And this responsible approach will continue into the future.
The automotive industry is changing. The AMAG Group has set its course for the future, and now presents its climate strategy: reduce, eliminate and, if necessary, offset. AMAG aims to become climate-neutral by 2025, and also has the ambition to achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2040. A separate climate fund has been set up to support initiatives and start-ups that contribute to decarbonisation. AMAG is committed to the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Climate Agreement, and to the science-based targets.
Ever since it was established some 76 years ago, AMAG has always been economical with all its resources. This is the only way the company has been able to grow continuously since 1945 and become number one in the Swiss car market. The automotive industry is now at a turning point in terms of new technologies and the demands placed on companies. AMAG is fully aware of its responsibility, and aims to become the leading provider of sustainable individual mobility, and is laying the foundation for this within the company itself.
AMAG is the first automotive company in Switzerland to commit to climate neutrality by 2025*. Using science-based targets, AMAG will commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. In addition to this, AMAG aims to achieve a net zero carbon footprint throughout the value chain by 2040**.
Implementation of the climate strategy is the responsibility of the newly created AMAG Group Sustainability Board, whose members include the managing directors of the business units and the Group’s CEO and CFO. The Board is chaired by Martin Everts, Head of the newly created area of Corporate Development.
The first measures already took effect in 2020, for example through the introduction of working from home (not pandemic-related) and the systematic use of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in the service and emergency vehicle fleet. Currently, around half of all company vehicles are already electric. In addition to this, replacement parts were transported increasingly by rail and less by road, enabling us to cut 1247 truck journeys in 2020 and reduce emissions by 487 tonnes of CO2 in 2020.
We need to be doing a range of different things at the same time if we are to reduce further CO2 equivalents, and are focussing on various existing or newly introduced measures:
• Special e-offers are available for employees, including a contribution to the cost of home charging infrastructure.
• From 2022 onwards, the vehicles in our operational and official vehicle fleet will be almost exclusively electric.
• The charging infrastructure is being significantly expanded at the company’s own locations at AMAG Import, AMAG Retail, AMAG First, AMAG Services (Europcar), AMAG Parking and mobilog, with almost 1000 additional charging stations. Around a quarter of this charging infrastructure will also be publicly accessible.
• AMAG has developed its own TCO calculator for fleet customers, which provides an overview of the effective costs of e-mobility. Taking all costs into account, electric mobility is already cheaper with many models today.
• Opening of “the square” at the Circle at Zurich Airport, a new mobility hub and the competence and experience centre for new sustainable individual mobility.
• New resource-efficient mobility offers at Clyde and Ubeeqo to promote electric mobility.
• AMAG has launched the new community platform “drive-electric.ch” to answer questions about electric mobility, clarify misconceptions and address critical issues relating to the new technology. The new website shows the different facets of electric mobility, taking a look back into the past and reflecting on where the journey might go.
• Expansion of photovoltaic systems: AMAG will generate more of its own electricity in future, and plans to continue with the expansion of solar installations at its own sites in the coming years. An area of around 50,000 m2, i.e. almost seven football pitches, will be covered by photovoltaic systems by 2024, meeting more than 20% of current electricity needs. A further expansion potential of around 100,000 m2 is currently being analysed, and would make it possible to meet the annual electricity demand of 10,000 electric vehicles in total.
What began in 2008 with what was at the time the largest solar installation in the canton of Zurich on the roof of the central replacement parts warehouse in Buchs, is now being further developed. The solar installations at the AMAG locations in Basel, Wettswil, Winterthur and Cham are going into operation in 2021.
• New painting systems: The new body shop Wettswil ZH, which was opened by AMAG Retail in June, marks the arrival of a new generation of painting systems. Thanks to year-round heat recovery and intelligent control, the new painting systems use around 50% less energy than the systems being replaced.
• Building refurbishment: Sustainability criteria are taken into account in new construction projects with the help of a scorecard, while a roadmap for energy-efficient refurbishment is drawn up for existing buildings.
• Nuova strategia d’investimento della cassa pensioni AMAG: la cassa pensioni AMAG ha cambiato la sua strategia di investimento e in futuro si baserà su un approccio di gestione sostenibile dei suoi investimenti. Sostenibilità e rendimento non sono più in contraddizione.
• Green Finance Framework elaborato: Per allineare anche la strategia presentata con il chiaro obiettivo di ridurre le emissioni di CO2 alla strategia di finanziamento di AMAG, AMAG Leasing AG punta nel prossimo futuro a investire ancora più specificamente nella mobilità elettrica tramite un green bond. Questi fondi dovranno confluire esclusivamente nel finanziamento dei veicoli elettrici e dell’infrastruttura di ricarica ed elettrica. Il Green Finance Framework di AMAG Leasing AG è stato elaborato e sarà pubblicato a breve.
• ETH Mobility Initiative: AMAG is the first partner from the automotive industry to participate in the ETH Mobility Initiative launched by ETH Zurich together with SBB in 2020. The goal of the ETH Mobility Initiative is to develop an internationally leading research location for mobility in Switzerland and devise solutions for future challenges. AMAG is participating in various research projects, including those involving the reduction of CO2 emissions and the development of synthetic fuels.
• Collaboration with EMPA: As part of the planned “WhiteWinter” research project, AMAG also intends to become involved in the development of synthetic fuels.
Climate and innovation fund
• CHF 10 million for climate and innovation fund
AMAG is in the process of introducing an internal CO2 levy that will be used to finance a company climate and innovation fund. The fund will comprise around CHF 10 million, which will be used to invest in climate projects and innovations up to 2025. The focus is on Swiss start-ups that are developing new business models in the field of sustainable mobility and decarbonisation.
Synhelion: First commitment of the AMAG Group AG Climate and Innovation Fund
The Swiss ETH spin off Synhelion produces a synthetic fuel using renewable energy from CO2 that can be used for the existing fleet of combustion vehicles. The Swiss start-up company does not use solar power in its process, but solar heat.
* Scope 1 and 2: Scope 1 covers direct emissions from own or controlled sources, while Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, heating and cooling consumed by the company concerned.
** Scope 3 emissions are all other emissions caused by the company’s activities but not under the control of the company, for example at suppliers, service providers, employees and end consumers.
The Volkswagen Group faces the biggest challenge in the company’s history – perhaps even the biggest challenge in the history of mobility: the Group is taking responsibility for its share of global CO2 emissions. This is why Volkswagen is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, with the goal of becoming a CO2-neutral company in balance-sheet terms by 2050. For this to happen, changes are being made. Everyone will be able to participate in this movement and choose from a range of vehicles with different innovative drive technologies, so we can all find our own personal route to lower emissions. This is the only possible approach to achieving the goal together. This is the Way to Zero.
AMAG is the first partner from the automotive industry to participate in the ETH Mobility Initiative launched by ETH Zurich together with SBB. The related contract was signed with ETH Zurich and the ETH Foundation in 2020. A long-term partnership over 10 years is planned, with a view to ensuring sustainability.
The goal of the Mobility Initiative is to develop an internationally leading research location for mobility in Switzerland and devise solutions for future challenges. “Mobility will evolve significantly in the coming years. And it is an essential competitive factor, in Switzerland as elsewhere. The economy and mobility are closely interrelated,” says Helmut Ruhl, CEO of AMAG Group Ltd. “The ETH Mobility Initiative is therefore important for Switzerland as a location of industry and commerce when it comes to developing innovative and future-proof mobility solutions. With its 75 years of experience in mobility issues, AMAG will be able to make a significant contribution and actively support this initiative. At the same time, we also hope to gain insights for our own activities. This is in line with our vision of being a provider of sustainable, individual mobility.”
This is not the first commitment to ETH Zurich for AMAG and its owner. The university has benefited from substantial contributions in recent years, since the celebration of ETH Zurich’s 150th anniversary. These contributions involved projects such as the establishment of the Institute for Theoretical Studies.
This new collaboration falls within the framework of joint projects between ETH Zurich and funding partners, which aim to significantly increase research insights and advance technological solutions. Regular meetings, workshops and international speakers help to exchange ideas and maintain project momentum among the partners.
AMAG’s commitment boosts ETH Zurich’s mobility initiative, through which the university aims to expand its research expertise and connect more closely with practice. More than thirty research groups at ETH Zurich are already active in various areas of mobility research. There are plans to further expand this expertise and to add an ETH Mobility Centre, and further funding partners are due to join in the coming years.
From Chattanooga to Beijing, from Basel to Mendrisio, from Audi to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: on global Earth Day on 22 April 2021, the twelve brands of the Volkswagen Group and their employees prepared to make a joint statement with #Project1Hour. Around 660 000 employees worked together to learn about climate change and develop concrete improvements, with around 6500 employees of the AMAG Group in Switzerland getting involved.
The Volkswagen Group has made a clear commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. The company aims to be climate-neutral from a balance-sheet perspective by 2050, focusing on electrifying its products and reducing CO2 from the supply chain to the recycling process. AMAG has also set itself challenging CO2 targets and is working towards achieving them.
Protecting the climate, however, involves a wide range of individual contributions. To mark Earth Day, Volkswagen Group employees around the world will therefore stop work for an hour to learn about climate change, determine their own carbon footprint and define personal climate protection measures. Employees at AMAG in Switzerland will also focus on the issue – in the form of various workshops, for example.
Whether they aim to save energy at work or at home, choose the most climate-friendly means of transport for business travel or cut back on their own meat consumption: all employees at the AMAG Group can help tackle climate change in their private and professional lives. Concrete suggestions for climate protection in the workplace will be collected after the #Project1Hour and subsequently implemented wherever possible.
The Volkswagen Group and the AMAG Group hold their #Project1Hour to coincide with Earth Day on 22 April. Earth Day was first held in the USA in 1970, and it takes place on 22 April each year. It has become a global environmental grassroots movement since its founding over 50 years ago. While even the first Earth Day was marked by some 20 million people taking part in various activities, today more than 200 million people get involved. This “secular holiday” comprises wide-ranging activities relating to environmental and climate protection. It also aims to bring people together to create sustainable solutions for the environment and the climate. This year, the motto for international Earth Day was “Restore our earth”.
Climeworks was founded in 2009 as an ETH spin-off by Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher, and aims to inspire people to take action and reduce their ecological footprint. The Swiss company permanently removes CO2 from the air, enabling everyone to help reverse climate change. The company, which is supported by AMAG owner Martin Haefner, has launched the world’s first commercial technology that can efficiently filter CO2 from ambient air. A Climeworks collector is in use at the Hinwil waste incineration plant, for example.