Interviews / Sustainability

Green energy in factories

Renewable energy, or green energy, are energy sources that are renewable and can be extracted without running out, for example solar, wind and hydropower.

Join us as we talk more closely with our Head of Sustainability Sofia Svensson, to discuss green energy in factories, how we at Björn Borg help and what our goals are going forward when it comes to renewable energy.


What is green energy?

- Green energy or renewable energy are sources of energy that are renewable in that they are natural and can be extracted without running out. Solar energy, wind power and hydropower are some examples of these renewable energy sources.

You often also talk about fossil-free energy sources. It is electricity that is not produced directly from fossil fuels or non-renewable sources such as oil and coal, which means that they have less environmental impact. Nuclear power is an example of a fossil-free energy source, but it is not renewable as it is based on uranium, which will not exist forever.

How does green energy work?
- As I said, there are several different types of green and renewable energy sources. If you look at how solar energy works, it is converted into electricity through solar panels, which consist of solar cells. When sunlight hits the solar panel, an electric current is generated. The sun provides our planet with extreme amounts of energy and we need to use the possibilities of this energy even more. Technology is developing rapidly and solar energy in particular is expected to be crucial for the future.

Wind power is one of the fastest growing forms of energy in the world. Wind turbines work by harnessing the wind's energy with the help of wind turbines that convert the wind's power into electrical energy. The wind turbines are connected to the electricity grid and supply power as long as they spin.

- Use of energy from renewable sources reduces the extraction of finite resources such as coal and oil, and emits significantly less greenhouse gases.

Renewable energy sources to reduce climate impact
- If we are to meet the climate goals from the Paris Agreement, the global emissions of greenhouse gases must be halved by 2030 at the latest. Energy production is an incredibly important part when it comes to reaching these goals, as fossil fuels such as coal and gas are among the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. By using renewable energy sources, we can reduce our climate impact.


How do the factories we collaborate with work with green energy?

- Some have come a long way and already installed solar cells in factory areas, often on factory roofs. Some do not have enough space, or for other reasons no possibility, to install renewable energy directly in the factory. Instead, they have invested in land further out in the country where they produce solar energy in excess of the amount of energy they use in their factory. Then it is not certain that the energy they produce is used in the factory, but sold to the local electricity grid. In this way, they nevertheless contribute to the production of renewable energy corresponding to the amount they use.

In some countries where we produce, China and Bangladesh for example, there are restrictions on how renewable energy sources can be installed. It can make it difficult for some factories to use renewable energy, even if they want to. There are often ways around it, but the process and bureaucracy can be cumbersome.

It is also possible to buy green energy through e.g. power purchase agreements, some of our suppliers look at it as a complement to renewable energy on site.

We generally see that the knowledge and interest in switching to renewable energy is increasing among our suppliers.

All new suppliers we start working with must use green electricity, or have plans for transition shortly.


What does it look like in these factories? What's in the pipeline right now?

- Some invest in solar cells and have already set up, or have decided to set up, in the factory area. Others are more in the exploratory phase. In general, the tier 1 factories (sewing factories) have come further than tier 2 and backwards (material production, dyeing).

It is a large and resource-intensive job, but it is progressing, not least thanks to the fact that conversion to renewable energy is current throughout the textile industry. The more people going in the same direction, the easier it is, although it's still a big challenge and takes a long time.


How do we at Björn Borg help with green energy initiatives & how it looks in the factories?

- We work closely with our suppliers and support in setting joint goals and activity plans. Often the suppliers have limited knowledge, so we help with e.g. educations.


What challenges & problems exist in the area?

- It's a resource-intensive task that requires prioritization. We focus on our major suppliers first.

There's also a lack of knowledge and sometimes even a lack of interest in some factories. In those cases, you have to inspire, educate, and set requirements.

Another challenge is that not all factories have the ability to install renewable energy due to restrictions in the country.

It can also be difficult to influence Tier 2 and downstream suppliers as they are often very large, and we only represent a small part of their total production.


What does the status look like now? - Do we have any exciting wins to celebrate?

- In 2023, 9% of all electricity used for our production in Tier 1 came from renewable sources. Some suppliers set up solar panels during the autumn, i.e. we only started to see the effect towards the end of the year. Since these started, over 30% of the electricity use in Tier 1 is covered by renewable electricity.

We have more suppliers planning to install solar energy in 2024, so hopefully we will see a big green energy jump this year as well.


What are our goals going forward when it comes to green energy?

- We have high, ambitious goals for our sustainability work and the various parts it includes. When it comes to green electricity goals, these are some of them:

100% green electricity in Tier 1 2030

70% green electricity in Tier 2-3 2030

We will also start looking at fuel in the future, but we have not set targets there yet.

Here you can find out more information about sustainability, materials and the environment and here you can take a closer look at Björn Borg's sustainability work and read the latest sustainability report.

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