2021 was an eventful year for sustainability at Arçelik. We have pushed for bolder goals, joined global initiatives and achieved headlines across the world for an even more sustainable year. Our intense climate agenda was shown in one of the highly anticipated summits regarding climate change, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26, and we have shown our commitment to society by running global campaigns as well as bringing home awards. Let’s unpack what we have done this year…
Global Positioning with Bolder Ambitions
This year we attended the most coveted sustainable leadership events and announced our corporate achievements in various global platforms.
Ahead of COP26 our CEO, Hakan Bulgurlu, discussed achieving sustainable manufacturing with Sacha Nauta at the Economist’s Sustainability Week.
Through our participation in COP26 in Glasgow with Arçelik CEO Hakan Bulgurlu, we disclosed that we have re-submitted even more ambitious science-based targets to the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), which are being reviewed by the SBTi for final approval. Our initial targets in line with a “well-below 2°C” scenario were approved by the SBTi in November 2020, however, we have chosen to be bolder by submitting a 1.5°C target in August 2021. This coupled with the decision to introduce a net-zero target throughout the value chain by 2050 will serve to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. These ambitious goals highlight our ever-growing commitment to a sustainable future and the company’s pledge to the Paris Agreement.
At COP26, we also organized several panels with our business partners and NGOs, which Arçelik are a corporate member of. Hakan was joined by Dr. Fatih Birol (Executive Director, IEA) at the panel we organized at the Climate Registry Pavilion in the Blue Zone, which was moderated by Mai-Britt Poulsen (Managing Partner, BCG). The panel focused on the importance of energy efficiency in the reduction of Scope 3 emissions, which is too often overlooked but needs to be prioritized if the world aims to meet their net-zero targets.
We also joined a panel with the Climate Group EP100, which showcased how governments, businesses, NGOs, and consumers are working to double the efficiency of key appliances globally by 2030.
We organized a parallel reception event at COP26 with Leaders on Purpose where Hakan had a fireside discussion with Stan Stalnaker, the Founding Director of Hub Culture on the relevance of true purpose driving systemic change.
Hakan also joined a panel with TÜSİAD and the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change of Turkey at the Turkey Pavilion and discussed about the roadmap on addressing carbon neutrality in Turkey.
This year, we also became a member of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and joined the Climate Ambition Accelerator. This platform develops and promotes the Science Based Targets initiative, Business Ambition for the 1.5°C campaign, and contributes to initiatives such as the Race to Zero campaign. As a member of the UNGC CFO Taskforce program, our CFO Polat Şen, spoke at the Uniting Business Forum (part of Climate Accelerator) in the Eastern Europe session and showcased the solutions created by leading Eastern European companies. He also participated in the ‘Corporate Financing: Enabling Demand Side for Sustainable Finance’ as part of GO ESG ASEAN Corporate Sustainability Virtual Summit and discussed sustainable financing opportunities in the region to accelerate the transition to green practices.
To push our sustainability journey forward this year, we have established strong collaborations with our internal and external stakeholders. At the global level, we have become a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). WBCSD addresses the most pressing global challenges and provides an educational platform for corporate members. As a member of WBCSD, we joined two action initiatives to accelerate our transition to climate friendly practices. These were supported at COP26 the WBCSD’s Business Manifesto for Climate Recovery, which sets out of twelve action priorities framed around reducing, removing, and reporting emissions.
Ahead of COP26, we also joined the World Economic Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, which is the largest global CEO-led community in the world committed to climate action.
Along with business leaders from the world’s largest companies, an open letter is signed by our CEO, Hakan Bulgurlu, which underlines that COP26 is the time for bold policies, commitments and actions. Following the “code red for humanity” warning issued by the UN, The We Mean Business Coalition urged governments to redirect public spending towards keeping the 1.5ºC climate goal within reach. They also stressed the importance of delivering on the existing commitment to US$100 billion in climate finance annually for developing countries, to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and to put a price on carbon.
In addition, we worked on global initiatives to strengthen our voice in the fight against climate change and joined the Business Ambition for 1.5ºC Campaign with both our 2030 emissions reduction targets submitted in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5ºC scenario, and our net-zero value chain target by 2050. Through these efforts, we also came together with other stakeholders on the Race to Zero Campaign.
Finally, we have become a member of Climate Group EP100. Through this membership, we are committed to doubling our economic output for every unit of energy we consume globally by 2030, compared to 2010 by increasing energy efficiency. We also aim to implement ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems across all our global production facilities by 2025.
In order to strengthen our cooperation with our internal stakeholders in the field of sustainability, the Supplier Day was held in October this year in a virtual format. No surprise, sustainability was the hot topic on the agenda. In line with Arçelik’s ambitious goals to transform the industry together with its business partners, Arçelik had set goals for its suppliers. Some of these goals are challenging enough to commit that Arçelik will no longer work with suppliers that do not meet these targets. We sent a commitment letter to all suppliers before the Supplier Day event and asked 400 of the suppliers making up more than 80% of the purchasing volume to sign the commitment letter which declares their commitent to set GHG emission reduction targets. So far, 145 suppliers sent us signed letters showing their commitment to this transformation. We are grateful for the enthusiasm of our business partners and we will work with them together on a roadmap to transform the way of doing business. This project will also help us to tackle the climate crisis one step further in our network with the valuable contributions of our suppliers.
Year of Awards, Ratings and Recognitions in the sustainability space
This year, Arçelik committed to achieving net-zero by 2050 across the entire value chain and disclosed publicly its roadmap on its website. Arçelik also secured a €150 million loan from EBRD for green manufacturing to conduct a three-year environmentally sustainable investment program. Every year, Arçelik's increasing progress is rewarded by prestigious institutions.
In 2021, Arçelik Global has been awarded Terra Carta Seal. As part of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, the Terra Carta offers the basis of a recovery plan to 2030 that puts nature, people, and planet at the heart. As a Terra Carta Seal Holder, we were recognized as a company driving innovation and leadership in its industry. HRH is deeply encouraged by Arçelik’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions to limit global warming at 1.5°C and its credible transition roadmap for achieving net-zero by 2050. At COP26, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales met with our CEO Hakan Bulgurlu, to celebrate the award and commitment to the fight against climate change. The Terra Carta Seal has been given to 45 companies only and Arçelik has become the first and only company from its industry, and Turkey, to be awarded this seal.
We achieved again this year, the highest score (86/100) in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices in the DHP Household Durables Industry and are proud to have been listed in Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for 5 consecutive years.
At the beginning of this year, we ranked 13th on The Real Leaders Top 150 Impact Companies of 2021.
In April 2021, we received an ESG Risk Rating of 16.5 by Sustainalytics and were assessed to be at low level risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors.
We received an overall score of 50/100 in the Vigeo Eiris ESG rating and were ranked #1 in the Technology-Hardware Emerging Market.
We have been ranked 17th in the 2021 Refinitiv’s Diversity & Inclusion Index, as the only company from Turkey and from our industry to make the list.
We have been recognized with an “A-” score in both Climate Change and Water Security Programs of Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)by reporting our operations in Turkey.
Within the scope of the Sustainable Business Awards running in Turkey for the eighth year, we received award in three categories: Best Sustainable Business Reporting (Arçelik 2020 Sustainability Report), Circular Plastics Management (A Second Life for White Goods – Dishwashers Made of Waste Plastics of Arçelik WEEE Facilities), and Women's Empowerment (Arçelik – 500 Female Technicians).
A More Sustainable Year: 2021