Gordon Riske, CEO KION GROUP AG (photo)

Gordon Riske

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For two years now, we have published our KION Sustainability Report, which gives you an overview of our strategy and sustainable management approaches. All companies are facing the challenge of reconciling economic success with the fundamental principles of responsible corporate governance: Resource conservation, high labour standards and a clear commitment to social engagement are just some of the buzzwords in this context.

At KION, we pursue the same high standards when it comes to sustainability that we apply to our products and solutions: We want to be a pioneer in our industry. To achieve this, we set ourselves ambitious goals, which serve as the yardstick for how our performance is perceived. As you can see from our current Annual Report, we were able to continue the KION Group’s successful business development despite some adverse effects. This report shows that we
succeeded in doing the same in the area of sustainability.

Environmentally friendly and safe production, appreciation of employees and their performance, a sustainable supply chain and – last but not least – social engagement as a corporate citizen: These are key success factors for our company. They impact the recognition of our actions and create credibility and trust. At the same time, we consistently offer our customers new opportunities to increase the efficiency of their processes and consequently their competitiveness through resource-efficient and safe products. In other words, by acting sustainably, we create the conditions for our customers’ and our company’s future success. We will continue along this path, making KION the industry leader also in terms of sustainable business development. We can build on a long-standing tradition of commitment, involving a large number of activities in the KION Group operating units, which have assumed responsibility all around the world for many years, often decades.

In 2016, we began to give this commitment a systematic structure in the form of our sustainability strategy. We have since been working on implementing the programme derived from this strategy. Sustainability aspects are increasingly being considered in corporate decisions at all management levels. Numerous activities have led to tangible improvements in 2018.

Last year, for instance, we introduced a sustainability assessment system for our suppliers. This way, we can ensure that these companies are committed to principles similar to those of the KION Group. Sustainability ideas also impact our own everyday work routines in many different ways. At the Summerville plant in the USA, we implemented our Sunshine Project, which involved equipping the flat roofs of the factory hall with photovoltaic panels. The energy created this way equals about 80 percent of the electricity required in production. Many such resource-conserving initiatives are being pursued at KION Group locations all around the world.

When it comes to our sustainability performance in 2018, I can therefore state that we delivered on our commitment, and we will stay the course in the future. Acting sustainably is a crucial success factor in the long term. I hope you will continue to take an interest in our sustainability projects in 2019 as well.

Gordon Riske (signature)

Gordon Riske