Stakeholder dialogue


The KION Group is in regular dialogue with a wide range of stakeholder groups, either directly, via surveys, or at events. This enables it to identify their requirements on the Company at an early stage and incorporate them in decisions.

The KION Group’s key stakeholders are customers, employees, investors, shareholders and suppliers. In addition, the Company and its operating units are members of numerous industry associations and international institutions. The KION Group is actively involved in sustainability issues, including in the VDMA and the Federation of German Foundry Industry (BDG). The KION Group is also involved in developing environmental standards such as ISO, CEN or DIN. The Company is also actively involved in the Umweltpakt Bayern (Environmental Pact of Bavaria), Umweltpartnerschaft Hamburg (Environmental Partnership Hamburg) and numerous other public initiatives. 

The focus is placed on the following criteria to identify stakeholders relevant to the KION Group’s sustainability management activities:

  • Significance and contribution to KION’s success
  • Requirements on KION’s sustainability performance

The Sustainability steering committee is continuing the development of this assessment. As part of the planned expansion in 2018 of its materiality assessment, the list will be supplemented by its operating units’ specific assessments.

> Table 4 includes a selection of sustainability-related association activities:

Table 4 Sustainability-related association activities of the KION Group


Function performed

AFNOR – French Standardisation Association

Chair of the committee UNM85: Chariots de Manutention (industrial trucks)

CEN – European Committee for Standardisation

Chair of assorted committees of the Industrial Trucks – Safety technical committee, including the Sustainability committee

DIN – German Standards Institute

Chair of assorted committees such as Industrial Truck Safety

FEM – European Federation of Material Handling

Executive Board/chairmanship

FGMA – Expert Consortium of German Mechanical Engineering Businesses

Member of the Executive Board

Hertie Foundation

Member of the Executive Board

ISO – International Organization for Standardization

Chair of assorted technical committees, including the Sustainability of Industrial Trucks

VDMA – German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association

Chair of industrial trucks

Member of the Blue Competence initiative

The KION Group is in regular dialogue with its stakeholders on a range of topics (> Table 5). The form and frequency of dialogue is adapted to suit particular needs. Findings obtained from stakeholder dialogue are used to develop the Company further. Of particular significance is the dialogue with customers, as understanding their requirements is central to the Company’s success. To help in this regard, numerous tools along the supply chain ensure active dialogue, which often provides important stimuli for the Company (see the section Products and solutions).

The KION Group Code of Compliance includes clear and stringent regulations on how to deal with political parties and elected officials. Consequently, the KION Group does not maintain any political relationships beyond its association work.

Table 5 Stakeholder dialogue



Topics in 2017

General public

Journal articles, social media, campaign days, the section on Sustainability in the KION Group Annual Report 2017

Sustainability management, social aspects, environmental protection, transparent reporting on sustainability

(Industry) associations

Participation in symposiums and working groups, membership of numerous associations such as ISO, DIN, VDMA, FEM

Energy efficiency, product specifications, product safety, product lifecycle sustainability

Financial market

Section on Sustainability in the KION Group Annual Report 2017, answering questions in the context of investor discussions

Sustainability management, social aspects, environmental protection, transparent reporting on sustainability

Legislative bodies/policy makers

Dialogue with authorities, association work

Approvals, inspections


Distributors’ Board, regular plenary sessions (annual kick-off and year-end events)

Zero Accident Philosophy at Linde Material Handling


Regular customer visits, service helpdesk, complaints management, customer events, trade fairs and in-house exhibitions, consulting, customer magazines, Internet, LMH Product Clinic, brochures and one-pagers for key account customers

Product features, e.g. efficiency and safety, service offering, ergonomic design of vehicles and systems


Supplier negotiations, supplier audits

KION Group Principles of Supplier Conduct

Local communities

Local events such as the ForkliftCup federal state preliminary rounds, Training Day, regular exchange with local authorities at the locations

Social and cultural engagement, products, safety standards, LMH as a good employer


Sustainability management, social aspects, environmental protection, transparent reporting on sustainability, efficient energy systems, safety technology, sustainability activities


Management survey, KEEP employee participation programme, suggestion scheme, employee magazine, intranet

Company development

Non-governmental organisations

Dialogue forums with NGOs (e.g. Linde China)

Environmental education

Science and research

Collaborations with education institutions, research projects, information days

E.g. alternative drive technologies

To enhance dialogue with stakeholders and to involve non-governmental organisations (NGOs) more closely, since the start of 2017 the KION Group has also supported new, innovative approaches. Among them it is involved in a feasibility study on SUSTAINALOG, a planned platform designed to strengthen contact between companies and NGOs. It got involved as an increasing number of companies want to integrate NGOs more closely in their stakeholder dialogue activities – in some cases, they are even required to do so by law. However, NGOs do not receive any financial consideration or support in this process, which means further dialogue is often not possible. As a clearing-house between companies and NGOs, the SUSTAINALOG platform aims to ensure neutral financing of these activities, and thus that the respective parties can engage in structured, institutionalised dialogue.