Zero Emissions: What we do to reduce our carbon footprint.
15.09.2023 | Sustainability
As the “creators of tomorrow’s mobility”, we develop E-Bikes that help to support a sustainable lifestyle. We also endeavour to make our business operations as environmentally and socially responsible as possible. One of the most important challenges we face: avoiding emissions harmful to the climate. A few select current sustainability projects as part of our “Zero Emissions” mission.
PHOTOVOLTAICS, GREEN POWER AND CLIMATE PROJECT
Total solar power
A solar system on the roofs of our plant in Mühltal generates 43% of our direct electricity consumption. We also purchase certified green electricity at night from fully renewable energy sources for our electric logistics vehicles. During the day, we feed excess electricity produced by the plant into the grid – we have calculated that we thus cover around 80% of our electricity consumption.
In the 2021/22 business year, we fully compensated for the emissions from our production site in Mühltal and our sales logistics, totalling 1,788 t CO2, through a myclimate gold standard-certified climate protection project.
The project contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to sustainable development in the regions in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
RIESE & MÜLLER FLEET
Electric drives across the board
We are systematically converting our fleet to electric vehicles by 2026, which can be charged at our site with electricity we generate ourselves using our photovoltaic system.
This decision means that we are investing in climate-friendly mobility in the long term, as the direct emissions from our fleet constitute a large proportion of our emission footprint.
With seven electric cars and 16 hybrid models, over 40% of our total of 55 vehicles are already (partially) electrically powered. Due to the lack of alternatives, we are unable to convert the eight vans and light trucks that we use for our factory transport to electric drives for the time being. This represents potentially 40 cars that can be replaced by electric cars.
The conversion of the fleet will take up to four years due to ongoing leasing contracts. We expect to significantly reduce the CO2 footprint once our fleet of cars has been fully electrified.
Our CO2 emissions in the 2021/2022 business year
We have succeeded in reducing our net emissions from 7,746.82 tonnes of CO₂e in the previous year by just under 10% to 6,986.08 tonnes of CO₂e. At the same time, we have grown considerably, now producing over 124,000 bikes (previous year: 106,000 bikes). We were thus able to decouple emissions from growth.
As a result of our growth, emissions produced from our vehicle fleet, fuel and the waste we produce have increased as expected. However, at the same time, we managed to reduce overall logistics emissions, due to significantly fewer air freight shipments and shorter supply chains through a higher proportion of European suppliers.
The calculated CO₂ emissions per bike thus did not reach the pre-pandemic level of 47.36 kg CO₂e (2019/2020 business year), but amounted to 55.96 kg CO₂e – a decrease of 23% compared to the previous year. Our efforts to reduce emissions are moving in the right direction.
Young trees for the forest
We donated 10,000 climate-stable seedlings for reforestation in order to initiate sustainability projects on our doorstep. The tree species – oak, hornbeam, linden, douglas fir and elderberry – were selected from a sustainability perspective and planted in the spring of 2022 on a 1.3-hectare clear site near Darmstadt.
We have also planted 1,000 white maple seedlings in the Neu-Anspach forest with the help of the Bergwaldprojekt mountain forest association. The native tree species help with environmental reforestation. We also donate a tree for every customer review on Trustpilot. A further 96 trees were thus planted in the 21/22 business year..
SUSTAINABLE TRADE FAIR STAND
A second life for a wooden floor
Our attendance at Eurobike 2022 in Frankfurt was linked to our aim to generate as low of CO2 emissions as possible. To do so, we revised the concept and systematically paid attention to climate-friendly factors.
From the outset, we adhered to the standard that we had to be able to reuse many components of the fittings. We use plastic parts four to six times, and metal and wood parts even more frequently. In addition, we rent platforms, walls, equipment and furniture from a stand builder or store them for reuse.
We have deliberately chosen an additional floor meant to increase our employees’ comfort during the long days at the trade fair. When going to other events, we take the floor tiles with us, and at the end of their life they are recycled by the manufacturer. We fitted the wooden floor of the outdoor stand as the surface of pedestals and furniture in our newly created Family & Friends Store in Mühltal.
We will be the most sustainable company in the E-Bike sector by 2025.
In the almost 30 years since our company was established, it has always been our ambition to develop innovative folding bikes, bicycles and E-Bikes for everyday use, and to produce them in a resource-conserving manner. We have remained true to these basic principles to this day. Since 2019, part of our corporate strategy has also included the endeavour to make our business operations as environmentally and socially responsible as possible.
To achieve this, we are working to further reduce our CO₂ emissions, advancing waste-prevention projects and screening our supply chains for social and environmental risks. We are working towards maximum transparency across the entire value chain and are in direct contact with suppliers and partners. We want our actions to encourage other companies in the cycling industry and to lead by example and personal commitment.
Sustainable business is not optional, especially in times of crisis – it is a necessity for real change and a basic prerequisite for lasting success.
Find out more in our third Responsibility Report.