Foreword KION Group Sustainability Report
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Dr. Thomas Toepfer
Member of the Executive Board (CFO), KION GROUP AG
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to present to you today the KION Group’s first sustainability report.
With our acquisition of Dematic last year, we bolstered our portfolio with an automation and supply-chain optimisation specialist, ushering in a new chapter at the KION Group. We have become an even stronger company, and can now offer our global customers an extensive portfolio of intralogistics solutions.
A great deal is rightly expected from such a company – and we are doing everything we can to meet what is expected of us by our customers as well as a large number of other stakeholder groups with an interest in our Group’s activities.
The fair treatment of business partners, our dependability as an employer towards our employees and their families, the responsible use of resources, climate protection and engagement in society, in which we are actively involved as a company, are all key aspects of our actions, and a cornerstone of our sustainability activities.
By meeting our stakeholders’ expectations we also address the key challenges faced by companies and society today, ranging from climate change, through resource scarcity, to the consequences of globalisation and demographic change. We are all called upon to address these core issues. After all, only those companies which can provide specific answers will have a future.
Even though our Group is still young, our brands have a tradition reaching back many decades – with some stretching back over 100 years. Our company history has taught us that sustainability and business success are inextricably linked. So we see our sustainability activities as a long-term investment – in our company as well as for the benefit of our customers and the society of which we are a part.
Going forward, we will report transparently on our engagement every year, providing updates on our progress and performance, as well as on the objectives we have not yet achieved. The internationally recognised Global Reporting Initiative guidelines form the basis of our reporting activities, as we want to ensure that our activities are comparable. This comparability is underpinned by our facts and figures for 2016, which will serve as comparative values for future reports.
Our first report illustrates that we are serious about wanting sustainability to be an integral part of our company. We are harmonising our processes along those lines, raising awareness among our employees and managers, and calling on them to make the KION Group that bit better every day – also in terms of sustainability. We also have our suppliers and business partners firmly in view. We call for and encourage their commitment, as sustainability does not begin and end at our factory gates. Rather, we need to ensure that our entire value chain meets our high standards. In doing so, we also aim to lead our industry by our sustainability engagement.
Indeed, we have already achieved a great deal in recent years in this area. We now need to bring a systematic structure to our activities and measures within a Group-wide sustainability management system. To this end, in the reporting year we developed a clear Sustainability Strategy and are currently establishing the structures to coordinate our activities across the Group. Our recently established Sustainability steering committee will meet regularly to support these activities and put them on the right track. Their work will be underpinned by a dedicated sustainability programme, which we are currently defining.
As CFO, I know that controlling is a challenging task – even more so in terms of sustainability, as there are very wide-ranging levers and KPIs. However, I am confident that we will successfully drive forward the systematic integration of our sustainability management. I am already looking forward to next year and our 2017 report, in which we will share the progress we have made to becoming a more sustainable Group. I would like to thank you for accompanying us on this journey, and I hope you find this report both informative and interesting!
Dr. Thomas Toepfer