Climate protection


We are continuously working on using resources even more efficiently and on achieving further reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions. For this purpose, we record and evaluate emissions along the value chains of our products worldwide. With regard to climate protection measures, we focus on those areas of the Group that are responsible for the majority of the Group’s CO2 emissions and that offer the opportunity to make substantial cuts in emissions. We are achieving the greatest possible impact on climate protection through our products. Across numerous sectors, we offer gases applications and technologies that make our customers’ production processes more environmentally sound, reduce the consumption of natural resources, and help renewable energy sources to become a viable option.

We received a number of awards for our initiatives to support climate protection in 2013. Linde Gas Benelux, for example, was the first gases company in the Benelux countries to receive the Lean and Green Award for its voluntary commitment to cut its CO2 in bulk transport by 20 percent within five years by 2016. The award is bestowed by a non-profit network for sustainable mobility founded by the Dutch government.

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Greenhouse gas emissions (in million tons CO2equivalents)



















Assured by KPMG


Includes greenhouse gases specified in the Kyoto protocol: methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (laughing gas, N2O), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and since 2013 nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).


We monitor compliance with local regulatory requirements worldwide and report our data for all sites legally obliged to report emissions.

Direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1)









CO2 emissions









of which by HyCO plants









Linde transport fleet









Other greenhouse gases1,2


















Indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 2)









CO2 emissions









of which by air separation plants


















Total Scope 1 and 2 emissions


















Other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3)









Transports by contractors (in thousand t CO2e)









Business travel (in thousand t CO2e)








As a result of the first-time application of the revised accounting standards, the sites in the scope of our reporting changed in the 2013 financial year. Accordingly, the key financial, environmental and employee KPIs for 2012 were adjusted retrospectively. In addition, the KPIs for employees, occupational health and safety and environmental protection for the year 2012 were retrospectively adjusted to account for the effects of the acquisition of the US homecare company Lincare. To ensure that the figures for 2012 and 2013 can be compared, we reported the full year 2012 for Lincare.

Emissions balance sheet

We gather and report our greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Our figures are based on the standards set out in the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol. In 2013, Linde emitted around 21 million tonnes of greenhouse gases – around 0.3 million tonnes less CO2 than in the previous year. The rise in reported emissions for 2012 and 2013 compared with previous years is due above all to changes in international accounting rules. We apply these rules for reporting its key financial figures as well as our global environmental indicators. Against this background, joint ventures that had not been included in prior years have been included in the figures for 2013 and, retroactively, for 2012. The inclusion of companies acquired in 2012 also contributed to higher emissions figures. Fluctuations in customers’ requirements were an additional reason for the increase.

Since 2013, eight major Linde hydrogen production sites across Europe are included in the European Emissions Trading System's (EU ETS) third trading period. All sites are eligible for free allocation of CO2 emission certificates (Emission Unit Allowances, EUA), according to the set ETS efficiency benchmark. Additionally needed certificates are being sourced at the EUA trading markets, in compliance with the Group's Global Risk Policy for energy portfolio management.

In order to be able to disclose product-specific CO2 balance sheets to our customers, we have developed a calculation method for our major air gases. This method includes the products’ full life cycles and was externally certified in the year under review.

In 2013, we once again took part in the survey conducted by the investor initiative CDP to evaluate climate protection reporting and performance. As in the previous year, Linde was included in the regional Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Global goals and measures



energy intensity at installed air separation plants by 2017 (base year 2008)



energy efficiency at installed HyCO plants by 2015 (base year 2009)

We have set ourselves global targets in the areas of energy efficiency and climate protection. Most of our power requirements and thus the majority of indirect CO2 emissions relate to the operation of around 400 air separation plants. Our target is to improve the average energy intensity of our globally installed air separation plants by 5 percent by 2017. The benchmark is the global average efficiency of the air separation plants operating at the design plant load. The reference year is 2008. By the end of 2013, we had already achieved a 3.8 percent improvement in average energy intensity, meaning we had already saved more than 1.4 million tonnes of CO2. During the year under review, we brought into operation a new air separation plant in Spain that is 40 percent more efficient than its predecessor. In addition, we are working consistently on using technical improvements to reduce even further the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of our air separation plants. The procedural optimisation of an air separation plant in Switzerland in 2013, for example, generated cost savings of EUR 520,000.

In 2013, we set ourselves a new global target for our installed hydrogen (HyCO) plants. The operation of these plants accounts for most of the Group’s direct emissions. Our aim is to increase the energy efficiency of these hydrogen plants by 2 percent by 2015 compared with the reference year of 2009. The benchmark is the actual energy efficiency of the respective plants when they are working. In order to achieve this target, we are implementing a number of different measures, including optimising plant capacity utilisation and installing energy-efficient cooling systems.

1.4 million tonnes

CO2 avoided as a result of the improvement in energy intensity of air separation plants

A further key focus of climate protection measures is product transportation. The Linde transportation fleet made journeys covering more than 500 million kilometres in 2013. Through a range of measures, we are reducing the distances travelled, lowering fuel consumption and cutting transport emissions. Examples include optimised routes, improved use of transport capacity, and training drivers in driving methods that conserve resources. We are reducing the number of journeys in various regions by using larger, optimally sized tanks. By this means, in Germany alone, we were able to cut delivery costs by around EUR 500,000 and reduce our CO2 emissions in 2013. In China, we introduced on-board computers for trucks to improve transport safety and lower fuel consumption. In North America, we were awarded an environmental prize in 2013 in recognition of our launch of LNG-fuelled articulated trucks and the associated reduction in climate gases.

Regional targets support our global climate protection strategy. A number of small measures relating to the energy-efficient use of lighting or devices are helping to achieve the overall goals.

Products for climate protection

We offer our customers solutions that cover many areas of sustainable electricity and fuel generation, contributing to greater energy efficiency for customers and promoting climate protection. One example of this is the conversion of energy into hydrogen. So that surplus electricity generated from wind and sun does not go to waste, it can be converted into hydrogen using electrolysis in a process known as power-to-gas, and then stored. We are working together with energy companies and partners in the automotive industry on optimising this process. We have also developed FROSTCRUISE®, an efficient and environmentally friendly in-transit refrigeration system. The overall carbon footprint reduction for the transport of refrigerated goods is 19 percent compared to current systems.