Driving change and sustainability

How we are decarbonising our business.

Driving change and sustainability

How we are decarbonising our business

With our sustainability roadmap we responsibly commit to and act for decarbonisation to make people’s life cleaner.

At Hager Group, sustainability is about being aware of the world around us.

We want to create a better future by mitigating the effects of climate change and being an honest business partner. Therefore, the cutting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, measured in CO₂ emissions, stands at the centre of our company’s ambitions to be part of a global shift towards a low-carbon future.

We want to be a company which our customers see as part of the solution to environmental sustainability, a partner who is part of the movement to decarbonise the world. If we are serious about creating a low-carbon future, we must take our customers and suppliers along with us on this journey.

Matthieu Alexandropoulos

Matthieu, Hager Group Environmental Sustainability Director, is adamant that we can do business and take good care of our planet. The father of two girls, has been with Hager Group for almost five years. His challenge is to make Hager Group’s sustainability approach come to life, turning ambitions into real CO₂ reductions. He is proud when he sees just how much his team and other colleagues are passionate about the environment and driven by the desire to make changes. He deeply feels that he has a job with a purpose.

Making a successful shift to greater environmental sustainability in our industry.

We are an industrial business, the production of our solutions requires energy and resources, yet we need a liveable planet. So we strive to move away from a linear-style economy where we “take, make & dispose” in favour of a model where we concentrate on the best use of resources. Customers increasingly question their suppliers’ environmental compliance, and we want to demonstrate we’re serious about it. We firmly support the United Nations 2016 Paris Agreement to limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5° maximum.

We have looked at every single aspect of our business and collected important data ranging from raw materials, production, transportation and end-of-life. Thanks to this exercise we now know the amount of GHG emissions Hager Group is responsible for in a single year. Together with experts, we have identified the most powerful levers for making our business circular.

To know more about the circular approach and its potential, we went straight to the horse’s mouth and spoke to Matthieu Alexandropoulos, Hager Group Environmental Sustainability Director about it.

Matthieu Alexandropoulos, it would be fair to say that a company which truly plans a shift to circularity needs a 100%-commitment to this journey. It also needs to understand that this will affect the entire company from structure and processes to culture and values. What do you think the most critical point to bring about such a profound decision for the future of an organisation is?

Matthieu Alexandropoulos: Top management drive and buy-in for entering the circular economy is of the essence. Increasingly, business leaders understand the criticality of environmental sustainability and make it an integrated part of their business strategy, as we do at Hager Group. It also seems the Covid crisis has accelerated people’s environmental awareness. Having more people willing to do their share for environmental sustainability is a big help in my daily job.

Speaking the language of the top-management is crucial for entering into the process and for creating a strong foundation for change. So, once we have the management on board, understand the ‘circular potential’ of our company and recognise the business models the circular economy offers to our specific business, are we set to go?

Even if the circular economy is not a new topic, it comes as a challenge for companies which have been agile in the linear economy. For the linear economy, there are plenty of experienced people consulting on logistics, IT, production and engineering. However, for the circular economy, you have to train your sight on new actors (start-ups, big companies, public authorities or associations, influencers). You need to identify those who together with you can form a piece of the puzzle of building the new circular economy. It’s not (only) about very deep expertise, it’s more about the right approach, the right facilitation of this journey. It is about building something together instead of paying for getting the best practices. The circular economy can only be built by co-construction, co-design and co-processing.

For instance, due to the Covid pandemic, companies use a lot of surgical masks. Today, there is no readily available service to recycle them at scale. If you want to recycle these masks, you have to find a provider able to do so. Which is exactly what we have done at Hager Group in France. You need to be constantly inversting in and looking beyond your company, screening for new partners.

Let’s go back to what you said before, co-creating circularity in your business, what does this mean in terms of finding the right people to work for you? What are the most important professions, what skills are needed?

I have noticed that people who are passionate about our planet in their private lives tend to put the same energy into their job. Environmental sustainability jobs are ones where the frontiers between private passion and professional engagement are very blurred. Passion matters, and you take it everywhere you go. If you fight for less waste in your company, it’s unlikely you’re piling up tons of plastic at home. In terms of skills, I see data specialists as key assets but also engineers and researchers in building, energy management and materials. Very professional project management is a must, too. The circular economy is about complex projects which you need to manage and facilitate. Change facilitation is par for the course. The circular economy is about tying ties and engaging with other companies and ecosystems and always being open to all the surprises there will be along the way.

Hager Group Blue Planet Commitment

We call our approach to environmental sustainability Blue Planet Commitment; this commitment sits at the centre of our strategic development. It reflects our conviction that businesses which conserve resources and the environment will be disproportionally successful in the future. Our commitment is to contribute to a post-carbon economy by promoting circular economy concepts and tracking the full life cycle of our products. Indeed, we aim to reduce our direct greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and design our products with this in mind. We will also increase our share of sustainable materials and use fully sustainable packaging by 2024.

Engaging with other companies and working with a large panel of experts are part of the keys for success.

As such, we have partnered up with eolos, an industrial consulting and investment company. eolos leverage the circular economy principles, which offer a science-based framework and opportunities for companies to re-think their business models and operations while remaining profitable.

Matthieu Alexandropoulos (MA) and Henri Cuin (HC) from eolos explain to us how industries can successfully make the shift to greater environmental sustainability, what the challenges are and why they are convinced at Hager Group it will be a success.

Henri Cuin

Henri, co-founder of eolos, considers the virtue of moderation to be the real boldness. Based in Berlin, Germany he leverages his 20 years of industrial experience and a deep understanding of our environmental challenges to embed environmental sustainability into daily business operations. With the other eolosian women and men, he is keen on implementing tangible and measurable actions.

Gentlemen, how did the partnership come off the ground?

I was looking for a partner to support us with our sustainability approach. I invited eolos for a get-to-know each other meeting and when I heard Henri talk about to what extent environmental sustainability will be at the core of European Regulations (the European Green Deal), which was one of my starting points to design the sustainability roadmap, that we call Blue Planet commitment, I was more or less convinced it could be a good fit. And then when I took a closer look at who the eolos team are, I was impressed to see people from the industrial world, with an interesting array of competencies, versatile on both strategic and operational dimensions, and importantly, a team of people who share the same values as Hager Group: courage, authenticity and integrity. I just knew that we were going to work together.

Next we met in Blieskastel and went for a long walk near the river Horn. We were both conscious that to build such a plan, we needed to quickly create very strong foundations between us based on trust. We could feel the energy and commitment of both parties. It simply matched. Such a positive intellectual fit between all players is quite rare to find.

And then it just all fell into place?

Exactly. Back in 2020, we started to look together at the main environmental trends that will shape the electrical world, from a regulatory, customer, social and technological perspective. Once we were clear on that, we started building our sustainability roadmap together. It has now been rolled out and I am proud of this co-construction.

There seems to be an excellent cooperative spirit. What do you think makes this partnership so special, in let’s be honest, a fast moving context and unpredictable future?

What makes this partnership so special is how openly we can talk to each other. When we face a tough challenge or a fundamental question, we put our heads together to find the best way to tackle it, not to just copy any old recipe. eolos understands Hager Group, the industrial world and our customers’ expectations in terms of environmental sustainability. We never shy away from a tough discussion.

There is no ready road for us to travel towards reducing our environmnental footprint. Both companies consider humility, hard work and rational thinking to be the success factors. We value each other’s experience very highly and build on it.

Henri, you helped Matthieu and Hager Group set up our sustainability roadmap which we call “Blue Planet Commitment.” It is our approach to environmental sustainability. How did you go about doing this, what steps needed to be taken?

The first step was to clearly forecast which megatrends would shape the future environmental playing field for Hager Group, in particular customer expectations and regulatory changes. Next, we had to define our level of ambition. From that we defined the “must dos” and flagship projects to launch. Our obsession has always been to remain very pragmatic and embed this into the group’s operating systems.

We value each other’s experience very highly and build on it.

Henri Cuin
Co-founder of eolos

It’s an ambitious plan. What do you both see as the main hurdles for implementing circularity? And what guarantee do we have that it will work?

The future world will be about using less resources and minimising as much as possible our impact on the environment. For instance, according to The Shift Project – a French association and think tank created in 2010 that aims to mitigate climate change and reduce the economy’s dependence on fossil fuels – from 2019 to 2030, the total volume of oil produced by the EU’s current providers is likely to shrink by up to nearly 8%. Therefore, adaptation to the future world requires in-depth changes to the way people run their sites, factories, logistics and product design. However, climate change, stringent environmental regulations and resource depletion won’t happen overnight. Businesses must be careful to take these changes, which are not yet imminent, into consideration and not apply short-term approaches.

Aren’t you worried about being accused of jumping on the environmental bandwagon?

Not really, because as Henri says, we are adopting a pragmatic approach with ambitious, yes, but reachable goals. In fact, the challenge for companies is to take environmental sustainability as a potential stimulus for business innovation and not as a burden, as a pure compliance-driven topic. We want to link innovation to environmental sustainability and embed a mindset throughout the company. It’s not just my department that needs to take action and we certainly don’t blow our own trumpet about putting a bit of recycled material here and there – that would be greenwashing. We are striving to create business models that can bring environmental value to our customers. We already have solutions at Hager Group; Hager Energy’s portfolio is a good case in point as it contributes to limiting our customers’ carbon emissions.

Is it true to say that environmental sustainability is everyone’s business, not just yours?

Yes. Henri and I are both aligned on this. We have confidence in our sustainability ambassadors and drivers across the group and their level of commitment. The same goes for our top management, they are also on board. We also see business partners going the same way, environmental sustainability being on the menu in all discussions with them. We are all on the same page, so we will be successful, together.

Customers increasingly question their suppliers’ environmental compliance.

And we want to show we’re serious about it at Hager Group, and firmly engaged in supporting goals of the United Nations 2016 Paris Agreement to pursue efforts to limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5°C maximum. Whilst avoiding unnecessary travel and reigning in the impulse to print everything do play their part, the focus lies on a much grander scale: from improving the eco-design of our products to reducing energy and resource consumption. From replacing materials used in our products to striking a balance between financial and environmental costs. From convincing our suppliers to move away from fossil fuels or investigating the most efficient modes of transport. Indeed, on the topic of transport, another method of reducing CO₂ emissions is the drive to switching to electric vehicles. And of course, electrical vehicles need to be charged. We are in an ideal position here and Hager Group has been part of the switch since the beginning. Our very first charging stations came on to the market in 2012. In France we have already installed over 50,000 of our electrical charging stations. Jacky Dubuc in charge of electrical mobility solutions in France knows quite a bit about the subject as he has been in the driver’s seat since 2014.

Jacky Dubuc

Native of Normandy, France, Jacky started at Hager Group in 1985. He has extensive knowledge of the commercial market in France and has become an expert in all the ins and outs of electrical mobility, a topic which is close to his heart. He is proud of contributing to reducing CO₂ emissions with electrical mobility solutions for electric vehicle owners.

Driving the decarbonisation switch

Jacky is all about finding new solutions and developing new activities. When he was asked to set up our electrical mobility operations on the French market back in 2014 it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. For Jacky there are two important aspects to the job, one is the cross functionality with colleagues, he assists the commercial and marketing teams by finding projects and developing sales; he works with Hager Energy who provide energy management systems and advises development teams based on his technical and commercial expertise and in-depth knowledge of the market. The second aspect is the environmental one and in particular the satisfaction of knowing that what he does is another small step towards decarbonisation. “I strongly believe in the evolution of transport and the arrival of the electrical vehicle is a lever for reducing CO₂ emissions whilst diversifying our market offer. We are in the electrical business, we must be part of the whole decarbonisation movement.”

Jacky’s almost 40 years’ of experience at Hager Group means he has an extensive network of contacts, in particular car manufacturers, energy specialists, charging solutions operators, electrical wholesalers and electricians who install our charging stations and promote our electrical installations and their benefits. We can also add to this his wide-ranging technical knowledge. He is particularly proud of certain projects he has been involved in, some stand out more than others; equipping Renault factories and technical centres with 700 smart charging stations, installing 500 charging points in Indigo car parks throughout France and being selected by the Parisian airports Orly and Charles de Gaulle for an extensive roll out of charging stations which is still in progress.

One particular aspect of his job that he enjoys is supporting his sales colleagues and helping them develop their own competencies by better understanding our offer. “Over the years we have gradually built up a strong reputation in the mobility market and are recognised by the electrical industry as a reliable, high performance solution provider. Our contribution to reducing carbon emissions is ongoing as we continue to provide our solutions to the residential and commercial sector. I believed in this activity when we set it up over six years ago now, and today’s results confirm that we made the right decisions. As an electrical company we have a responsibility to offer our customers a CO₂ reducing option.”

Building a truly zero-carbon community

When you think of the Middle East and energy consumption, you could be forgiven for assuming that it’s all about oil and gas. Director of Future Energy Solutions for International Projects within Group Strategy, Torsten Hager and Heba Gebreel Georges, Future Application Catalyst know all about a collective effort to create a sustainable city that turns this assumption on its head.

Torsten Hager

Torsten is Director of Future Energy Solutions for International Projects. He is a strong believer in the importance of the energy transition and is constantly on the lookout for new business opportunities to provide energy storage and management systems. His passion for sustainability started at school where photovoltaic and efficient usage of energy was a daily topic. It was already clear to him that finding sustainable solutions would be key to solving the energy crisis. The seeds planted in his youth grew and as research engineer at Clausthal University of Technology his PhD thesis focused on the field of renewables. “To run a business sustainably, it has to be sustainable” is his leitmotif and his projects at Hager Group underline this. Torsten was an actor in the development of Hager Group’s first energy management and storage system for residential applications, today there is a dedicated business unit – Hager Energy.

Hager Group in the Middle East is one of the most important players in the Sharjah Sustainable City project; Sharjah is one of the seven Emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This sustainable city, once created, will consist of 1,120 villas fully supplied with renewable energy from the sun. It will be the first fully-integrated and net zero energy community in the Middle East.

Clearly getting enough sunlight to produce PV energy is not an issue in the UAE. However, for the Sustainable City of Sharjah a particular specification is that any surplus solar energy created cannot be fed back into the national grid. This constraint was part of the deal and the ambitious climate goals set by the Sharjah Investment and Development Agency (Shurooq). As the Sharjah Sustainable City must generate only to its requirements, storage solutions therefore need to be integrated. Diamond Developers, founded by a team of visionary entrepreneurs architects and engineers, are the pioneers of the world’s first sustainable community in Dubai – The Sustainable City. Boosted by the success of this first project, they were looking for partners for their next one – Sharjah Sustainable City.

We are extremely proud to be working with true early adopters in a region which is known for its innovative spirit.

Torsten Hager
Director of Future Energy Solutions for International Projects

Diamond Developers approached Hager Group when they came across Hager Energy’s E3/DC brand as it offers exactly what they were looking for: solar home power stations with integrated storage solutions and a capacity to store surplus energy for on demand use. The E3/DC S10E Pro solution was the perfect fit.

Torsten comments that “our Energy Management solutions will provide the answer to this challenge and the Sharjah Sustainable City really is the first time a community will test small scale energy storage solutions in the region.” Without an adequate storage solution to allow the energy created by the sun to be stored and distributed on demand, the Sharjah project would probably never have reached its ambition of being totally self-sufficient.

Heba Gebreel Georges

Heba was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialisation in Avionics. Her career started in the construction industry as an electrical engineer for commercial projects in Egypt. Now, as a member of the sales team for the AMENEAT region, she enjoys working and interacting with people from different cultures. She loves being in marketing business as she believes that marketing has a strong role to play in influencing people for good causes like sustainability and climate actions. She also works as a volunteer during her spare time for initiatives and non-profit organisations.

The power of partnerships

Even though this was in the middle of the pandemic, Hager Group and Diamond Development teams were quick to engage on this unique opportunity. Sharjah Sustainable City could become the Emirate’s first settlement where all residents’ energy needs are truly met by renewable energy, day and night. Hager Energy would be able to prototype, test and deploy their energy storage system in a real-life context. Invaluable insights could be gained by both sides and the truly innovative setting in which this collaboration would take place is of great value to Hager Group as a company. Contacts were established and this project will be an excellent catalyst for more business in the Middle East. Heba Georges who initiated the project commented that “our technologies will help achieve maximum efficiency so the city can reach it’s sustainability targets. Renewable energy is one of the biggest contributors towards achieving net zero carbon. I am proud to be a part of this innovative project and I’m confident that similar projects will follow in the region for Hager Group.”

From theory to practice

“For the testing phase, we’re also working together with City Solar. This PV installation company will be installing the solar panels and the all-in-one storage solution and energy management units which are provided by Hager Energy. We will also train the installers and provide product support. This means that not only will City Solar be able to install the systems, they will also be able to provide ongoing technical support for homeowners or tenants,” explains Torsten Hager.

Sharjah Sustainable City

Energy storage is crucial in reaching net zero carbon because it allows residents to store surplus energy produced by rooftop solar panels and then release the stored energy when demand is higher. Battery storage can potentially revolutionise sustainable living and allow for 100% renewable energy to be used.


villas each equipped with a 5 to 10 kWP photovoltaic panel

Energy production estimated at

9 – 20

thousand kWh per annum/villa


electricity bills


and stable power

Daily production estimated at

22 – 55


Ability to support and contribute to

independent energy generation

Sharjah Sustainable City aims to be a leader in showing the way towards a cleaner and greener world.
Daniel Hager – Passionate people creating the change for a more sustainable world.Driving change and sustainability – How we are decarbonising our business.Designing out plastic? – Sustainability and eco-friendly solutions are our promise.Changing our perspectives – Guibert del Marmol about being sustainable.Stronger together – Entrepreneurial spirit and collective intelligence.Being part of the solution – Diversity, skills and commitment.Talking sustainability with our Board of Directors – Exploring people, passion, change.Our Supervisory Board – Facts & figures – Imprint – Hager Group Annual Report ArchiveHager Group Annual Report 2020/21Hager Group Annual Report 2019/20Hager Group Annual Report 2018/19Hager Group Annual Report 2017/18Hager Group Annual Report 2016Hager Group Annual Report 2015