Resource efficiency and use of materials


For a production company such as the KION Group, the efficient use of resources is both a key aspect of taking environmental responsibility and an operational necessity.

As it is still undertaking an accurate assessment, the Company has used information available as part of its Life Cycle Assessment activities to present its material use. Its Life Cycle Assessments, which were produced in 2014 at Linde Material Handling EMEA and updated in 2016, show clearly that reducing energy use in the product utilisation phase is the greatest lever in reducing the Company’s environmental impact. This is why the KION Group and its operating units pay great attention to this aspect, also as part of their product development activities. However, environmental considerations also play a role in terms of material selection, whereby the KION Group also considers the overall environmental impact of the materials and raw materials used, with newly introduced substances subjected to their own check.

As part of the KION Group’s internal sustainability reporting process, 26 reporting entities stated that they have specific material consumption targets, ranging from increasing the recycling rate of waste batteries to reusing waste components – all without affecting quality in any way whatsoever.

Material-use pilot project

To establish a Group-wide methodology to calculate its material use, a pilot project was run in 2016 at the German plants of Linde Material Handling EMEA. The 2016 results identified a total use of direct materials of 109.57 million tonnes (75 per cent of all materials covered, based on mass). This is broken down as follows into the key materials: iron 57 per cent, steel 33 per cent, plastic 7 per cent and other materials 3 per cent. The pilot project forms the basis for a comprehensive assessment of the Group’s material footprint, which will also enable it to derive corresponding targets and measures. At the same time it will also assess the environmental impacts associated with the use of materials in the supply chain.

These measures form the basis for the Company to set a Group-wide target to improve its resource consumption and launch a corresponding Group-wide programme in 2019, which it will expand in 2020 to include local programmes.