Resource efficiency and use of materials
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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. A precise assessment of the use of resources is still underway. Until initial results are available, the KION Group will use the information available from LMH EMEA’s Life Cycle Assessments. These 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.
The KION Group’s production sites primarily use iron and steel as materials and, to a lesser extent, plastics. A list of criteria defines which materials can be used. The focus is on safety, quality, corrosion resistance and, last but not least, the recyclability of the materials. Newly introduced materials are subjected to dedicated testing.
As part of the KION Group’s internal sustainability reporting process, 28 reporting entities (2017: 26) stated that they have specific material consumption targets, ranging from increasing the recycling rate of waste batteries and the reprocessing of tyres to reusing waste components – all without affecting quality in any way whatsoever.
In the future, material footprint assessments will be used to provide a more accurate picture of the impacts associated with the use of these materials.
This approach is based on a 2016 pilot project run at the German production sites of LMH EMEA. The methodology for assessing the material footprint was further investigated in 2018 as part of an academic thesis and is now to be implemented throughout the company via a Group-wide programme that will be supplemented by local programmes in 2020.