Our Sustainability Global Approach
Saft’s global approach to sustainable development
At Saft, we support the United Nations’ sustainable development goals and the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the rise in mean global temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably limit the increase to 1.5 °C.
Our first contribution is the products we develop and manufacture. Thanks to their ability to store electricity in an ever more efficient way, batteries are a key enabler towards a low carbon economy.
Batteries facilitate the shift towards clean mobility, a better integration of renewable energy into the electrical grid, the safe operation of mass-passenger transit systems, the remote and wireless monitoring of distributed assets, and bring countless other services to our daily lives.
However, both the manufacturing of batteries and the management of their end of life pose unique challenges which, if not properly controlled, can have an impact on human health and the environment. At Saft, we are determined to reduce this impact to a minimum whilst respecting social and human rights all along the value chain. To structure our effort, we have launched a sustainability initiative, Program Net Zero.
Program Net Zero’s five pillars are:
Reducing the environmental footprint of our activities and that of our battery solutions
First, we aim to achieve a 4% reduction in the greenhouse gas emission intensity of our activity every year. As we strive to grow at a faster rate to contribute to the energy transition, the total carbon footprint of our operations could still increase, but this is a necessity if we want to make a difference.
Our goal is to reduce the carbon footprint of our products and their parts and components during manufacturing, as well as through their use and their recycling.
To achieve this, we are implementing several energy conservation and recovery measures throughout our operations and the introduction of onsite, self-produced, self-consumed electricity generation such as in our sites in Poitiers and Nersac (France). In parallel, Saft takes a leading role in setting universally agreed standards that ensure accuracy and comparability of carbon footprint calculation.
Assisting Saft’s customers in lowering their environmental footprint
At Saft, we offer battery-based solutions that facilitate the journey towards a low-carbon future.
Battery-based rail traction can replace diesel locomotive on tracks. Heavy-duty vehicles for off-road markets can also become electric. At sea, our marine batteries enable low-emission propulsion, such as hybrid-electric architectures for cleaner boats.
Saft energy storage solutions assist in the deployment of renewable energy, they allow more efficient integration of solar and wind farms to the grid, by storing this electricity in high-energy, high-power battery systems. Our back-up batteries also replace emergency diesel generators in data centers.
Furthermore, Saft/TotalEnergies has joined forces with Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz to create Automotive Cells Company. This joint venture develops and manufactures battery cells and modules for electric vehicles with a very low carbon footprint.
We strive to continuously expand our portfolio of low carbon solutions to better serve our customers.
Using natural resources sustainably and implementing circular economy principles throughout our operations
Saft is ready for the new EU battery regulation the goal of which is to increase the sustainability of batteries.
Batteries contain valuable resources. By using eco-design principles and tools we build recyclability and longer life into our batteries right from the start, and every year we use more recycled materials in our products.
This is made possible thanks to our worldwide “bring back network” for used nickel-based batteries. Our Swedish plant in Oskarshamn, along with our official recycling partners located across our main markets, recycle all used customer batteries returned to us, and the output of this recycling process is used to manufacture new batteries.
Out of one ton of used nickel-based batteries returned for recycling, over 750 kg of valuable materials are extracted and reused by industry. Metallurgical processes with enhanced efficiency extract over 95% of the weight of key metals such as cobalt, nickel, and copper from a wide variety of battery chemistries.
We have also joined forces with Orano, Paprec, MTB Manufacturing and CEA to test an innovative process for the recycling of metals contained in electric vehicle batteries within the RECYVABAT project.
Prioritizing suppliers with strong environmental, social, and human rights records
Saft suppliers are required to comply with applicable laws and to ensure the compliance of their own suppliers and subcontractors. We also comply with principles equivalent to those set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the fundamental Conventions of the International Labor Organization, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, United Nations Global Compact, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Saft applies the “OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance For Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals From Conflict-Affected And High-Risk Areas” throughout our metals supply chain. Our Fundamental Principles of Purchasing, derived from our Code of Conduct, are the cornerstone of the long-term relationships with our suppliers. We require all suppliers to comply with these principles and ensure compliance by their own suppliers in turn.
Fundamental Principles of Purchasing (FPP) define the conduct expected from suppliers in different areas, comprising the respect of human rights, safety in the workplace, and sustainability (biodiversity, circular economy, and natural resources management). We expect our suppliers to implement effective policies and to continuously improve their performance on these subjects. We prioritize suppliers with strong environmental, social, and human rights records.
Working to always ensure compliance with environmental regulations and best practices in all locations
- hold all required environmental permits and keep them up to date
- strive to exceed compliance with laws and regulations governing our site operations and their impacts such as emissions to air, releases to water, as well as water usage and the generation of waste, noise and odors,
- adhere to all laws and regulations governing the design of our products and prohibiting the use of specific substances,
- protect our employees and our neighbors against any adverse effect that our products or the substances they contain may generate,
- ensure safe treatment of hazardous production waste and give preference to recycling over disposal or incineration whenever it is safe and economically possible.
Saft, a battery manufacturer awarded with an EcoVadis gold medal
Our performance on a range of sustainability issues is assessed every year by EcoVadis, a well-established Corporate Social Responsibility rating company which has rated over 100,000 companies. EcoVadis assesses a company's sustainability management system through its policies, actions, and results. It focuses on 21 issues that are grouped into four themes: Environment, Labor & Human Rights, Sustainable Procurement, and Ethics.
Our overall score has improved from 67/100 in 2020, to 70/100 in 2021, and 73/100 in 2022 allowing our company to be awarded a Gold medal. 114 companies that manufacture batteries and accumulators were assessed by EcoVadis worldwide in 2022, and Saft was ranked amongst the top 1% of all companies in the battery industry.
We strive to prevent, minimize or mitigate the negative consequences of our operations. Whatever the case, everyone feeling affected by our activities has access to an equitable grievance management system by sending an email to the following address.