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Schaeffler publishes Sustainability Report
Realignment of sustainability strategy
First-time incorporation of sustainability targets into variable component of executive pay
Major improvement in sustainability rating
Sustainability has been fundamental to Schaeffler’s values and activities for many years. As a global technology company, the Schaeffler Group is proactively helping to shape the far-reaching transition currently taking place in the mobility and energy sector. “Over the past year, customer, investor and public expectations of sustainability management in business have changed dramatically and crystallized around climate change,” said Schaeffler AG Chief Executive Officer Klaus Rosenfeld. “We have responded to this by adapting and refining our sustainability management practices.”
Realignment of sustainability strategy
As a starting point for the realignment of its sustainability management practices, Schaeffler surveyed and analyzed the sustainability expectations of all its key stakeholders worldwide. It also undertook an open-minded and self-critical rethink of its own conceptions and objectives around sustainability management, making changes and refinements wherever necessary in the interests of a more sustainable future. These changes and refinements include the establishment of a Sustainability Committee made up of all members of the Executive Board and relevant members of the senior management.
One of the most important decisions made by the new Sustainability Committee was to realign the company’s sustainability targets. “We can do a lot more, and we fully intend to,” Rosenfeld said. “That also means that we haven’t yet got to where we want to be.” As part of this realignment, Schaeffler will switch to 100 percent renewable electricity and implement numerous measures to improve its energy efficiency annually in the order of 100 gigawatt-hours until 2024. The company also aims to reduce the number of accidents resulting in lost work time by an average of 10 percent per year until 2024.
Sustainability targets incorporated into variable component of remuneration
Schaeffler’s commitment to sustainability is also evident from its decision to incorporate sustainability targets into the variable component of the remuneration paid to its top management. “This is an important step towards embedding sustainability more deeply in our corporate culture and incentivizing our executives to make sustainability a core part of their work as leaders,” said Corinna Schittenhelm, the Chief Human Resources Officer and responsible for sustainability at Schaeffler AG.
The measures taken are already starting to have an effect, as the company’s improved sustainability rating shows. “We achieved a major improvement in our CDP climate rating, moving up from a D to a B- for 2019,” Corinna Schittenhelm said. “For 2021, we have set ourselves the target of achieving an A- rating.”
Focus on future-friendly technology
To achieve these targets, Schaeffler is working closely with its partners to leverage opportunities for new solutions, such as climate-friendly energy generation, intelligent repair solutions and new mobility concepts. In doing so, Schaeffler is open to all future-enhancing technologies, including alternative drive systems and renewable energy “We will be starting volume production of electric motors worldwide in 2021,” said Klaus Rosenfeld. “We will also be doing more to harness the potential of fuel cells, and will actively help to drive the energy transition with a range of technologies, including long-life wind turbine systems.”
The Schaeffler Group’s commitment to sustainability also translates into new approaches to financing. For example, it has established a Green Finance Framework for the financing of investments that support environmental objectives.
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