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    Using the power of international networks to deliver sustainability

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    16. April 2024
    5:40 min.

    Krones has big plans for sustainability. To ensure that the strategy is steered in the same direction across the entire group, a Regional Sustainability Competence Team was set up in 2023. We introduce the members of the team and their current projects.

    In terms of organisation, the central point where all threads relating to sustainability come together at Krones is in Research and Development. The Sustainability Team directs and co-ordinates all such ESG topics. This commonly used abbreviation stands for “Environmental, Social, Governance” and thus includes the full spectrum of sustainability. This is a broad field, and numerous experts from across the entire group, for example from Human Resources, Corporate Safety and Security, Compliance or the Product Lines, are involved in making it work.

    Growing demands

    Just like many other important corporate issues, sustainability is impossible without international collaboration and coordination. One of the reasons for this is that we have set ourselves ambitious goals that must be met by 2030 – across the whole group and in all areas of ESG. In addition, the regulatory requirements that are brought to bear on our company from the outside are also increasing (see box). Since the complexity and diversity of sustainability topics are therefore not going to decrease, but instead will rise exponentially, a Regional Sustainability Competence Team was set up last year. At present, this team has seven members from different international sites. Their task is firstly to promote the topics and measures from the Krones sustainability strategy all around the world – in all regions and all subsidiaries. Secondly, they also make themselves available on-site for the relevant workforces as direct contact persons for all issues relating to sustainability. 

    So, who is actually in the team? And what motivates our Sustainability Coordinators in their job? We should probably let them explain this themselves.


    “As Sustainability Coordinator, I operate as a mediator and as a mouthpiece for our region. A special milestone for us: a Sustainability Committee has been formed for the Asia-Pacific region in which we can regularly discuss the progress of the measures. In order to sensitise the workforce for the topic, we also initiate smaller projects, such as a photographic competition under the motto of ‘Waste Free Day’. For the year 2024 our priority is to broaden our sustainability knowledge base and to expand further into the APAC region at the same time.”


    “Right at the top of our list of priorities is the award of the EcoVadis gold medal for System Logistics. We are on the right path here, among other things with the expansion of our photovoltaic and e-mobility systems. However, the thing that is currently still giving us a headache is the Scope-3 objective across the group. In order to meet this objective we will need to significantly lower the emissions resulting from the use of our products at the customer. Above all, this will be done by raising the energy efficiency of automated guided vehicles even further. This is not an easy task – particularly because we are aiming to increase our revenue at the same time, i.e. we want to bring more products to market.”


    “Adapting to new ways of working in order to meet our goals: for the region of Middle East Africa this is nothing new. The best example of this is our new Head Office for Krones South Africa, which has just been opened and is carbon-neutral thanks to its solar power system and uses a water recycling system to save water. The foundation of a global working group is an exciting opportunity for us to promote the group-wide goals with passion, creativity and pioneering spirit. The really wonderful thing about this is that we all benefit together from the improvements we achieve. I cannot think of another topic that has quite such a strong impact on every aspect of our lives as sustainability.”


    “I would like to make a contribution to saving the planet – both for this generation and for the generations to come. Climate protection is a matter for the whole world. This is why it is important that we all work together. Our next objectives in the region: we need to improve our data quality and are putting in place measures to reduce water consumption at the site, for example by modernising toilets and water dispensers. In addition, in research projects we are also currently looking at the issue of how we can reduce gas usage in our region.

    Even if awareness for sustainability has arrived in all regions, there are still noticeable differences in some cases when it comes to specific expert knowledge and implementation. This is why it is so important to learn from each other and to apply similar concepts to each other. In our region, this also includes collaboration with local communities and other companies. For example, we want to initiate joint waste collection efforts and other awareness raising projects in order to show people that sustainability can also be fun!”


    “At System Logistics, we engage with the topic of sustainability in many areas: from facility management and mobility concepts to machine safety and occupational safety all around the systems we sell. This is because we want to provide our customers with the safest solutions that are available on the market. Internally, we are particularly interested in the subject of diversity and integration, which is why we regularly initiate special projects in this area.

    The foundation of our group-wide network was a correct and important step because the challenges we are facing have no concept of national borders. In order to meet our goals we will need global cooperation. The transition to a sustainable company demands an organisational and cultural transformation. At all levels we need to adopt a mindset that is focused on sustainability.”


    “China is the country with the biggest growth in renewable energies. This is also evident at the Krones site in Taicang. For 2024 we are planning our own solar power system, which will reduce our CO2 emissions by 1,000 tonnes. We have generally observed that facility management is the biggest lever we have at our disposal for saving energy and therefore emissions. 

    I believe that the biggest challenge we face is that, with the revenue growth of Krones Taicang, the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise. This means that we need to find solutions with which we can establish a balance between commercial success and environmental cost. This is an area in which we will definitely benefit from our international network: by forming synergies, it will be easier to master challenges, find solutions and, ultimately, accomplish our shared goals.”


    “I am looking forward to promoting sustainability in an international context – including outside of Krones. This is because a sustainable future depends on the engagement of all stakeholders. In order to raise awareness for and knowledge of this important topic, in our region we put our efforts into academic and professional collaborations with universities in particular. As well as improving our environmental performance, I personally also care very strongly about social sustainability. This is because healthy and satisfied employees are the key to successful business activities.”

    16. April 2024
    5:40 min.

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