The Schaeffler Group’s Competence Center for Sustainability is available to respond to any suggestions or sustainability-related inquiries. We would be pleased to hear from you and help you however we can.
Pia Theresa Hoffmann
Corporate Sustainability Officer
Frequently Asked Questions About Sustainability at Schaeffler
How does your company define the concept “sustainability”?
To the Schaeffler Group, sustainability means enabling a livable future by fostering the growth of the Schaeffler Group with a long-term view and continuity for the benefit of all stakeholders. This makes sustainability one of the Schaeffler Group’s four central corporate values. The company assumes corporate responsibility for organizing its business activities in a way that is as ecologically and socially responsible as possible – even above and beyond legal regulations.
What are the main focus topics regarding sustainability at Schaeffler?
Schaeffler has defined four fields of action to systematize its sustainability work: “Sustainable Management,” “Customers and Products,” “Environment and Energy,” and “Employees and Society.” Beyond that, the Schaeffler Group worked together with customers, suppliers, and employees in the framework of a materiality analysis to identify 24 sustainability topics that are assigned to these four fields of action and are used to prioritize the sustainability work. From these 24 material topics, four focus topics were developed: responsibility in the supply chain, green products, commitment to climate protection, and diversity. These are the focus of the Sustainability Strategy “Responsibility for tomorrow” and form the short- to long-term priorities for Schaeffler’s Sustainability Strategy.
Is there an internal department dedicated to the topic of sustainability?
The Schaeffler Group’s Sustainability Governance is responsible for the definition, monitoring, and reporting of sustainability-related performance of the Schaeffler Group. A key role is held by the Competence Center for Sustainability, which reports to the Executive Board as a source of inspiration, coordinates groupwide sustainability activities, is in charge of performance and issue monitoring, and is responsible for transparent communication and stakeholder dialog. The Sustainability Office, which consists of around 25 departmental representatives, is responsible for operational implementation. Working together with the Competence Center for Sustainability, it develops measures and projects for implementing the Schaeffler Group’s 24 materiality topics. The Steering Committee for Sustainability is a panel of experts comprised of representatives of relevant departments that meets four times a year. Its tasks include cooperation with the Competence Center for Sustainability on determining the content of sustainability reporting, the development of strategic sustainability objectives and measures, and KPI definitions.
What is the role of the Supervisory Board with regard to the topic of sustainability at Schaeffler?
The Supervisory Board of the Schaeffler Group is at the top of the Sustainability Governance and the Executive Board reports to it on relevant sustainability developments at least once a year. In addition, the Supervisory Board fulfills its duty to verify the nonfinancial reporting according to the requirements of the CSR Directive Implementation Law.
Which management indicators and parameters have been set in the area of sustainability, or which nonfinancial management indicators exist?
In addition to financial performance indicators, management supervises further essential nonfinancial key figures. In the context of standardized internal reports, the following key figures, among others, are determined during the course of a year: quality, number of employees, supplier reliability, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and ratings. Moreover, additional nonfinancial indicators were defined as part of Sustainability Management. For this purpose, a set of key figures was constructed for each field of action of the Sustainability Strategy that are used for the operational management of measures relevant to sustainability. One of the medium-term goals is to define nonfinancial key performance indicators (KPIs), which will become a part of the value-oriented Group management.
To what degree are sustainability aspects considered in supplier management?
The Supplier Code of Conduct (SCoC) of the Schaeffler Group defines the minimum requirements for suppliers pertaining to, for example, the respect for human rights, behavior with regard to the issues of environment, health and safety, as well as the handling of information protected by data privacy legislation. The Supplier Code of Conduct is based on the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the core labor standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Acknowledgment of the SCoC is an integral part of new contractual relationships with suppliers. The Schaeffler Group examines potential new production material suppliers as to their compliance with environmental and social standards before they are integrated into its portfolio of suppliers. New business partners who do not meet the required minimum standards are excluded from the selection process or require a separate approval.
According to which international standards have the production sites of the Schaeffler Group been certified?
All production sites are certified according to international environmental, quality, or occupational safety standards that include DIN ISO 9001:2015, IATF 16949, AS 9100, ISO/TS 22163 (IRIS). In the area of environmental management, they are certified according to ISO 14001:2015, EMAS (EG) 1221/2009, and in the area of occupational safety, according to OHSAS 18001. Moreover, Schaeffler has implemented a globally applicable energy management system according to the ISO 50001:2011 standard. The implementation of the energy management system has almost entirely been completed. The most important plants have already been certified; further certifications are made continuously.
You can find current certificates and environmental declarations online at www.schaeffler.com/sustainability/certificates
Which milestones were reached in 2017 in the area of Sustainability Management?
In 2017, Schaeffler made great progress in its Sustainability Strategy “Responsibility for tomorrow,” about which the Sustainability Report provides more information. These include the groupwide implementation of Schaeffler’s Supplier Code of Conduct, beginning to establish a due diligence process to respect human rights, achieving eight series orders for electric axles and hybrid modules, and formulating a holistic diversity concept for the Schaeffler Group. The Sustainability Roadmap of the Schaeffler Group illustrates a complete list of these nonfinancial goals and measures. Further, Schaeffler was recognized in the business year 2017 with the “Silver Recognition Level” by the sustainability rating platform Eco Vadis for its successful sustainability management, and it also received a bronze “Econ Award” in the category of “Sustainability Reports/CSR Reports.”
Did nonfinancial reporting according to the CSR Directive Implementation Law take place in 2017?
In the first year following the introduction of the CSR Directive Implementation Law, the Schaeffler Group prepared a Combined Separate Nonfinancial Report in addition to a voluntary sustainability report, which it published at a press briefing on annual results on March 7, 2018. This will be available to the public for ten years at https://www.schaeffler.com/sustainability/nfr2017. In the future, Schaeffler plans to implement reporting according to the CSR Directive Implementation Law as part of its comprehensive sustainability reporting.
How was nonfinancial reporting adjusted to meet the EU Directive?
In the first year following the introduction of the CSR Directive Implementation Law, the Schaeffler Group prepared a Combined Separate Nonfinancial Report in addition to a voluntary sustainability report. This report provides information about issues that are to be published in compliance with the CSR Directive Implementation Law. Based on the results of the materiality analysis, which serves as the basis for the voluntary sustainability reporting of the Schaeffler Group, the 24 defined topics were discussed in an in-house workshop of the Sustainability Governance organization with regard to the opportunities and risks and their relevance to the Schaeffler Group. The company’s internal perspective, in terms of their relevance to and impact on business activities, was then explored. On the basis of this, twelve nonfinancial topics were subsequently selected and included in the Group nonfinancial statement for the business year 2017. In accordance with Section 315b (3) of the German Commercial Code (HGB), Schaeffler AG prepared a nonfinancial annual report separate from the annual report, which summarizes the nonfinancial reporting for society and the company in accordance with Section 289b (3), Section 315b (3), and Section 298 (2) of the German Commercial code (HGB). The Combined Separate Nonfinancial Report has been made publicly available on the company’s website. In the future, Schaeffler plans to integrate the legally required nonfinancial reporting into its voluntary sustainability reporting.
How were the topics or issues for nonfinancial reporting determined in accordance with the CSR Directive Implementation Law?
The report contents were selected based on a materiality analysis performed in 2016. Within the framework of a materiality analysis, Schaeffler invited employees, customers, and suppliers to participate in an online survey assessing the relevance of sustainability topics for Schaeffler as a responsible corporation and to formulate sustainability-related expectations for the company. The relevant topics were identified based on the G4 framework for nonfinancial reporting of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), as well as on an industry and situational analysis, and validated by the Sustainability Governance organization of the Schaeffler Group, which is comprised of representatives of most of the business divisions. The GRI G4 framework also served as a guide for preparing the Combined Separate Nonfinancial Report for 2017. Furthermore, definitions and requirements were applied within the company for specific topics. Based on the results of the materiality analysis, the 24 defined topics were discussed in an in-house workshop of the Sustainability Governance organization with regard to the opportunities and risks and their relevance to the Schaeffler Group. The company’s internal perspective, in terms of their relevance to and impact on business activities, was then explored. On the basis of this, twelve nonfinancial topics were subsequently selected and included in the Group nonfinancial statement for the business year 2017.
Was the information in the Combined Separate Nonfinancial Report or in the voluntary Sustainability Report externally verified (for example, by an auditor), and to what degree?
The Combined Separate Nonfinancial Report for the Schaeffler Group and Schaeffler AG for the business year 2017 is reviewed on behalf of the Supervisory Board by the accounting firm KPMG AG in compliance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised): “Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information,” issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) for the purpose of obtaining a limited assurance engagement with respect to the information required by law as per Sections 315b and 315c in conjunction with Sections 289c to 289e HGB. The Sustainability Report 2017 was not subjected to any verification by an independent auditor.