The KION Group endeavours to achieve a balance between environmental, economic and social considerations in its business activities. This focus on sustainability is reflected in its eco-friendly and safe products that help customers to conserve energy, reduce emissions and comply with strict workplace safety standards (see ‘Research and development’). Furthermore, the KION Group ensures that its production processes have as minimal an impact on the environment as possible and that it offers safe and discrimination-free working conditions.

The corporate policy on workplace safety, health and the environment was revised in the year under review. It defines a number of requirements for the companies in the KION Group, including:

  • as a minimum, complying with all relevant national laws, codes of conduct and industry standards;
  • ensuring safe working conditions and providing employees with the necessary training;
  • avoiding the release of pollutants, discharge and emissions into the environment as far as possible;
  • reducing the volume of waste by making better use of raw materials and using recyclable materials;
  • using materials, products and processes that comply with best environmental practice;
  • using resources, energy and raw materials efficiently.

Strict rules governing health, safety and the environment (HSE) apply in all areas of the company. In the reporting year, KION plants around the world were audited in accordance with a groupwide standard and HSE data was collected for the fourth time. These activities increased awareness of workplace safety and environmental protection and identified areas that could still be improved. A groupwide system of KPIs was introduced in 2013 to keep better track of the progress made with HSE matters. The goal is to bring HSE standards into line worldwide and create a shared culture of awareness regarding the environment and safety.

Safety experts at the KION Group’s various production facilities began to collaborate more closely last year. Besides monthly conference calls, there was also an international HSE conference, at which experts from the individual sites and country organisations presented their successful workplace safety activities (see the HR report). For the first time, numerous representatives from the sales companies also took part.

All plants capture data about their energy consumption, volumes of waste and recycling, water consumption, CO2 emissions and volatile organic compounds (VOC). This data is included in an annual internal environmental report. Data for 2013 was not available at the time this group management report was compiled.

According to the 2012 environmental report, energy consumption had declined slightly compared with 2011. Just under half (46.7 per cent) of the energy consumed was electricity and 27.5 per cent was gas. Approximately 92.2 per cent (2011: 92.5 per cent) of waste was recycled. Compared with the previous year, water consumption and CO2 emissions fell slightly while VOC emissions declined significantly.

In addition, Linde Material Handling began to implement a system for analysing environmental impact using lifecycle assessments. The first step involved investigating and comparing the exhaust emissions of IC trucks in the product portfolio, which revealed that the new EVO models had particularly good emission levels.

At its core plant in Hamburg, STILL had its occupational health and safety management system certified in accordance with the BS.OHSAS 18001 standard and its environmental and energy management systems certified in accordance with ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 respectively in 2013. STILL intends to reduce its energy consumption considerably over the next few years by using energy efficiently and conserving resources.

Checking compliance with fundamental human rights and minimum social standards has always had the highest priority in the purchasing function. To satisfy its own requirements and the wish of many big-ticket customers for end-to-end monitoring of the supply chain, the KION Group has developed a supplier policy that forms the basis for incorporating environmental and ethical stipulations into the supplier management process.

Furthermore, all KION Group brands acknowledge their responsibilities as corporate citizens. This is demonstrated by the fact that both the Executive Board and employees personally support numerous charities in different countries. Providing support in the event of disasters is a particular priority. For example, trucks from KION companies were deployed to help build barriers against flooding on the Elbe river in 2013.