Once again KHS has satisfied its desire to be an innovator and pioneer. In its first sustainability report published recently the company documents both its vision and concrete approaches and activities for more social, ecological and economic sustainability. In doing so KHS has reacted to the demands of a society which has grown critical: one which asks more questions and wants more transparent information from companies.
“We welcome this development and are happy to meet this challenge,” explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer, CEO of KHS GmbH, in his foreword to the sustainability report. “As an international company we assume responsibility for people and their natural surroundings and consider it our duty to practice environmental friendliness and social commitment in all aspects of our work.” It’s not just the company’s global action radius which demands sustainable activity and economy, however. The aim is also to live up to KHS’ reputation as one of the leaders in innovation and service within its branch of industry – and this is only possible through long-term development.
With clear examples and concrete figures, the various sections of the report show what KHS has already achieved in the fields of social commitment, ecological awareness and economic responsibility and where further measures are planned for the future.
“I have to use my resources well to successfully reach my target.”
“If you want to be successful in the long term, you need passion, discipline, stamina and the right team!”
“Solidarity is of the utmost importance-both in your private and working life. For you can only achieve a common goal with a strong team, in which each person can unfold his or her personal potential.”
Socially committed, ecologically aware
The section on social commitment chiefly focuses on the company’s employees and their satisfaction. One of the topics the sustainability report deals with in this respect is personnel development. In the knowledge that well-trained, motivated employees are of inestimable value to KHS, the company offers opportunities for targeted further development through extensive basic and further training and promotion programs. This enables each and every employee to unfold his or her potential and increases satisfaction in the long term. The specialist, methodical yet personal courses offered are aimed at all personnel – from beginners to experts to top managers – and cover topics such as IT and engineering through sales and service to language courses, methodology and leadership. In 2013 and 2014 a total of 1,315 employees took part in 256 courses of further training in house and 396 personnel development measures in Germany alone. Other subjects pertinent to social commitment the report provides detailed information on are occupational safety, health and compliance. The document also tackles aspects such as the work/life balance. In the war for talent, the ever-fiercer fight among companies for qualified expert workers, what are known as the ‘soft’ factors are increasingly becoming top decision factors among job candidates. Convincing general working conditions are thus a major success factor in personnel marketing, as is the reliable communication thereof.
“The protection of the environment and sustainability when using natural resources are among our most important company objectives,” states the sustainability report at the beginning of the chapter on ecological awareness. As an international industrial company KHS considers it its duty to practice environmental friendliness and to continuously monitor and improve its processes to this end. The sustainable use of natural resources is of major relevance here. Activities in this area thus center on reducing energy consumption; the figures for the last three years very obviously and convincingly prove that the company’s countless internal and external measures have already had a positive effect.
KHS has set itself a number of further ambitious targets, however, with the sustainability report outlining its plans up until 2020. In summary these show that the company aims to significantly further reduce its use of energy in the future, too, and that it is already well on the way to doing so. It’s imperative that personnel work with the company on this project. KHS considers the protection of the environment to be teamwork which needs to become part of everyday life for all members of the KHS family. In order to support this, the company began staging its own sustainability days in the fall of 2014, where an entertaining, informative and diverse range of activities is presented. At these events personnel are provided with various information and advice on energy and the environment but also on safety at work and health. At its sustainability days KHS permanently sensitizes its employees to the issues of sustainability and accentuates the significance these hold for both the company and people’s private lives.
KHS sees the third area of its sustainability strategy to lie in economic responsibility. As a technological leader the focus here is on innovations in particular. As a partner to its customers KHS develops viable, future-proof system solutions which are especially efficient and powerful based on diverse ecological and economic criteria. Employees are actively involved in this process and can submit their own suggestions and ideas as part of an improvement management scheme. This enables improvements to the ergonomics, decreases in noise levels or reductions in the amount of chemicals and media used to be made at the product development stage, for example.
Economic responsibility at KHS also involves submitting its developments to independent institutes for certification, such as TÜV SÜD, which has recently certified various developments according to the EME standard. These include the gas-powered eco shrink tunnel for the environmentally-friendly processing of various shrink packs and the AirbackPlus system for the intelligent recycling of used blow air in the PET stretch blow molding process, for instance. The report lists KHS’ most recent success as the seal it received again for the entire Innofill Glass series in recognition for its especially energy-efficient system technology. The people at KHS are also proud of a number of other awards; for the ClearLine machine design introduced in 2013 KHS won the coveted German Design Award in 2014, presented by the German Design Council; it has also received the red dot design award for the HMI machine operating system developed in conjunction with the Fraunhofer IAO Institute.
Incidentally, saving resources also applies to the sustainability report itself. In a show of ecological awareness the report can only be downloaded as a PDF – and is not issued in print on paper. In the future the KHS sustainability report will be published every two years and contain information for the interested public on its current key figures, measures, milestones and developments.