CEO message

Dear Stakeholders,

Björn Rosengren – Chief Executive Officer (photo)

One year into ABB’s 2030 sustainability strategy, we are off to an excellent start in the pursuit of our ambitious targets. Compared with our baseline year of 2019, we have cut our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 39 percent and reduced lost time from injuries by 44 percent. Last year, we recorded no work-related fatalities for the first time since 2011. We also increased the number of women in senior management positions to 16.3 percent, up from 13.5 percent a year ago, in line with our goal of having 25 percent of senior management roles filled by women by 2030.

Alongside these headline achievements, we made strong progress in laying the foundations to embed sustainability across all of our Divisions as well as our value chain. Our 2030 GHG emissions reduction target was validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as being in line with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. We also joined the SBTi’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C, an urgent call to action from a global coalition of United Nations agencies and business and industry leaders, in partnership with the “Race to Zero” campaign. Our participation in this initiative reinforces our longstanding support for the 10 core principles of the Global Compact, which covers human rights, labor, environment, anti-corruption and other societal goals.

Reducing customer emissions

While we are on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, our greatest contribution to sustainable development is through our offerings to customers. By 2030, our target is to help our customers reduce their annual GHG emissions by at least 100 megatons, equal to the annual emissions of 30 million combustion cars.

In 2021, we identified a basket of products, services and solutions from our portfolio that deliver substantial reductions in GHG emissions of our customers. Based on sales of ABB offerings from this basket in 2021, we calculated that they will enable our customers to reduce their GHG emissions by 11.5 megatons after the first year. The methodology for this assessment has been verified by a third party. We are well on the way to enabling our customers to deliver annual savings of 100 megatons of GHG emissions by 2030. In the coming years, we expect savings of GHG emissions from our offerings to increase as new products and solutions are added to the basket.

ABB has assessed the extent to which our activities are reflected in the European Union’s new classification system for sustainable economic activities, known as the “EU taxonomy.” We found that 36 percent of our revenue in 2021 was eligible under the objective of “climate change mitigation.” We consider this to be a significant underestimate of the contribution that our products, solutions and services make in reducing our customers’ carbon footprint and in aligning their activities with the EU taxonomy. We estimate that a further 31 percent of ABB’s revenue could be attributed to solutions that are indirect enablers of climate change mitigation, which would mean that 67 percent of our revenue comes from solutions that mitigate climate change (see ABB’s EU taxonomy disclosure).

Towards circular business models

A second goal of our 2030 sustainability strategy is to preserve resources at every stage of the value chain. In December 2021, we unveiled a new company-wide approach to drive circularity in our own, our customers’ and our suppliers’ operations. By 2030, at least 80 percent of ABB’s products and solutions will be evaluated against a clear set of key performance indicators (KPIs), corresponding to each stage of the product lifecycle. We will also send no waste to landfill, wherever this is compatible with local conditions. Today, 40 percent of our around 440 sites around the world are already sending zero waste to landfill.

Along with the actions we are taking to reduce carbon emissions and preserve resources, we aim to promote social progress across our value chain as well as in the more than 100 countries where ABB is present. Our human rights training program is embedding awareness and expertise in all our businesses across the globe. We now run community engagement programs in more than 40 countries where we do business, providing support for education, diversity and inclusion, poverty alleviation and disaster relief.

We continued to train, coach and assess selected high-risk suppliers on sustainability topics, keeping us on track towards our goal of covering 80 percent of supply chain spend in focus countries by 2030.

Building safe, equitable and inclusive working environments

Our highest priority at ABB is the safety of our people. In 2021, we reduced the number of lost-time injuries per 200,000 hours worked to 0.14 from a 2019 baseline of 0.25. Our high level of preparedness also helped us protect most of our people from COVID-19 and keep our operations running. Tragically, we lost several colleagues to COVID-19. On behalf of ABB, I extend our deepest sympathies to their families.

As part of our commitment to establish a more inclusive and equitable working environment, we not only increased the proportion of women in senior management positions, as mentioned above, but we also launched a new gender-neutral parental leave program for all employees around the world.

To drive the achievement of our sustainability goals, we are progressively integrating KPIs for sustainability into our performance management planning. Our Business Areas now report on these in conjunction with their financial KPIs. Sustainability KPIs are also part of our senior management incentives, and a selection of KPIs is included in our quarterly financial reports.

Finally, we launched our Sustainability Changemaker Award, inviting our people to submit ideas and innovations that support the achievement of our 2030 sustainability goals.

On behalf of the ABB Executive Committee, I want to thank our people for their excellent performance in 2021 and all of our stakeholders for their collaboration, support and trust. Together, we are leading the way to a sustainable future.

Best regards,

Björn Rosengren – Chairman and CEO (signature)


Björn Rosengren
Chief Executive Officer