Committed to the environment

As a manufacturer of chainsaws and outdoor power equipment, STIHL maintains a special relationship with the environment. We remain true to our roots and are dedicated to protecting nature and the climate within our Scope of influence. Our aim is to keep the environmental impact of our activities and products to a minimum while conserving resources.

SDG 13 - Climate ActionSDG 12 - Responsible consumption and production

As a business that manufactures and sells products globally, STIHL is subject to a host of environmental protection regulations. We are committed to complying with those statutory requirements, including the European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and the EU’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). Our internal environmental and quality standards often go beyond the rules set by legislators. We keep the use of hazardous substances to an absolute minimum. Where their use is necessary, we act with tremendous care, comply with legal guidelines, and make every effort to minimize the impact on the environment.

In keeping with our mission to go above and beyond the applicable legal requirements, we plan to draw up an inventory of all critical process chemicals in 2022. By 2025, we will develop an action plan that aims to reduce the use of hazardous process chemicals such as biocides (which can be found in cooling oils and process water) in our own processes and in our supply chain. Doing so will enable us to make a contribution to the United Nations target of achieving environmentally sound management of chemicals (SDG 12).

All of our production companies worldwide have a certified environmental management system in line with ISO 14001, with all of our German locations having already undergone EMAS evaluation starting in the 1990s. Production companies are subject to ISO 14001 recertification every three years. External audits are conducted every year, and internal audits take place on a regular basis. The German locations were most recently recertified in 2021. Their current certification will remain valid until 2024. Every production plant has a local environmental officer who is responsible for compliance with legal requirements, standards, and guidelines.

Water and effluents

Water is required in manufacturing for cleaning and cooling and for other processing stages. We make every effort to optimize the use of all resources. During some of our manufacturing processes, water is mixed with chemicals to act as a cleaning agent or to finish surfaces. The resulting effluents are treated in accordance with the latest regulatory requirements before being released into public wastewater collection systems. At the STIHL plant in São Leopoldo, Brazil, for example, industrial wastewater undergoes treatment in the facility’s own chemical and physical wastewater treatment system. Installing the system has made it possible to significantly reduce the amount of chemicals needed to treat water. Effluents are collected and treated, allowing them to be reused several times within the process chain, thereby minimizing the total quantity of water required.

In 2021, production companies Group-wide extracted a total of around 630,000 cubic meters of water (previous year: 568,000 cubic meters).

We plan to further enhance our reporting of water-use data in the future.


The main types of waste generated at STIHL are packaging, wood, metal, and plastics. Hazardous waste, such as used oil or slurry containing metals, is generated to a lesser extent. All hazardous waste is disposed of properly. The waste hierarchy under our waste management strategy consists of prevention, recycling, and disposal. Once generated, waste is sorted, reused or recycled (if possible), or properly disposed of. STIHL employees regularly receive information about waste through various channels and undergo awareness training. The founding company in Waiblingen, for example, introduced an improved waste-separation concept at its offices in 2021.

in metric tons – values rounded

Total waste volume56,20049,000
Of which hazardous waste7,3007,900

1 Production companies only; data collection to be expanded in the future.

Waste by material
(previous year in parentheses)

Energy and climate change mitigation

We intend to take an active approach to climate change mitigation and support the target defined in the Paris Agreement of limiting global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. In 2020, we set the goal of becoming a climate-neutral business in the long term. That is why we have adapted our climate targets to match those stated in the Paris Agreement. Our climate change mitigation activities are our contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal “Climate action” (SDG 13).

Our initial focus is on reducing energy consumption within our value chain, which we can influence directly. This includes direct Scope 1 emissions under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. At the STIHL Group, such emissions result primarily from the combustion of gas and oil to heat buildings and during manufacturing processes, assembly, and development. They are also attributable to fuel for the vehicle fleet and coolant losses during business operations. We also take indirect Scope 2 emissions (from electricity and district heating) into consideration (see “The path to climate neutrality”).

In Germany, our locations (the founding company and its eight plants, STIHL direct GmbH, STIHL Digital GmbH, SDP Digitale Produkte GmbH, STIHL International GmbH, and the distribution center in Dieburg) have been climate-neutral thanks to offsetting of Scope 1 and 2 emissions since January 2021. The international production companies are set to follow in 2022. From 2023 on, the international sales companies will also achieve climate neutrality through carbon offsetting (Scope 1 and 2). As a result, we will achieve our target well ahead of the original deadline of 2028.

From plastic to cardboard – rethinking packaging

In 2021, we launched a project to take a critical look at our packaging. The packaging used for brushcutter mowing heads was converted from largely plastic to entirely cardboard in an initial pilot project, helping reduce the use of plastic, simplify transport, and make the overall process more resource-efficient. Our customers also benefit from packaging that is easier to open and close. We plan to continue exploring further options for environmentally friendly packaging in 2022 by setting concrete targets for reducing plastic packaging and the use of resources in existing packaging. Doing so will allow us to make a contribution toward substantially reducing waste generation, a target under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal “Sustainable consumption and production” (SDG 12).

Emissions occurring in the upstream and downstream value chain (Scope 3) are not something we can influence alone. Here too, however, we are pursuing the lofty goal of bringing these emissions into line with the targets of the Paris Agreement and the national targets in Germany. Including both our suppliers and our products in our plans will be essential. We will also identify specific potential for reduction and define targets for Scope 3 emissions in 2022. The lion’s share of Scope 3 emissions is attributable to the use phase of our products. We have already calculated product carbon footprints (PCFs) for initial product groups to serve as an example. The calculation involves determining the environmental footprint in CO2 equivalents in every life-cycle phase.

As in the transportation sector, the use phase accounts for an average of 60 to 90 percent of our product portfolio’s emissions. Battery-operated products tend to lie on the lower end of that scale, depending on the local electricity mix. We will gradually build up our data set, with the findings to be included in a product development decision matrix going forward.

We plan to have our climate targets reviewed in 2022 as part of our efforts to join the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which will give them a scientific foundation. In 2022, we also intend to analyze the impact of climate change on our business model and our Group member companies.

Illustrative CO2E Footprint comparison in various life-cycle phases for gasoline-powered and battery-operated products
indexed at 100, not brand or product-specific

The path to climate neutrality

We will focus on the following pillars in our mission to achieve climate neutrality (Scope 1 and 2):

1) Energy efficiency

We are committed to a 40 percent increase in energy efficiency by 2030, as compared to 2019. In 2019, our energy intensity per 1 million euros in revenue stood at 197.8 MWh. In 2021, that same figure stood at 188.0 MWh. We are currently putting together a catalog of measures to help us achieve our goal. Against this backdrop, detailed analyses were conducted at our plants in 2021, with efforts being made to identify appropriate potential for savings. These analyses are now being evaluated to draw up master plans for buildings and systems. Initial individual measures are being planned and taken at various plants on the basis of the insights gained during analysis. The focus is on rolling out new technologies, for instance one allowing optimized use and distribution of process heat.

2) Energy generation

STIHL will systematically expand the localized, in-house generation of energy from renewable sources through technologies such as solar arrays.

3) Renewable sources of electricity

In countries in which renewably sourced electricity is available through public power grids, we will purchase renewably generated electrical energy to power STIHL’s operations. At our German locations, we have exclusively purchased ok-power-certified green electricity since January 2021, allowing us to cut our energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in Germany roughly in half. In 2022, production companies worldwide will also be making the switch to electricity from renewable sources. The ZAMA production sites in the Philippines, China, and Hong Kong will be converting to renewable sources of electricity at a later date due to existing contracts and a lack of availability.

4) Carbon offsetting

In general, we believe in the principle that reducing emissions comes before offsetting them. Currently unavoidable emissions are offset through carbon credits. Because we value internationally recognized, high-quality, and independent certification standards, those credits come exclusively from gold-standard, certified climate protection projects. Alongside climate change mitigation, we also care about further sustainable development goals that we are prioritizing as part of our sustainability strategy, including decent work for all (SDG 8) and sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG 12). In 2021, we offset roughly 19,800 metric tons of CO2 emissions, providing support to a climate protection project in the Rwandan district of Gatsibo (Africa). The project funds the building of drinking water wells, along with the introduction of efficient cooking stoves, and makes an important contribution to protecting the environment, improving the health of the local population, and maintaining biodiversity.

Going forward, we will promote the advancement of ways of storing CO2 rather than offsetting it. To this end, we reviewed an initial project in 2021 that is scheduled to begin in 2022 in cooperation with Fairventures and will allow us to start gathering experience in this field.

Energy consumption and emissions

Our production networks in Germany maintain an ISO 50001-certified energy management system. Today, efficiency measures are already helping us consistently save energy and costs.

The lion’s share of our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is attributable to electricity consumption (Scope 2 under the GHG Protocol), which is primarily needed for production processes. A significant proportion of energy consumption and emissions (Scope 1) originates in the use of natural gas to heat buildings. Of the total energy consumption (Scope 1 and 2) of roughly 514 GWh in 2021 (previous year: 456 GWh), approximately 65 percent was attributable to electricity, with around 32 percent relating to natural gas. The nearly 13 percent rise in energy consumption in the reporting year resulted from an increase in production volume. Energy intensity (per 1 million euros in revenue) increased by a significantly smaller margin in 2021 to stand at 188.0 MWh (previous year: 179.6 MWh).

The switch to renewable sources of electricity in Germany raised the proportion of electricity from renewable sources as a percentage of total electricity needs to around 48 percent in 2021 (previous year: 23 percent). The STIHL companies in Austria and Brazil have been meeting their individual electricity needs from renewable sources for some time now. As a result, the CO2 emissions from electricity consumption fell to 55,060 metric tons in 2021 (previous year: 66,450 metric tons), which made a substantial contribution to reducing overall CO2 emissions by 6.8 percent.

Energy consumption1
in GWh – values rounded

Natural gas160141133
Heating oil5.84.53.4
Renewable Energy
(geothermal heating and cooling)
Total direct energy consumption179.6160.1150.2
Of which
from renewable sources
District heating2.42.11.1
Total indirect
energy consumption
Total energy consumption514.0456.2430.3

Energy intensity1
in MWh per 1 million euros in revenue

In line with energy consumption, emissions of CO2 equivalents at German STIHL locations and at international production companies in 2021 stood at 93,840 metric tons in total (Scope 1 and 2 under the GHG Protocol, previous year: 100,740 metric tons). Of that amount, roughly 19,800 metric tons were offset.

Greenhouse gas emissions1
in metric tons CO2E – values rounded

Natural gas emissions32,57028,68027,210
Heating oil emissions1,5101,180900
Fuel emissions3,3003,3403,720
Coolant emissions1,3107901,860
Total direct emissions
(Scope 1)
Electricity emissions55,06066,45058,690
District heating emissions9012060
Total indirect emissions
(Scope 2)
Total emissions
(Scope 1 and 2)
Of which offset19,800200

1 Including STIHL direct GmbH, STIHL Digital GmbH, SDP Digitale Produkte GmbH, and STIHL International GmbH, which are based at the founding company’s headquarters.
Not including the ZAMA companies in Japan and the U.S., which are not production companies.

2 STIHL Germany: founding company and Dieburg distribution center.

Emissions and emission intensity are presented using the market-based approach. The calculation takes into account hazardous greenhouse gases under the GHG Protocol, which mainly consist of CO2 emissions. Although STIHL only generates negligible volumes of other greenhouse gases, such as coolants, such emissions are included for the sake of completeness.

Emission intensity1
Scope 1 and 2 in metric tons CO2 per 1 million euros in revenue, without offsetting – value rounded

Efficiency hunters

Our goal for 2030? To cut energy consumption by at least 40 percent compared to 2019. That is no easy task for overall project manager Uwe Boßmann. After all, the efficient use of materials, efforts to save energy, and a visionary approach to designing buildings and spaces are already par for the course at STIHL today. At the STIHL magnesium diecasting plant in Weinsheim, Germany – one of the largest and most modern of its kind in Europe – a 160-meter tunnel is just one of the elements helping the company come one step closer to this goal.

Project manager Uwe Boßmann in the mechanical room of the production logistics facility at the Weinsheim plant.

During a visit to Weinsheim, Uwe Boßmann finds himself standing in the mechanical room of the new, 6,000-square-meter production building, where he checks the pipes. “The heating system itself, though, isn’t actually located in the mechanical room,” says Boßmann. Jörg Marxen, who oversees energy efficiency projects for building infrastructure at the magnesium diecasting plant, explains why that is: “A separate heating system isn’t necessary here. That’s because our compressed-air system, which supplies the entire plant with compressed air, generates a lot of waste heat. Our entire production logistics zone can be fully heated through heat recovery using compressors. That allows us to save almost 400,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year.” The greatest challenge? The compressed-air system is located at the other end of the plant. “While we were building the logistics space, we also dug out an underground tunnel through the center of the plant last year that would allow us to take the waste heat produced by the compressed-air system – over 1 million kilowatt-hours a year – and direct it to where it is needed,” Marxen adds.

Today, waste heat keeps the production logistics team warm and is used to heat water for the cafeteria and staff locker rooms, helping save an additional 130,000 kilowatt-hours a year. Project manager Marxen sees tremendous potential for the future: “At 2.3 by 2.5 meters, we made the tunnel a little more generously proportioned so that we could gradually create an entire network that would allow us to distribute and keep using the excess energy released during our production processes throughout the entire plant. That will let us boost our energy efficiency by a substantial margin in terms of building infrastructure.”

Jörg Marxen inspects the pipes in the tunnel.

»That will let us boost our energy efficiency by a substantial margin in terms of building infrastructure.«

Jörg Marxen
Responsible for plant technology and infrastructure

Efficient burners for melting magnesium

Besides heat for indoor spaces, the production of the various magnesium parts made by the plant also has an impact on the need for energy in Weinsheim. The manufacturing process is energy-intensive. That is because the magnesium alloys first have to be melted down at a temperature of around 630 degrees Celsius before they are cast into molds under tremendous pressure. During his tour of the plant, Boßmann has an opportunity to see for himself how enhancements to the furnace are helping increase energy efficiency by roughly 50 percent. After stopping to inspect some of STIHL’s diecasting equipment, Thomas Jardin, who heads up the project, explains how it works: “Using a gas burner, the magnesium is heated in a crucible inside the furnace. The recuperators are the key to saving energy: They use the hot incoming exhaust to heat the freshly aspirated combustion air to 450 degrees Celsius before it makes its way into the furnace and to the burner. This recuperative preheating helps save a tremendous amount of fuel.”

The magnesium diecasting system’s recuperators save around 80 metric tons of CO2 a year. Thomas Jardin explains how it works.

In combination with improved, state-of-the-art furnace isolation and optimized furnace control technology, the approach makes it possible to save roughly 400,000 kilowatt-hours of energy in total every year, depending on the furnace system. The reduction in gas consumption prevents some 80 metric tons of CO2 emissions a year for each furnace. “That saves a total of roughly 480 metric tons of CO2 a year just on the older diecasting equipment that has already been retrofitted with recuperators,” Jardin says. “We will be equipping the remaining systems with recuperators this year and next, which will save another roughly 600 metric tons of CO2 a year. They’re already standard in each new furnace. I could even imagine gradually converting the burner systems from natural gas to hydrogen or alternative gases in the future to further improve our magnesium diecasting technology’s climate footprint.”

More energy efficiency throughout the STIHL Group

By partnering with external energy experts to conduct a potential analysis, the project team has identified further opportunities to make the entire STIHL Group more energy-efficient in Weinsheim and beyond – and to help us achieve our target of increasing energy efficiency by 40 percent between now and 2030. As Boßmann explains: “Our projects are more or less based on three pillars that feed into each other. First, we have our eyes on making production more efficient by optimizing our processes and machinery, just like we have here in Weinsheim with our magnesium diecasting equipment. We’re also focusing on the buildings and infrastructure surrounding the machinery. Sensible, better-coordinated building management with regard to heating and heat use, compressed air, cooling water, lighting, and ventilation offers a host of additional ways to increase efficiency.” The efficiency potential that Boßmann and his team have identified will help the company save money, even if implementing their recommendations requires significant investment at first. The projects save energy and all make financial sense in the long term.


increase in
energy efficiency by 2030

Modernizing the ventilation system at the largest STIHL plant in Waiblingen, Germany, and adapting its control technology so that it operates according to current needs, for example, has the potential to save around 500,000 kilowatt-hours a year. In fact, the planned optimization of heating and cooling technology could even help save over 1 million kilowatt-hours of energy. By reducing gas consumption, that works out to 5,000 metric tons less of CO2 every year.

Boßmann: “We also need to increase awareness of energy consumption overall, which is the third pillar of our project. By being energy-conscious, every single one of the 19,000 employees within the STIHL Group has the potential to be an efficiency hunter. Together, we can make a big difference.”


  • Roughly 500,000 kilowatt-hours a year: modernizing the ventilation system in production and incorporating control technology that lets it operate according to current needs
  • Over 1 million kilowatt-hours a year: optimizing cooling and heating technology to save 5,000 metric tons of CO2 a year through lower gas consumption

The power of forests

Tropical rain forests are home to the greatest biodiversity on earth. More species of trees can usually be found in one hectare of tropical rain forest than in the entire Northern Hemisphere. Around 50,000 of the roughly 60,000 species of trees known to us are native to the tropics, as are countless types of animals, fungi, and plants. Together, they form a unique and precious ecosystem that is in greater need of protection than ever before.

SDG 15 - Life on land

STIHL has its roots in forestry. That is why we feel a particular sense of obligation to the forests of this earth and are taking action. We condemn illegal tree felling, as well as large-scale forest clearances by fire or heavy equipment – and not only in tropical rain forests. We are dedicated to promoting a sustainable approach to forests around the world. Through our support for the restoration of damaged forests and the planting of new ones, we are making a contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal “Life on land” (SDG 15).

Working together to protect rain forests

By supporting reforestation and forest management projects on a global scale that focus on socially and environmentally responsible use, STIHL strives to help efforts to mitigate the damage already done to tropical rain forests. Among the initiatives we support are Instituto Floresta Tropical in Brazil and the National Greening Program in the Philippines.

Actively involving local populations is essential to providing long-term protection from further destruction. Some of the already degraded land has to be restored through selective and sustainable management in order to make the maintenance and reforestation of tropical rain forests a common interest.

STIHL provides financing and support for research and aid projects that develop concepts and approaches for sustainable forestry in selected zones of the tropical rain forest. The projects are rolled out and overseen in partnerships rooted in trust to ensure long-term success for all involved. We promote and encourage an approach to using resources that helps maintain the stability, natural regenerative capacity, and other key characteristics of forests. This combination is the key to preserving the ecological, economic, and social potential of tropical rain forests.

100 millionen trees for Borneo

In 2014, Fairventures set out to support small farmers in Indonesia by providing 1 million trees for Borneo. Their mission was a success – thanks to help from STIHL. But that milestone was just the start for the Stuttgart-based nonprofit organization and is the inspiration behind a far more ambitious goal: providing 100 million trees for Borneo.

The seedlings of the fast-growing tree species are grown in nurseries. Johannes Schwegler (bottom right) during a visit to a tree nursery in Borneo.

The approach is as simple as it is brilliant: Fairventures helps small farmers in Borneo replant degraded, deforested areas with local, fast-growing trees while leaving space in between for them to cultivate crops such as coffee, fruits, or nuts. “We are linking agriculture and forestry to form one system,” says Johannes Schwegler, the Executive Director of Fairventures. “That’s why it’s called an ‘agroforestry approach.’ The major advantage is that it not only helps ensure food security for the people living there, but also allows them to tap into new sources of income – without destroying the rain forest or encouraging the further spread of monocultures such as palm oil plantations.” Reforestation relieves the pressure on the remaining forests still in existence, which play an essential role in protecting biodiversity and the habitats of the endangered orangutan. The gradual storage of nutrients also helps improve soil and water quality.

Trees to store CO2

The trees capture CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow and are already mature enough for harvesting after just seven years. Farmers are then able to sell the wood, helping relieve the pressure on the primary rain forest. “Sengon trees sprout buds along the stump immediately after felling, allowing their growth to begin anew,” Schwegler says.

The results so far are impressive: More than 3 million seedlings have been distributed to over 1,300 small farmers, helping to reforest more than 800 hectares of land. The seedlings are bred at tree nurseries, while farmer field schools teach small farmers the theoretical and practical basics. A specially developed smartphone app tracks their planting and growth. Schwegler: “We will expand the project to additional degraded land in the near future to speed up our efforts toward achieving the goal of 100 million trees. After all, climate change isn’t going to wait for us.”

»Lots of young people really like working with the STIHL tools. They make farming attractive and help mitigate rural flight.«

Johannes Schwegler
Executive Director, Fairventures Worldwide

Additional Fairventures project in Uganda

Inspired by the success of the approach in Borneo, Fairventures has set up an additional project region in the African country of Uganda. The initial goal is to plant 1 million trees. Since the start of the project, over 270,000 seedlings from a network of local tree nurseries have been distributed to some 2,300 small farmers who were won over by the concept.

STIHL is a long-standing partner of Fairventures

and has been supporting the projects in Borneo and Uganda since 2017 and 2018 by providing funding, expertise, and tools, from brushcutters and earth augers to chainsaws – always with the appropriate protective equipment and user training. Having the proper know-how and tools helps ensure efficient and sustainable land management.

Planting in Uganda: Through teamwork, hundreds of seedlings have been planted on degraded land near the capital city of Kampala.

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