Sustainability Performance Report 2013

Solar plant (photo)

Welcome to ABB's new online edition of the Group Annual Sustainability Performance Report 2013. This year's report has been expanded and developed with many more interactive elements to help our stakeholders get a better overview of what ABB does and what makes us successful.

As well as highlights of 2013 and our new Sustainability Objectives 2014-2020, we have created new sections outlining the material issues for ABB and how these are refining our priorities. You can explore ABB’s contribution to a better world through our products and services, along with achievements and innovations in 2013. We hope you enjoy browsing through our new Sustainability Performance Report.


ABB Group

  • CEO Letter
  • This is ABB
  • New horizons
Portrait of CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer (photo)

Twenty years ago ABB produced a first Sustainability Report which was devoted to environmental issues such as our manufacturing processes and the implementation of management systems at our facilities. It was a pioneering report, one of the first of its kind.

Nowadays, sustainability for ABB covers our efforts to build a clean, safe, secure and respectful environment through our products and services and the way we behave in all areas of business. Our company slogan is “Power and productivity for a better world” and we believe that what we manufacture for our customers and how we act can and do make a significant contribution to a better, more sustainable world.

The sustainability strategy we unveiled in 2013 is aligned with corporate strategy, reflecting a clear understanding that good performance in these areas is part of good business practice and success. The sustainability strategy, which covers 2014-2020, comprises a series of focused objectives which impact all areas of our value chain. ...

ABB offices in Milan, Italy (photo)

ABB is one of the world’s leading power and automation technology companies. We operate in around 100 countries and employ about 150,000 people.

We are present throughout the entire renewables value chain, from power generation to transmission, distribution and electric mobility.

We provide solutions for secure, energy-efficient generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, and for increasing productivity in industrial, commercial and utility operations.

For ABB, sustainability is about balancing economic success, environmental stewardship and social progress to benefit all our stakeholders.

Solar plant (photo)

ABB launched a new set of sustainability objectives towards the end of 2013, covering the Group’s development over the next few years. These objectives are part of an overall review, called Sustainability Strategy 2015+, and chart the path we have decided to take to further embed sustainability values and considerations in our business.

The development of our sustainability goals – for the period 2014–2020 – follows extensive internal and external stakeholder consultation designed to identify which sustainability issues are material to the company’s future success. Endorsed by executive management, the nine goals reflect the company’s levels of ambition and show how ABB can and does contribute to a more sustainable world. ...

Focus areas of Sustainability in 2013

  • Governance
  • Products and services
  • Responsible relationships
  • Responsible operations
  • Right resources


Sustainability principles and considerations are embedded in ABB's business strategy and guide what we manufacture, how we operate the company and the way we behave towards stakeholders.

Our sustainability strategy is aligned with corporate strategy and is supported by objectives that address ABB’s activities and impacts along the value chain. Progress towards our objectives is driven through all levels the business, from Executive Committee endorsement, through operational review and target setting in business units and countries to local training and execution at site, supported by sustainability specialists at Group, country and local level.

More about governance

Products and services

Our stakeholders have confirmed to us that resource efficiency, products and systems which strengthen renewable sources of power, and our efforts to limit both customers' and our own environmental footprint, are important issues for them.

These issues are also material to ABB's business success. More than 50 percent of ABB's revenues stem from energy efficient products, systems and solutions that we provide to our customers to increase their productivity while lowering environmental impact. Driving innovation in these areas is key to our future success.

More about products and services

Responsible relationships

ABB recognizes that business is part of society. How we interact with our stakeholders, both within and outside the company, will help determine our success as a business and determines how welcome we are in the communities where we seek to carry out projects.

Our social license to operate - our ability to build sustainable business throughout the value chain - depends on our people acting with integrity and respect towards all our stakeholders. Acting responsibly towards our many stakeholders strengthens our bottom line, builds value and partnerships, and enhances reputation.

More about responsible relationships

Responsible operations

Responsible operations take many forms: our ability to manufacture in a resource efficient way and to limit our carbon footprint is good both for our business and for society.

Responsible operations also means ensuring our employees and contractors can work in a safe and secure manner - even in a crisis - and maintain the resilience of our business. The relationship we develop with our suppliers is also crucial. Sourcing is key to our operations, and that partnership depends on our suppliers being committed to the social and environmental standards we set for ourselves and our business partners.

More about responsible operations

Right resources

What we call "Right Resources" covers both complying with regulations as a minimum, as well as our own improvement efforts to cut down on our use of natural resources, and reduce waste and the use of hazardous substances.

Both are material to our success and are of significant interest to our stakeholders. Governments and customers are increasingly seeking information on how we source our resources as a condition for continued business; and the more we can reduce our use of natural resources like water and limit the use of hazardous substances in our manufacturing processes, the greater the benefit to our business, employees and society as a whole.

More about right resources

Explore more

Click on the tiles below to take a deeper look at how ABB is balancing economic success, environmental stewardship and social progress to realize our vision of “Power and productivity for a better world”.