Management approach to the environment

Part of the non-financial report
NfR: Extraordinary environment-related events
NfR: Location-specific GHG emissions


Environmental responsibility comprises two aspects for the KION Group and its operating units. On the one hand, the company intends to minimise the environmental footprint of its own actions. This includes saving resources, reducing emissions at the sites and preventing any type of pollution. On the other hand, the KION Group wants its products and solutions to also help its customers save energy and reduce emissions as well as improve efficiency and performance (see section on Products and solutions).

The KION Group is committed to the precautionary principle. The general guideline for all environmental activities is provided by the KION HSE policy, which is derived from the KION Group Code of Compliance. It lays out that the company commits to

  • comply with all national laws and standards to which the company is subject in the course of its global operations;
  • make efficient use of energy and commodities;
  • use materials, products and processes that are consistent with best environmental practice;
  • reduce waste through better use of raw materials and the use of recyclable materials;
  • create a safe working environment and train staff accordingly (see section on Employees).

Compliance with environmental legislation in particular is an ongoing task in a company with several hundred locations in more than 30 countries, especially in view of constantly changing environmental frameworks.

In the reporting period, a minimum HSE standard was established at the company, which can be viewed by all employees at any time on the KION Social Intranet. Additional HSE regulations for the operating units and the sales and service companies furthermore consider regional and local specifics within the framework of the Group-wide standards.

Instruments and processes

The KION Group employs a range of processes and tools in HSE management. The KION audit programme, which monitors compliance with laws as well as internal HSE standards, is of central importance in this regard. The results of the audits are furthermore taken into account in the continuous improvement of the HSE standards as well as in setting and following up on the top 20 measures, which are to achieve a measurable impact as speedily as possible.

In 2018, 466 internal (2017: 349) and 81 external (2017: 82) audits focusing on environmental management were carried out. Furthermore, the central HSE Group function conducted another nine audits (2017: nine) within the KION Group.

In the past fiscal year, the central HSE audit programme was expanded to cover the sales and service companies. Consequently, the focus in the year under review was on expanding the organisation up to executing audits. During the reporting period, particular attention was paid to converting the measures implemented at the sites from a reactive to a proactive approach, as this is where most potential for improvement was identified.

Internal communications play a key role here. Numerous initiatives, ranging from regular exchanges among experts and the HSE intranet offering to the Group-wide KION HSE Championship, raise employees’ awareness of HSE issues and create acceptance for the relevant measures, especially for the considerate use of resources.

Results of KION Group environmental protection audits 2012-2018

Table 5


Current audit

Previous audit


Basis: 20 plants + initial audit for 4 plants

Basis: 20 plants

Basis: 20 plants

The development of the results is influenced by an extension of the assessment criteria by two new topics in 2018. Results reflect the level of fulfilment of the defined audit criteria (max. 100 percent).

Average result




Internal reporting and KPI management

Every year, a central management report summarises the activities of all HSE departments in the KION Group. The report also defines objectives and future measures on the basis of key parameters. These are included in the HSE audit programme to ensure that they are implemented according to plan.

In-house reporting also provided the foundation for the assessment of locations with respect to their potential HSE risks, which was successfully completed in 2017. The individual locations were assessed with regard to their present range of activities and the type of facilities on-site as well as the existing management system. All relevant individual factors were captured and are now available at Group level.

The results confirmed the KION Group’s previous risk assessment: The company has an average cross-sector HSE risk rating. Environmental risks exist, for instance, in foundries and paint shops. In addition, environmental protection is a relevant topic also when working at customers’ sites, owing to the very different areas of activity. Catering to these circumstances, LMH EMEA, for instance, has a comprehensive policy that governs service-related activities ranging from maintenance to waste disposal.

Implementation of the measures initiated in 2017 to minimise the identified HSE risks is still ongoing, complemented by targeted audits at the relevant sites. It is planned to assess the effectiveness of the measures in 2019 and – related to this – update the risk assessment. At the same time, work is currently underway to refine the methodology for capturing and tracking risks. The aim is to continuously update the assessment criteria and be able to carry out a meaningful assessment for new locations as well.

Group-wide certification is the objective

The KION Group’s sustainability management is characterised by systematic further development in central action fields. Based on certified management systems, an effective environmental and occupational safety management is to be established at all sites. Every year, the number of certified locations is rising.

Table 6 shows the current number of certified sites.

By 2020, all production plants as well as sales and service locations are to be ISO 14001 certified. Other equivalent certification systems such as EMAS are also permitted. Also by 2020, KION aims to have rolled out an ISO 50001 compliant energy management system at its 25 reporting entities with the greatest energy use.

Both milestones were originally scheduled for achievement in 2019. However, the deadline was extended to accommodate the greater complexity of the organisation resulting in particular from the inclusion of the Dematic locations.

Environmental management system certification status


Table 6

Percentage certified

ISO 14001*



2018: 363 locations considered; 2017: 360 locations considered


or equivalent standard

Plants & Administration



Sales & Services