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Our Environmental Commitment

Our Environmental Commitment

Our commitment to the environment is at the core of everything we do. As a global innovation powerhouse, we recognize the responsibility we hold towards the environment, society, and future generations. With a legacy of innovation spanning decades, we are dedicated to pioneering solutions that empower progress while minimizing our environmental impact.

Qualification of Sustainable Products

  • Component and Materials Business

    Whose objective is to enable sustainable applications or enhance the overall system to mitigate climate
    change, such as lowering CO2 emissions in aerospace.

  • Equipment Business

    Whose objective is to achieve more sustainable production.

  • Tool Coatings

    Whose objective is to improve customers’ production process from a sustainability perspective and thus contribute to responsible consumption and production.

At Oerlikon, we see combating climate change as similar to engaging in groundbreaking R&D. We have a defined the above criteria to categorize our products’ sustainability. The categories are: tool coatings, component and materials business and equipment business. These categories with corresponding criteria and classifications enable us to identify challenging areas and guide our investment in sustainability.

In 2022, we introduced an additional evaluation process for R&D initiatives involving two tiers of
evaluation. Based on these criteria for products and projects, 78% of our total R&D investment in 2023 was in sustainable products. We continue to collaborate with our customers on the delivery of solution upgrades that will strengthen our technology leadership. At the same time, we will work toward our 2030 R&D target, where 100% of our R&D spend (except for defense and oil & gas) is on sustainable products.

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Environmental Sustainability in Operations

Oerlikon has long been dedicated to developing sustainable innovations and technologies, often in collaboration with external partners and customers. We recognize the need to apply those same principles of innovation to our own operational processes and systems and to reduce the impact of our business on the environment. Our overall strategy for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions relies on optimizing efficiency on both small and larger scales. That can mean anything concerning infrastructure (from transitioning from diesel to electric forklifts to repurposing recovered heat from combined heat and power systems) and/or process optimization in operations (industrial/production processes).


We engage both on a Group and local level in ongoing analysis to identify further successful practices that can be implemented and obstacles to reduce energy consumption that we need to manage more effectively. We are on track with our goals and remain committed to achieving our 2030 targets: to have 100% of our relevant sites with EnMS implemented and to derive electrical energy solely from renewable sources. To learn more about our environmental efforts, download our sustainability report. 

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In 2023, we disposed 27% of our total waste, a strong improvement compared to the 42% in the baseline year and a slight improvement compared to 2022 (28%), despite acquisitions. We are continuously improving the quality of our reporting on waste and working closely with sites that have a high level of disposed waste (in absolute values) to identify solutions. We continue to identify measures and work toward achieving our 2030 waste target. To learn more about our environmental efforts, download our sustainability report. 

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Circular Economy

At Oerlikon, we see the future of sustainability as inextricably linked to circular-economy innovations, regenerative practices and advanced recycling management. Circular approaches are therefore central to our strategy for optimizing our environmental performance. To learn more about our environmental efforts, download our sustainability report. 

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Water and Effluents

Oerlikon’s operations do not require the use of significant amounts of water for production or processing. As a result, water is not considered a material area where we can make a meaningful impact. At the same time, we recognize that there are communities around the world struggling with water scarcity. Thus, we seek opportunities to optimize water management overall across our sites and particularly in water-stressed locations. To learn more about our environmental efforts, download our sustainability report. 

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Oerlikon supports customers who share our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality and count on our innovations to help them advance toward their environmental goals. The products and services we bring to market are designed to minimize their environmental impact over the entire life cycle and along the value chain, encompassing direct and indirect customers. We are equally aware of our own environmental obligations and have committed to achieving climate neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 in 100% of our relevant operations. To learn more about our environmental efforts, download our sustainability report. 

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