Climate protection

Climate protection

We are constantly working on using resources efficiently and on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We therefore record emissions along the value chains of our products and set ourselves targets to reduce them. It is our products which have the most significant positive impact on climate protection. We provide our customers across different industry sectors with gases and technologies that reduce the consumption of natural resources and encourage the use of renewable energy.

In 2014, Linde was included in CDP’s regional Carbon Disclosure Leadership DACH index for the third time in a row. This independent organisation has once again recognised the quality of Linde’s climate protection reporting.

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Greenhouse gas emissions (in million tons CO2-equivalents)



















Geprüft von KPMG

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 nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). In 2014, Linde has refined the determination method of the indicator for these GHGs to include additional emitters and emission sources. The reported figure for 2013 was recalculated based on this new method.


Since 2014, we also include the Radiative Forcing Index (RFI) to calculate emissions from business travel. Thereby, we take into account the higher impact of air travel on the greenhouse effect. Emissions for the year 2013 have been re-calculated accordingly.

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.

Direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1)









CO2 emissions Geprüft von KPMG









of which by HyCO plants Geprüft von KPMG









Linde transport fleet Geprüft von KPMG









Other greenhouse gases1 Geprüft von KPMG









Total Geprüft von KPMG


















Indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 2)









CO2 emissions Geprüft von KPMG









of which by air separation plants Geprüft von KPMG









Total Scope 1 and 2 emissions Geprüft von KPMG









Emissions per million EUR sales (in t CO2e)









Emissions per Linde employee (in t CO2e)


















Other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3)









Transports by contractors (in thousand t CO2e) Geprüft von KPMG









Business travel2 (in thousand t CO2e) Geprüft von KPMG









Emissions balance sheet

We report our energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions worldwide based on the standards set out in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Global Standard. To make the CO2 balance sheet of individual products available for our customers, we have developed a standard formula for our main air gases. The method takes into account the entire life-cycle of the products and has been externally certified.

In 2014, greenhouse gas emissions rose by around 9 percent. Most of these emissions are indirect emissions as a result of increased production capacity. During the reporting year, Linde took part in the European Union’s Emissions Trading System at seven of its hydrogen production sites. There were 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions at these plants during the year. In 2014, we were allocated emissions allowances for around 0.9 million tonnes of CO2. Further certificates were purchased.

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)

Around 60 percent of our CO2 emissions are by-products of electricity generation by energy providers and are reported by us as indirect emissions. Most of this electricity is required for the operation of more than 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 reference year is 2008. The benchmark is the global average efficiency of the air separation plants operating at the design plant load. We achieved this target early by the end of the reporting year. In 2014, we replaced older plant components and plant with new ones which deliver average efficiency improvements of around 25 percent. We also carried out technical upgrades on existing plants. By the end of 2014, we had achieved average efficiency improvements of 5.4 percent in the plants concerned. Since 2008, we have been able to save a total of around 1.8 million tonnes of CO2. We are planning to decide on new targets in 2015.

Direct emissions at Linde stem mainly from the operation of hydrogen plants (HyCO plants). We have set ourselves the target of increasing the energy efficiency of our HyCO plants installed around the world by 2 percent by the end of 2015 compared with the reference year of 2009. The benchmark is the actual energy efficiency of those plants when they are in operation. By this, we were able to improve the energy efficiency by 1.9 percent in 2014. In the period between 2009 and 2014, we saved a total of around 650,000 tonnes of CO2. The measures we took to do so included improving plant capacity and installing more energy-efficient cooling units.

Another key focus of our climate protection measures is the transportation of products. Our transport fleet covered more than 520 million kilometres in 2014. We are taking various measures to reduce the number of kilometres travelled, to cut the amount of fuel consumed and to bring down the level of transport emissions. Optimised routes, better use of transport capacity and training drivers how to drive in a more environmentally friendly manner are all contributing to this.

Products for energy efficiency and climate protection

We offer our customers solutions that cover many areas of sustainable electricity and fuel generation. In 2014, the application of air oxyfuel technology alone cut CO2 emissions by around 20 million tonnes. This technology, which is installed at our customers’ sites, involves using pure oxygen instead of ambient air to make the combustion process more efficient, for example in a steelworks. Since 2014, we have been cooperating with North American start-up Solidia Technologies® to make a new process for the manufacture of precast concrete ready for the market. Compared to traditional production methods, this technology reduces CO2 emissions by up to 70 percent and limits the waste produced as a result.

In 2014, we also continued to drive forward the introduction of hydrogen as a fuel. In Austria, we launched the world’s first small-series production facility for hydrogen fuelling stations. We were awarded a contract from Japan for 28 such filling stations. The aim is to develop the infrastructure required for the use of fuel-cell vehicles.

Materiality: Climate protection

Key indicators
CO2 emissions, energy consumption, energy efficiency


  • 5 percent reduction in energy intensity at installed air separation plants by 2017 (base year 2008)
  • 2 percent increase in energy efficiency at installed hydrogen plants by 2015 (base year 2009)

Business case

  • Cost savings of EUR 24 million as a result of energy efficiency projects in 2014
  • Contribution towards the target of reducing gross costs by a total of between EUR 750 million and EUR 900 million in the four-year period from 2013 to 2016
  • Contribution towards the target for Group operating profit in 2017 as a result of products in the energy and environmental sector, gaining access to new markets and customers


  • 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided since 2008 due to improvement in energy intensity of air separation plants

Corporate governance

  • Compliance with legal and regulatory provisions