Pioneer in EU Taxonomy
The Dürr Group sees the shift toward greater sustainability as an opportunity. With the Taxonomy Regulation, the European Union (EU) has developed a classification system for environmentally sustainable economic activities, thus creating uniform criteria for companies.
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. The core element of this action plan is the EU Taxonomy Regulation.
Background and Goals
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. According to the EU Taxonomy Regulation, economic activities are “taxonomy-eligible” if they potentially contribute to the achievement of one of the following six environmental objectives:
Environmental objectives valid from 2021:
1. Climate change mitigation
2. Climate change adaption
Environmental objectives valid from 2024:
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
In addition, economic activities are “environmentally sustainable” or “taxonomy-aligned” according to the taxonomy specifications, if the taxonomy-eligible economic activities
- substantially contribute to the achievement of one or more of the six environmental objectives listed (Substantial Contribution)
- do not significantly harm the achievement of the five other environmental objectives (Do No Significant Harm, DNSH), and
- ensure compliance with minimum safeguards (Minimum Safeguards).
At the time of publication of our Annual Report 2022, the EU only had criteria for the first two environmental objectives, so that information must only be provided on the substantial contribution to these environmental objectives for fiscal year 2022.
Implementation of the Taxonomy requirements
Assignment of economic activities to relevant taxonomy criteria
The following economic activities defined by the EU Taxonomy 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
- 3.6 Manufacture of other low carbon technologies
- 4.11 Storage of thermal energy
For the 2022 fiscal year, further economic activities have been identified for the recognition and assignment of taxonomy-eligible CapEx and OpEx of the Dürr Group:
- 6.5 Transport by motorbikes, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles
- 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)
- 7.6 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
Compliance with the criteria for a substantial contribution to the two environmental objectives (1) climate change mitigation and (2) climate change adaptation was assessed individually for each taxonomy-eligible business activity of the Dürr Group. In the analyses conducted, no economic activity was identified that makes a substantial contribution to the second environmental objective.
As a result, we identified the following economic activities for fiscal year 2022 that make a substantial contribution to the first environmental objective of “climate change mitigation”:
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. We have solutions with above-average energy-efficiency and resource-savings at our disposal that we classify as taxonomy-eligible due to the significant savings of emissions. Examples include selected solutions for dry separation of paint overspray, our intelligent energy network EcoQPower and the EcoPaintJet overspray-free application system.
We assign the business activities considered in painting technology to activity 3.6 “Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”
Battery manufacturing technology
The Dürr Group offers specific technologies for producing rechargeable battery packs and accumulators for the transportation sector as well as stationary or decentralized energy storage systems. The Dürr Group offers technical solutions for various process steps in the battery production value chain. These primarily include our coating technology, dryers, and solvent recovery systems for the production 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 business activities considered in battery manufacturing technology to activity 3.6 “Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”
Technology for electromobility
The Dürr Group manufactures technologies specifically used in the production of electric motors for the transportation sector. Specifically, we develop and supply equipment for filling electric vehicles with highly specific refrigerants, balancing and spin-test systems for rotors in electric drives, and modular end-of-line test stands for electric drives. Our business activities in the area of “technology for electromobility” thus aim to considerably reduce life-cycle emissions in the transportation sector.
We assign the business activities considered in technology for electromobility to activity 3.6 “Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”
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.”
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. In addition, other Dürr environmental technology systems ensure substantial savings in greenhouse gas emissions, which regularly exceed 20%. 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 business activities considered in technology for electromobility to activity 4.11 “Storage of thermal energy” and activity 3.6 “Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”
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.”
The Dürr Group produces technologies for the solid wood manufacturing sector that are specifically used for the industrial production of timber construction elements as well as timber windows and doors. These technologies include machines and systems for manufacturing cross laminated timber, for the fully automated production and insulation of wall and ceiling elements of timber houses, and for the production of timber windows and doors. Thus, the Dürr Group’s business activities are aimed at significantly reducing lifecycle emissions in the building sector.
We assign the business activities considered in woodworking technology to activity 3.6 “Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”
2. Do no significant harm (DNSH)
Furthermore, we analyzed whether the achievement of the five remaining EU environmental objectives is significantly harmed by the business activities listed above. For that purpose, it was appropriate to regularly assess DNSH compliance at the level of the business activities and at the level of the locations of the Dürr Group. The locations assessed as relevant were those which accounted for significant value-adding processes for taxonomy-eligible business activities or environmentally sustainable CapEx and OpEx in the 2022 fiscal year. As a result, we have not identified any significant harm to the achievement of the five other environmental objectives at any location. For further information, please refer to our → Annual Report 2022.
3. Compliance with Minimum Safeguards
The Dürr Group is committed to respecting human rights and promoting fair working conditions – this applies in particular to dealings with its own employees and direct suppliers. Our actions are guided by the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), and the Core Labor Standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO), among others. In the 2022 fiscal year, we again reviewed compliance with these guiding principles and standards in our business activities across the Group, focusing on respect for human and employee rights as well as on combating bribery and corruption. The result showed that our Group-wide processes and systems are suited to reliably identify potential risks or violations at our locations worldwide.
Performance indicators according to the EU Taxonomy Regulation
In the following, we provide information on our Group-wide taxonomy-eligible and taxonomy-aligned sales revenues, CapEx, and OpEx in accordance with the EU Taxonomy for the 2022 and 2021 fiscal years. Taking into account the technical screening criteria, taxonomy-eligible and taxonomy-aligned sales revenues and OpEx of the Dürr Group regularly correspond to each other. In the case of CapEx, it is possible that taxonomy-eligible and taxonomy-aligned economic activities differ in their results.
|Taxonomy-eligible share 2022 (%)||Taxonomy-aligned share 2022 (%)||Taxonomy-eligible share 2021 (%)||Taxonomy-aligned share 2021 (%)|
In the 2022 fiscal year, taxonomy-eligible sales revenues again corresponded to taxonomy-aligned sales revenues. Compared to the previous year, these increased by 45.4% to €726.6 million. The share of taxonomy-eligible or taxonomy-aligned sales revenues in Group sales also increased and amounted to 16.8% in the 2022 financial year (previous year: 14.1%). This was due in particular to activities in the context of economic activity “3.6 Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.” The woodworking technology sector recorded strong growth in this area. In addition, increasing demand in the growth market of battery production technology led to a rise in the Dürr Group’s taxonomy-aligned sales revenues.
In the 2022 fiscal year, 24.3% of our investments complied with the requirements of the EU Taxonomy Regulation on taxonomy-aligned CapEx (previous year: 25.1%). This resulted mainly from the expenses for the current investment program at HOMAG, which are assigned to economic activity “7.7 Acquisition and ownership of buildings.” In addition, capitalized development costs in the areas of battery production technology and painting technology caused an increase in environmentally sustainable CapEx in the context of economic activity “3.6 Manufacture of other low carbon technologies.”
As in the previous year, taxonomy-eligible OpEx corresponded to taxonomy-aligned OpEx, amounting to €12.9 million. This means an increase of €3.0 million compared to fiscal year 2021. The taxonomy-eligible or taxonomy-aligned share of the Dürr Group’s relevant OpEx in accordance with the Taxonomy Regulation amounted to 9.3% in 2022 (previous year: 8.1%). An important component were non-capitalizable expenses for research and development, which contributed 93% to the taxonomy-eligible or taxonomy-aligned OpEx (previous year: 90%).
Further details on the composition of environmentally sustainable sales revenues, capital expenditures, and operating expenses are provided in the → Annual Report 2022.
Economic activity 3.6 „Manufacture of other low carbon technologies“
The activity description “3.6 Manufacture of other low carbon technologies” is of particular relevance to the Dürr Group. The economic activity includes activities for the production of technologies that aim at substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in other sectors of the economy.
From the Dürr Group’s perspective, a substantial reduction means a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in the use phase by at least 20%. Such a substantial reduction can usually only be achieved by a technological leap and not by continuous improvements. We have therefore set the value of 20% as the minimum level for a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. As a reference standard, we base it on the technology commonly used in the market at the time of publication of our Annual Report 2022. The reference technology is thus the best performing alternative technology predominantly available on the market.
Furthermore, the technical screening criteria for economic activity 3.6 describe requirements for the quantification of life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions. For the 2022 fiscal year, we commissioned the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP) to prepare science-based lifecycle greenhouse gas balances for representative machines and systems. In assessing the lifecycle emissions of goods manufactured with our machines and systems, we relied on published data and analyses from recognized scientific organizations.