Helping climate ambition flow with Grundfos’ water solutions

Water treatment plan

How can manufacturers aim for Net Zero when most of their emissions are generated after a product is sold?

In some industries that make electrically powered products, the majority of emissions are often created not in the manufacturing process but during a product’s lifetime, through energy consumption. These ‘use phase’ emissions occur in the wider value chain (Scope 3, Category 11). 

While these indirect emissions may feel out of many companies’ control, they play a central role and must be addressed if organisations want to take genuinely impactful climate action. Grundfos – a global leader in water pump manufacturing – tackled the issue head on. Recognising the potential impact it could make by reducing Scope 3 emissions, and the importance of moving to Net Zero, Grundfos wanted to strengthen its climate targets and submit these to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). But before it could do this, Grundfos needed to understand the obstacles and opportunities of such a move, and how it could achieve Net Zero.

Science-based targets (SBTs)

Targets are deemed science-based if they are in line with what the latest climate science says is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Scope 1 and 2 targets must align to a 1.5C trajectory, while Scope 3 must align to a well-below 2C pathway.

Meanwhile, a Net Zero target builds on a science-based target to define the long-term actions required for a company to align to a 1.5C pathway.

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Putting Net Zero at the heart of Grundfos’ business strategy

The Carbon Trust had already supported Grundfos to calculate their value chain footprint and model their first science-based target in 2021. Against this backdrop, the Carbon Trust partnered with Grundfos in 2022 to update its carbon footprint and science-based targets and plot a path to Net Zero. Together we:

Identifying data

Revised Grundfos’ carbon baseline through Scope 1, 2 and 3 footprinting, following new emissions data. We found that 99% of Grundfos’ emissions occurred in the use phase, reiterating the importance for Grundfos to tackle its Scope 3, Category 11 emissions.


Updated Grundfos’ climate targets. Grundfos committed to reducing absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 50% and absolute Scope 3 emissions by 25% by 2030 from a 2020 baseline year. We supported Grundfos’ submission to the SBTi for approval. 

value chain

Proposed a Net Zero strategy for the organisation, providing a vision of what that could look like. This included action points such as removing residual emissions, optimising product and portfolio design, and setting up a closed recycling loop. 

Business case

Supported Grundfos with calculations to understand the potential carbon abatement impact of five energy-saving products and services until 2030. These included digitally enabled optimisation solutions for district heating, and commercial cooling systems as well as industrial solutions.

Grundfos pledged to reduce Scope 3 emissions in a number of ways, through:

  • Improving the efficiency of products 
  • Focusing on extending the longevity of products
  • Looking at alternative business and/or service models
  • The launch of a supplier engagement programme to support Grundfos’ decarbonisation journey
  • The embedment of a circular economy in Grundfos’ business model 

Leading the way to a Net Zero future

With SBTi approval of Grundfos’ climate targets, the company has set carbon reductions that are aligned to both climate science and global Net Zero ambitions. Setting these targets underscores Grundfos’ commitment to carbon reduction and lays out a clear strategy to reach Net Zero by 2050. This enables Grundfos to:

Circular process

Futureproof its business by adopting an innovative business model that is more sustainable and prepares for a Net Zero future. 

emphasising benefits

Strengthen its reputation as a climate-conscious company that takes action.

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Stand out in the industry. Grundfos became the first water solutions company with an SBTi-approved Net Zero target.


Set an example. Grundfos’ achievement shows that even in hard to decarbonise industries, a transition to Net Zero is possible. This will inspire others to go beyond the status quo and take control of their use phase emissions.