To help achieve this objective, the company has set up a Social Environmental Governance (ESG) panel, which is responsible for developing the strategy and defining, implementing and monitoring the associated measures. The panel is chaired by Dr Eva Boll, who reports directly to the CEO.
“Heidelberg is well aware of its responsibilities regarding the dangers posed by global climate change and affirms the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Agreement,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. “For many years, we have been actively working to gradually minimize harmful emissions and reduce the health and environmental impact of our sites. We have now made a new commitment to ensure that our production and distribution sites around the world are operating on a climate neutral basis by 2030, which is sooner than required by law. “
Initially, the focus is on increasing the energy efficiency of all production and distribution sites and supplying these sites with green energy. This alone will lead to a marked reduction in CO2 emissions. The company will then use emission certificates to offset unavoidable residual emissions.
However, the ESG sustainability strategy in Heidelberg goes far beyond the issue of climate neutrality. The company sees sustainability as a long-term balance between environment, business and social responsibility and focuses on the areas of climate strategy, environmentally friendly products, sustainable management of human resources , compliance and good governance.
“Heidelberg is committed to sustainable human resource management focusing on issues such as new jobs, demographic management, inclusion and diversity, health management and employer branding”, explains Marcus A. Wassenberg, CFO and HR Director at Heidelberg. “After all, a growing number of financial market participants are placing more emphasis on managing sustainability as a key criterion for future investment decisions.”
Human rights issues and environmental considerations must also be embedded throughout the value chain, which includes all suppliers of the Heidelberg Group.
“Heidelberg’s holistic approach to its sustainability management activities is not just an expression of our sense of responsibility. Thanks to the decarbonisation solutions which are an integral part of this approach, it also opens up new growth opportunities for the company in a whole series of sectors, even outside our core business ”, underlines Hundsdörfer.
The topic of sustainability has been at the heart of Heidelberg’s corporate strategy since the early 1990s.
The company has had an accredited environmental management system since 1996 and has been ISO 14001 certified since 2001. Another important step is to optimize the efficiency of the particularly energy-intensive foundry at the Amstetten site. For example, Heidelberg has been able to demonstrably improve the energy efficiency of this site by more than 20% since 2012.
The Wiesloch-Walldorf site has had an energy concept for many years. Steps such as the construction of two cogeneration plants and the current measures to reduce the surface area also have a beneficial impact on the site’s energy balance.