Organisation and management
The Executive Board of KION GROUP AG is responsible for the operational management of the KION Group. In the reporting year, a new Chief Financial Officer was appointed and the Executive Board was expanded to include the position of Chief Digital Officer.
The Group Executive Committee (GEC) advises the Executive Board of KION GROUP AG, contributes stimuli from the operating units and ensures the efficient implementation of management decisions within the Group. In addition to members of the Executive Board, the committee also includes the Presidents of the operating units.
The Executive Board maintains a trusting relationship with, and is monitored by, the company’s Supervisory Board, which also advises the Executive Board in its handling of core tasks and major business transactions. The Supervisory Board’s size and composition is governed by the German Codetermination Act (MitbestG).
For further information on the duties and composition of the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of KION GROUP AG, see the Annual Report 2018, available online.
The KION Group works according to recognised standards of sound, responsible corporate governance. Besides statutory regulations, the German Corporate Governance Code (DCKG) guides how the KION Group manages and controls the company. Further information on the applied standards is included in the Corporate Governance Statement. It includes the annual declaration of compliance in accordance with section 161 of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG) as well as the Corporate Governance Report in accordance with section 3.10 of the German Corporate Governance Code, which also comments on the Group’s compliance standards. The statement is available on the corporate website and is part of the Annual Report 2018, which is also available online.
The KION Group’s risk management system is documented in a Group risk policy that defines tasks, processes and responsibilities, and sets out the rules for identifying, assessing, reporting and managing risk.
Taking a sustainable approach is linked with clear responsibilities at the KION Group. The Executive Board’s decisions ensure that the company’s sustainability aspirations are underpinned by specific measures. To this end, the Board has established the Sustainability Steering Committee chaired by the Chief Financial Officer. The revised sustainability programme was presented to the committee in early 2018.
The KION Group’s Sustainability Steering Committee, consisting of the coordinators of the action fields and the sustainability coordinators of the operating units, ensures that the sustainability programme is uniform across the Group and continually developed further (Figure 4). To do so, it monitors the activities and achievements in each action field, indicating undesirable developments and gaps if needed. The Sustainability Steering Committee meets biannually. In 2018, the focus was on implementing the stakeholder survey and the materiality analysis. In addition, the committee regularly deals with aspects of the CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG) and the resulting requirements for the KION Group (see About this report – Contents).
KION’s central sustainability management controls and coordinates the Group’s sustainability programme, defines sustainability-related key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracks target achievement in the action fields. It furthermore ensures coordination between the individual action fields, the organisational units and within the Group and is available to provide specialist support.
The coordinators responsible for the individual action fields manage the relevant programmes and assume full responsibility for budgets and resources. They are also responsible for implementing the agreed action plans, up to and including their transfer to operating units and subsidiaries, in consultation with the coordinators of the operating units. At the operational level, sustainability programmes corresponding to the KION Group action field model are established and cascaded to the local level.
The KION Group sustainability strategy and the corresponding objectives are based on existing Group-wide standards and codes of conduct that ensure compliance with rules and regulations (Table 3). These include the KION Group Code of Compliance (KGCC), complemented by numerous internal guidelines covering the Group’s entire scope of activity.
Table 3Group-wide sustainability principles and guidelines
Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
Sets out the guidelines to avoid corruption and any semblance of corruption
Compliance Principles for Independent Partners in KION’s Sales and Service Organisation
Commits its sales and service partners to upholding the KION Group’s compliance principles
Data Protection and Data Security Policy
Policy on the collection and processing of customers’, contracting parties’ and employees’ personal data
The principles of social involvement set out the focus and requirements for donation and sponsorship activities
Guidelines for the Avoidance of Conflict of Interest
Describes the principles governing KION’s business relationships
Health, safety and environment policy relating to employees, customers and the community at large
KION Group Code of Compliance
Its Code of Conduct sets out the guidelines for all employees across the KION Group to act lawfully and ethically
Policy on International Minimum Employment Standards
Explanation of the underlying social rights and principles; excludes child and forced labour
Principles of Supplier Conduct
Set out the principles with which the KION Group requires its suppliers to comply
Sets out the guidelines for quality assurance in product development and production
Open and transparent reporting
As a stock-listed company, open and transparent communications are a given for the KION Group. In its sustainability reporting, the Group therefore applies the internationally recognised standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Moreover, in 2018 the KION Group participated in the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project); the relevant data is publicly available on the CDP website.
Individual operating units or subsidiaries of the KION Group are subject to the EcoVadis rating, a platform that specialises in evaluating suppliers in accordance with sustainability criteria. Presently, ratings are available for LMH EMEA, KION South America, STILL EMEA, Dematic, Linde Sweden, Linde China and the entire KION Group. By 2020, all operating units as well as the entire KION Group will be evaluated and/or re-evaluated by EcoVadis. The KION Group intends to use the process for internal control in the framework of the sustainability programme while creating added value for customers, as occasionally, individual national companies and operating units are requested by customers to undergo an evaluation.