At WICONA we believe we have the responsibility and the ability to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s most burning issue: climate change. Earth is warming, and it is caused by humans¹. This threatens every form of life and urgent action needs to be taken if we want our planet to survive.
Moreover, the world’s population is predicted to increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years with a 70% of the population living in urban areas², which means at WICONA we will likely see a higher demand in the building and construction sector³. With more and more people living in buildings, this implies an increasing energy consumption and thus, skyrocketing CO2 emissions. The urge to rethink our products and processes has been even more challenging with growing pressure coming from regulations – from the European and international level with new norms and constraints for carbon neutrality; but also from national laws becoming more and more demanding⁴.
Whole life carbon
The building and construction sector represents 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions⁵. The carbon footprint of a building is made of two stages: use (“operational” emissions caused by heating, cooling…) and construction (“upfront” emissions caused by materials extraction and production, delivery, waste management…). The use phase represents 72% of the building’s total carbon footprint; whereas construction and production represent 28%.
WICONA goes beyond materials to provide the market with high-performance and circular products, which contributes to reducing the carbon emissions caused in the use phase. At the same time we go beyond products to focus on upfront emissions, to contribute to reduce carbon emissions during both the production and construction phase. As an industry leader and part of the Hydro group, WICONA’s sustainability strategy, BUILD BEYOND TOMORROW, focuses on cutting carbon emissions by half by 2025, striving towards 100% circularity and empowering 10,000 people with education and skills in the same year, in line with the UN Sustainability Goals.
The UN sustainable development goals
In September 2015 the United Nations General Assembly formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of 17 bold new Global Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved the next years until 2030. The UN Sustainable Development Goals constitute a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a sustainable world.Read more about the Global Goals
Our holistic approach
We believe that to be truly sustainable, we must look to a world beyond four walls and work to make it a reality – starting today. That´s why we go beyond simply world-class low-carbon materials, to run every part of our business as sustainably as possible.
WICONA has a holistic approach to sustainability and act within 3 main areas:
¹ Kevin E Trenberth (2018), “Climate change caused by human activities is happening and it already has major consequences”, Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, 36:4, 463-481, DOI: 10.1080/02646811.2018.1450895.
² United Nations, « Population », Population | United Nations.
³ BSRIA (2019), “Megatrends: demographics”, WP 10/2019 Megatrends: Demographics (bsria.com)
⁴ As an example the French RE2022 law aims at reducing carbon emissions coming from the building and construction sector by actually capping them. Manufacturers have less and less flexibility when it comes to sustainability now.
⁵ WGBC (2019). Bringing embodied carbon upfront. Coordinated action for the building and construction sector to tackle embodied carbon, https://worldgbc.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/22123951/WorldGBC_Bringing_Embodied_Carbon_Upfront.pdf