Climate change, resource scarcity and the loss of habitats and biodiversity strongly influence our world today. Urbanisation and social developments including demographic change, globalised supply chains and digitalisation present challenges – but also opportunities. 

The global community can only tackle these issues together and therefore has adopted the Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2015. They design a sustainable future that will safeguard the natural livelihoods and ensure social inclusion as well as economic prosperity for all. BKW sees itself as part of this global community and strives to make an active contribution towards achieving the goals of the Agenda 2030.

Understanding of sustainability

Our activities cover three stages of the value chain: our supply chain, our business operations, and our products and services. In general, we see two ways in which we contribute to a sustainable development of the environment and society:

  1. Continuous improvement: We improve an activity or a product/service in order to ensure that negative effects are minimised or positive effects are extended.
  2. Innovative solutions: We identify an environmental/social challenge, develop a new product or service and bring it to market to address that challenge. This creates innovation and offers business opportunities for BKW (see also: Our Technology Centre).

Key issues

In 2019, we involved internal and external experts to identify the sustainability issues that are important to us. International standards and industry topics served as additional guidance. We analysed our business activities in terms of their ecological and social impact. The identification of these key issues helps us to focus our efforts on areas, where we can generate the most significant impact. These issues identified were judged according to their respective impact, if BKW did not address them responsibly. The focus is on the following issues: 

  • Our own energy consumption and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions
  • The energy and resource efficiency of our power plants and grids
  • Energy efficiency solutions for our customers
  • The expansion of new renewable energies
  • Occupational health and safety of our employees
  • The way in which we involve the local population and other stakeholders
  • Approaches for a circular economy
  • High resilience, such as in relation to natural hazards, cyber security or accidents
  • Safe decommissioning and dismantling of our own infrastructures
  • Biodiversity and landscape conservation for our natural livelihoods

BKW's sustainability framework

Some of these issues can be tackled in more than one stage of the value chain. Moreover, we compared and aligned them with the Sustainable Development Goals (including sub goals). From this, we derive a specific contribution of our actions and solutions to ten of the 17 SDGs. In addition to the value chain stages and the Sustainable Development Goals, our mission shows our commitment to sustainable development: We provide "solutions for a future worth living for".

Challenges and reporting

BKW is a decentrally organised and growing company. With our diversified business, we face challenges and opportunities: we produce electricity in small and large, renewable and non-renewable power plants in Switzerland and Europe. We transport electricity via our distribution network in Switzerland. Our services in the German-speaking parts of Europe range from modern building technology solutions and the construction of energy networks to the modernisation of transport infrastructures, the maintenance of water networks and complex planning services for large infrastructures. Political regulations as well as market dynamics and the needs of customers have an equal influence on our development.

We are constantly refining our sustainability management system and reviewing options to report more systematically on key issues in the future, including targets and corresponding performance. Currently, BKW does not publish a sustainability report.

We would like to enter into a dialogue with you. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding our sustainability management, please contact us here.

In our actions and with our products and services, we aim to play an active part in the sustainable development of our society, the economy, and the environment. BKW's core objective is to create solutions for the design of sustainable infrastructures and living spaces.

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