.5 Transport by motorbikes, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles
  • 7.2 Renovation of existing buildings
  • 7.3 Installation, maintenance and repair of energy efficiency equipment
  • 7.4 Installation, maintenance and repair of charging stations for electric vehicles in buildings (and parking spaces attached to buildings)
  • 7.5 Installation, maintenance and repair of instruments and devices for measuring, regulation and controlling energy performance of buildings
  • 7.6 Installation, maintenance and repair of renewable energy technologies
  • 7.7 Acquisition and ownership of buildings

Three prerequisites for environmentally sustainable economic activities

1. Substantial Contribution

We used technical screening criteria to verify that an economic activity makes a substantial contribution to one or more environmental objectives and does no significant harm to the achievement of the five other objectives. We checked compliance with the criteria for a substantial contribution to the first two environmental objectives individually for each taxonomy-eligible economic activity of the Dürr Group.

As a result, we identified the following economic activities for fiscal year 2021 that make a substantial contribution to the first environmental objective of “climate change mitigation”.

Dürr's spray booth EcoProBooth

Painting technology

Despite considerable technological leaps in recent years, modern paint shops continue to be among the biggest energy consumers in the production of automobiles. In particular, paint application and drying of the car bodies are responsible for the majority of energy and resource consumption in the paint shop. In these areas, we have technologies at our disposal that result in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the market standard. For example, with our innovative EcoProBooth paint booth concept, energy consumption during paint application in the paint booth can be reduced by up to 60% compared to conventional wet separation.

We assign the economic activities considered in painting technology to activity 3.6 “Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”

Electrode coating

Battery manufacturing technology

The Dürr Group manufactures specific technologies for the production of rechargeable battery packs and accumulators for the transportation sector as well as stationary or decentralized energy storage systems. This primarily includes machines and systems for the coating and drying of battery electrodes as well as assembly and testing technology for lithium-ion cells and for battery modules and packs. Furthermore, we provide gluing application technologies for battery systems. In this way, our technologies support the EU’s key objectives with regard to accelerated introduction of low-emission modes of transport and decarbonizing the energy sector.

We assign the economic activities considered in battery manufacturing technology to activity 3.6 “Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”

Testing system for electrical drives

Technology for electromobility

The Dürr Group develops and sells technologies specifically used in the production of electric motors for the transportation sector. These include, for example, equipment for filling electric vehicles with highly specific refrigerants, balancing and spin-testing systems for rotors in electric drives, and modular end-of-line test stands for electric drives. The Dürr Group’s business activities thus aim to considerably reduce lifecycle emissions in the transportation sector.

We assign the economic activities considered in technology for electromobility to activity 3.6 “Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”

Renewable energy technology

Renewable energy technology

The Dürr Group manufactures technologies for renewable energies. These include, in particular, technologies for the production of solar cell strings, cleaning systems for biogas purification, and technologies for generating electricity from thermal energy during the combustion of renewable fuels and/or from geothermal or solar thermal energy.

We assign the renewable energy production technologies considered to activity 3.1 “Manufacture of renewable energy technologies.”

Catalytic air purification Cat.X PH

Environmental technology

Through environmental technology systems, the Dürr Group makes a significant contribution to reducing emissions in various industrial sectors. We develop and supply modern plant technologies that enable efficient disposal of waste gases and residues and reduce energy consumption in the use phase. These include, above all, specific regenerative thermal oxidation processes, which are characterized in particular by complex technologies for storing heat.

We assign the corresponding activities in the field of environmental engineering to activity 4.11 “Storage of thermal energy.”

Exhaust-air purification plant

In addition, other Dürr environmental technology systems ensure substantial savings in greenhouse gas emissions. Our range of technologies includes systems for flameless regenerative thermal oxidation and recuperative thermal oxidation, catalytic filter element systems, high-pressure catalytic systems as well as selected sorptive processes and plants for VOC concentration.

We assign the considered technologies in the field of environmental engineering to activity 3.6 “Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”

Wood construction at HOMAG

Woodworking technology

Through the Group subsidiary HOMAG, we are represented on the market with technologies for the solid wood manufacturing sector that are specifically used for the industrial production of wooden construction elements and wooden windows and doors. These include machines and systems for the manufacturing of solid wood boards (cross laminated timber), fully automated production and insulation of wall and ceiling elements of timber houses, and for the production of wooden windows and doors. Thus, the Dürr Group’s business activities are aimed at significantly reducing lifecycle emissions in the building sector. They also support the EU’s core objective of improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

We assign the economic activities considered in woodworking technology to activity 3.6 “Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”

2. Do No Significant Harm (DNSH)

In order to check whether an economic activity does significant harm to one of the environmental objectives, we first assigned the relevant economic activities to our Group sites. In doing so, we selected those locations where significant value-adding processes for the potentially taxonomy-eligible economic activities take place. Subsequently, we compared the DNSH criteria for the selected locations.

As a result, we have not identified any significant harm to the achievement of the five other environmental objectives at any location.

3. Minimum Safeguards

For the companies’ compliance with minimum social safeguards, the Taxonomy Regulation refers to compliance with the OECD Guidelines, the United Nations Guiding Principles and the ILO Core Labor Standards. We have reviewed compliance with these guiding principles and standards in our business activities across the Group, focusing on respect for human and employee rights (including health and safety, freedom of association, prohibition of child labor and forced labor) and on combating bribery and corruption.

The result showed that our Group-wide processes and systems are suited to reliably identify potential risks or violations of minimum social safeguards.

Performance indicators for fiscal year 2021

Since 2021, we have published our Group-wide sustainable sales revenue, capital expenditures (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx) in line with the EU Taxonomy:

 Absolute
(€ million)
Non-taxonomy-eligible
(%)
Taxonomy-eligible
(%)
Taxonomy-eligible and
taxonomy-aligned
(%)
Sales revenues3,53784.915.115.1
CapEx22670.629.425.5
OpEx12391.98.18.1

In accordance with the EU taxonomy, sales revenues are generally defined as they are reported in the consolidated income statement. The Dürr Group generates most of its sales revenues from the production and delivery of customer-specific plant and machinery and from the resulting service business. The corresponding sales revenues over time are recognized using the percentage-of-completion method (POC method).

In accordance with the EU Taxonomy, CapEx includes investments in intangible assets (excluding goodwill) and property, plant and equipment, including rights to use leased assets. This also includes additions to non-current assets resulting from company acquisitions which were consolidated for the first time in the fiscal year.

OpEx as defined by the EU Taxonomy takes into account non-capitalizable expenses for research and development, building refurbishment measures, short-term leasing, maintenance and repair, and all other direct expenses for the upkeep of property, plant and equipment to ensure that the  taxonomy-eligible or taxonomy-aligned assets are ready for operation.

High hurdles for mechanical and plant engineering

Large portions of the Dürr Group’s business activities are not directly covered by the taxonomy requirements, as the current version of the EU Taxonomy Regulation is not directly aimed at the mechanical engineering industry. According to the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), this puts mechanical and plant engineering products and technologies at a disadvantage, as they are not explicitly listed in the screening criteria, but still make a significant contribution to the green transformation of the European industry.

Economic activity 3.6 „Manufacture of other low carbon technologies“

Parts of the Dürr Group’s business activities are aimed at developing and manufacturing machinery and equipment that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the automotive industry as well as in sectors such as woodworking, mechanical engineering, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and electrical engineering. Against this backdrop, the activity description “3.6 manufacture of other low carbon technologies” and the associated technical screening criteria are of particular relevance to us.

In order to identify taxonomy-eligible technologies, we have filtered the Dürr Group’s portfolio for low carbon technologies and classified as taxonomy-eligible only those technologies that contribute to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and achieve significantly lower emission levels compared to the most efficient reference technology predominantly available on the market.

In this regard, the description of the technical screening criteria does not specify a concrete target or minimum value for a substantial reduction. From the Dürr Group’s perspective, a substantial reduction means a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% during the use phase. The Dürr Group has therefore set this value as the minimum level for a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. With regard to the reference standard, we base it on the technology commonly used in the market today. The reference technology is thus the most powerful alternative technology predominantly available on the market.

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