Our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, as part of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030, more than 150 countries made a pledge to ensure that every person in the world would be able to lead a dignified life by 2030. The road map to fulfil this objective consists of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are designed to attain a world without extreme poverty and famine, mitigate environmental risks and provide a globally suitable climate.

EWE makes a contribution to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals

We all share a responsibility for achieving them. We, too, at EWE want to play our part in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. That is why we identified four SDGs with particular relevance for EWE back in 2019. When implemented, they will enable us to make the biggest contribution to achieving global objectives:

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SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Our contribution: we are systematically expanding the share of electricity that we generate from renewable energy sources. Our focus here is on the use of onshore wind energy. Among other things, we set up the joint venture Alterric in conjunction with the Aloys Wobben Foundation in 2021. Alterric is now one of the largest green electricity producers in Central Europe. Our objective is to significantly increase the share of renewable energies across different sectors on a lasting basis over the next few years. We also offer our customers solutions that allow them to become more energy-efficient and lay the foundation for a common climate-neutral future. Finally, we are also continuously developing new technologies so that we can take a holistic approach to the next stages in the energy revolution. Developing hydrogen as a clean gas of the future is our target.

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SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

Our contribution: we are not only maintaining network stability and therefore security of supply; we are also creating a smart energy supply system using digitalisation. We are continuously investing in innovations to overcome future challenges such as the integration of electric mobility and renewable energies. For example, with our electric mobility company EWE Go, we are constantly striving to develop simple, innovative, future-proof mobility solutions. We operate the largest public electric vehicle charging network in northwest Germany and supply our charging stations exclusively with eco-power. We are constantly extending our charging network because a well-developed charging infrastructure is the basis for an ever-expanding electric mobility market. We are also focusing attention on integrating green gases into the energy system at an early stage.

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SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Our contribution: we are helping cities and municipalities to continue developing sustainably in many different ways. We are achieving this through innovative solutions for energy, mobility, information technology and telecommunications. By way of example, we are driving development towards a “gigabit society” and are in a position to provide an increasing number of households with very high bandwidths thanks to systematic expansion of the fibre optic network. In the context of neighbourhood development projects, we also offer tailored integrated concepts comprising energy, telecommunications and mobility solutions. We focus primarily on ecologically sustainable solutions, such as combined heat and power plants that can also run on renewable energy sources. This offering is made complete with elements such as specific solutions for electric vehicle fleets for neighbourhood residents.

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SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Our contribution: climate protection has been highly important to EWE for a long time and has always played a central role in our decisions. We have committed ourselves to discontinuing our coal-based power generation by 2030 and currently expect to achieve this goal by the mid-2020s. We have already shut down two out of three coal power plants. For us, energy efficiency and renewable energies are the key to climate neutrality. We are systematically expanding the proportion of electricity that we generate from renewable energy sources so that we can help bring about the energy revolution effectively and further reduce the energy sector’s carbon footprint. We also want to reduce our own CO2 footprint, which is why we have set ourselves the goal of becoming climate-neutral in Scopes 1 and 2 by 2035. We also take responsibility for the upstream and downstream stages in the value chain that we cannot control directly.

In 2021, we identified four other SDGs that we as a company also help to meet
SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being
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Our contribution: the health of our employees is a top priority. That is why EWE has set high standards to promote its employees’ health and provide them with a working environment conducive to their health and well-being. We also expect our business partners to comply with these standards.

SDG 5: Gender equality
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Our contribution: throughout the EWE Group, we share the conviction that true diversity fosters an innovative spirit. For this reason, promoting diversity and equal opportunities is a core element in our corporate strategy and our Code of Conduct. This allows us to create an appreciative work environment and a diverse workforce with equally diverse lifestyles, thereby fulfilling our social responsibility as an employer.

SDG 8: Sustainable economic growth
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Our contribution: EWE places great value on providing its employees with a fair, attractive working environment with transparent structures and processes. We also regard the preservation of human rights as a significant part of our corporate responsibility. Our objective is to systematically prevent and avoid human rights violations, which is why we address the associated risks at all stages in our value chain from a holistic perspective, taking international standards such as the UN Global Compact as a basis.

SDG 15: Protect and promote sustainable use of ecosystems
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Our contribution: for us, environmental protection and the careful use of resources are key prerequisites for a sustainable future. This is why we work tirelessly to reduce our internal energy consumption and minimise other adverse effects on the environment caused by our operating activities, such as air pollution and land usage, and promote biodiversity.

Outlook und development

We will devise measures aimed at continuing to embed the SDGs in the EWE Group and heightening awareness of them among the workforce. The SDGs are designed as a frame of reference for all of our business decisions.