8. Sustainability and corporate
8.1 Corporate responsibility
Environmental protection and occupational safety have been an important part of the Schaeffler [--break--] Group’s management principles for more than 15 years. We contribute to the company’s continuation in business and success by creating and maintaining safe working environments that promote health and performance and by actively pursuing environmental protection. We acknowledge our global responsibility towards employees, fellow human beings and future generations. The major issues concerning sustainability have been combined in an integrated management system in order to meet this responsibility. Environmental protection, occupational safety, occupational medicine, fire protection and security form the backbone of the Schaeffler Group’s environmental and safety management system (E&S). Regular internal and external audits and certifications provide us with continuous information about the status and further development of the E&S management system, our focus being on continuously improving our performance in this area.
The Schaeffler Group’s code of conduct is based on the principles of the “ Global Compact”, [--break--] “The Global Sullivan Principles of Corporate Social Responsibility”, and the standards of [--break--] “Social Accountability International”. For us, these principles represent minimum standards and in many instances our own internal requirements are much higher. They do not place restrictions on additional country-specific versions that conform to specific cultural practices.
The Schaeffler Group defines its minimum requirements on a global basis. There are also local environmental and occupational safety policies in the different countries which expand on the Schaeffler Group policy and can be used to clarify the definitions for the specific location. These have proven very helpful for implementing our strategic requirements in practice. All local requirements are designed to structure processes and to give those concerned more certainty and support.
The E&S management system developed step-by-step over the past few years has since been introduced and put into practice at all Schaeffler Group locations worldwide. At the end of 2011, all manufacturing locations of the Schaeffler Group are validated regarding environmental [--break--] protection in accordance with EMAS and ISO 14001 and certified regarding occupational safety in accordance with OHSAS 18001. Those certifications conducted by independent assessors [--break--] outside Europe play an extremely important role in international comparison; there are very [--break--] few industrial companies worldwide that can demonstrate a similar degree of success.
The shareholders, executive board, and employees in every business unit and location support the environmental protection and occupational safety efforts because they are convinced that they will ensure the company’s success.
8.2 Environmental protection
Protection of the environment is a significant part of sustainable management. Continuously developing new technologies, constantly striving for further reductions in resources consumed, preventing waste, improving energy efficiency and many other practical environmental protection measures are important components of sustainable management.
The strength of the E&S management system lies in the close cooperation between the group’s strategic and operating units. Those responsible for E&S at each location are brought together in a regional network, ensuring an active exchange of information within each region. In turn, the regions are in close and constant touch with the central E&S Competence Center (CC E&S), which is responsible for global strategy. Supporting the implementation of strategies at operating entities and carrying out internal audit work are additional significant tasks of the Competence Center. Adhering to these two roles, support and advisory on the one hand and supervision and control on the other, permits staff at the CC E&S to always keep both sides in view.
Contamination of the environment and depletion of resources are to a large extent due to increasing consumption of products. Thus, the longevity of a product is also an indication of its sustainability. By further improving the efficiency of material and energy input and hence decreasing the impact on the environment of manufacturing a product, we are increasingly meeting this target. The focus here is on a holistic view and design of material and energy flows from the receipt of materials and goods to shipping the product or waste material, through the end of the utilization phase and the subsequent recycling opportunities.
Existing procedures and technologies are subjected to critical analysis and further possibilities for process improvement are identified and implemented. Many of the resulting measures are initiated individually at the locations, in a manner appropriate to the political and social environment; however, this is done with ongoing support and advice from the central staff departments.
Successful sustainable management requires extensive analysis of the economic, social and ecological performance of a company and is not limited to environmental protection. Sustainable management is integrated into day-to-day operations. This integration and openness in dealing with questions help identify new solutions that contribute to the sustainability of our company.
8.3 Occupational safety
The theme of employee protection has been embedded in our corporate philosophy since before the certification under OHSAS 18001. The risk analyses carried out consistently throughout [--break--] the world have contributed to a steady reduction in the number of accidents at work. Knowledge [--break--] gained at individual workplaces is communicated via the CC E&S and helps other locations avoid errors.
We have the ambition of maintaining the safe and healthy working environments that we have created worldwide. We want to prevent workplace-related injuries and occupational diseases by carrying out appropriate measures. We significantly exceed the applicable national legal requirements at most locations when implementing these measures. Tasks include providing active support in workplace design and ensuring local medical care as well as providing assistance for business travelers.
The Schaeffler Group trains a large number of apprentices every year and is a role model with regard to training. Many apprentices remain with the company after completing their technical or commercial training and use our comprehensive range of training measures in order to strengthen their job-related and interpersonal skills.
The only way to preserve the environment, protect employees and support social projects in the [--break--] long run is by setting clear and realistic goals. Environmental and occupational safety programs must include measures that can be implemented. That is why such projects are usually initiated directly at the locations. These projects are tailored to the surroundings, the social environment, and requirements in the region and are supported by CC E&S.
8.4 Social responsibility
Commitment to cultural and social activities and issues has been inherent in the Schaeffler Group’s corporate philosophy for a long time. In light of this, the Schaeffler Group supports [--break--] projects it believes in.
Innovation Award 2010
The Schaeffler Group’s FAG Foundation granted the Innovation Award 2010 for outstanding [--break--] dissertations, theses, and school projects on February 24, 2011. In a ceremony in Schweinfurt, Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler and Robert Schullan awarded the prizes to six young engineers. Established in 1983, the FAG Foundation promotes science, research and teaching in the field of scientific engineering and also supports school achievements that promote school development. The Innovation Award ranks among Germany’s leading technology foundation awards.
Rainbow Nation Club Schaeffler South Africa
Schaeffler South Africa launched the “Rainbow Nation Club” project during the Soccer World Cup in 2010 in response to the tensions between the various ethnic groups in South Africa. [--break--] The underlying vision of the association is a unified, multi-ethnic nation co-existing in a climate of mutual respect and tolerance and is based on the fundamental ideas of Nelson Mandela. [--break--] The Rainbow Nation Club is the largest non-profit association in South Africa and aims to bring about positive change in the country’s future.
Schaeffler Iberia supports student team
The team from the University of Navarra (UPNA) has won the best industrial project award in the Motostudent competition. The team was supported by Schaeffler Iberia, which provided both advice and rolling bearings for various applications of the team’s prototype. In the competition, which was sponsored by the Moto Engineering Foundation, student teams developed and built prototypes for a racing motorcycle which then went into action on the Alcañiz racetrack (in Aragón).
The German dual system of training is exemplary worldwide
A local qualification program for trainees was established at the Schaeffler plant in Irapuato, Mexico. “Schaeffler University” is run in cooperation with the German-Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The initiative is based on the German dual training system, a combination of on-the-job training and academic studies that is exemplary worldwide. 120 employees are currently attending Schaeffler University, including 60 trainees and more than 20 junior engineers.