In 2016, Barco set a number of very ambitious five-year sustainability goals, to be established by 2020. These were reducing the carbon footprint of its operations by 20 percent, reducing the energy footprint of its products by 25 percent, and ensuring that at least 25 percent of new product releases would qualify for ecoscoring as defined in the ISO 14021 standard. And now, the company has announced that the first of these goals has already been reached in fiscal year 2019: one year in advance.
To accomplish this task, Barco assigned an internal taskforce and partnered with an outside expert to create a roadmap for the coming years. A first focus on logistics, resulting in a shift of transportation by boat instead of airplane, led to a strong reduction of the company’s carbon footprint. In subsequent years, also the mobility and infrastructure pillars were tackled.
Barco did well financially in 2019 but managed to do this while strongly reducing its carbon emissions in mobility and infrastructure, with a year-on-year reduction of 13 percent and 12 percent respectively compared to 2018. The main drivers were a strong reduction of business travel, and the centralization of manufacturing activities (including the relocation of production activities to the state-of-the-art factory in Kortrijk).
In 2019, the company again set the focus on the mid and long terms, further sharpened its ambitions and set new targets for 2023. The objective is to improve on sustainability across the board. To that end, Barco is joining the global movement of leading companies aligning their business with the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for the best chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
In order to allow evaluating the ecological footprint of its products in a quantifiable and objective manner, Barco has developed a tool that grades new products according to their ecodesign performance. This gives customers an overview of environmental performance and encourages developers in Barco to make sustainable choices. The framework that has been used to validate the ecoscoring is defined in the ISO 14021 standard.
Products that are at the top of the ranking and thus have a lower environmental footprint can be marked with the Barco Eco Product label. The first products with this Eco Product label are already being shipped, including the 6MP diagnostic display, some ClickShare solutions and the Series 4 Projectors. It is Barco’s ambition that by 2023, 70 percent of its revenues will come from products with this Eco Product label, and 75 percent of products launched have this label.