Understanding of sustainability
Guided by the company values, Schaeffler creates the conditions for long-term, profitable growth. In terms of the Schaeffler Group’s understanding of sustainability, this means being economically successful while at the same time assuming responsibility for the environment and society. The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) form the foundation of the company’s sustainability guidelines in particular.
Sustainable Development Goals
The Schaeffler Group contributes to the realization of the following SDGs, for example, with a variety of activities and product solutions:
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Occupational health management (OHM) and occupational safety are part of the Schaeffler Group's global HR strategy. The company combines health-promoting measures for individual employees into target-group-specific programs and training offers. In order to reduce the number of strenuous workstations and create suitable working conditions for employees with physical limitations, Schaeffler is launching a database that highlights ergonomic strains in the workplace as part of the “Factory for Tomorrow” initiative.For more information, see Occupational health and safety
Goal 4: Quality Education
Around 3.5% of Schaeffler's employees are being trained in one of 20 specific apprenticeship trades. The “dual education” that is common in Germany is also being performed in other countries with great success. In the USA, the company received the “Excellence in Practice Award 2018” from the Association for Talent Development. The company also offers dual study programs, trainee contracts, as well as training and mentoring programs. In addition, Schaeffler has created target group-specific qualification offers for all employees. To coordinate these offers, the company operates a learning management system that now reaches over 70% of all employees. Schaeffler also supports executives in their understanding of roles through innovative upward feedback and “leadership reflections”.
The Schaeffler Group is also committed to education and science in its social environment. It is a supporting member of the initiative “Knowledge Factory – Companies for Germany”, supports aspiring engineers with a program for race car designers, and donates modern technology for research purposes. Science, research, and teaching related to bearing technology are specifically promoted through the Schaeffler FAG Foundation.For more information, see Employee advancement and development as well as Corporate citizenship
Goal 5: Gender Equality
With its diversity concept, Schaeffler is setting the foundation for gender equality. By mid-2022, the proportion of female executives at the first management level below the Executive Board is to reach 8% and 12% at the second level. In 2018, Schaeffler began to expand its mentoring program. The goal is to identify female employees with high potential and to recruit them for the mentoring program. In addition, top female performers are particularly highlighted in succession planning. To improve the career opportunities of girls and young women, the company is also committed to their education in STEM subjects. Schaeffler organizes workshops and opens its doors to young women interested in technology.For more information, see Diversity
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Schaeffler sees investments in the development of eco-friendly “organic flow” batteries as one of the most important building blocks for a future climate-friendly energy supply. Demand is high because the wind and sun do not adjust according to electricity consumption. The storage helps to relieve grids and to keep excess energy on hand in times of increased demand. The Schaeffler Group is also focusing on improved and completely new products for wind turbines. The focus is on friction and wear-resistant bearings as well as condition monitoring and maintenance control via cloud-based software.For more information, see Sustainable products and technologies
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Schaeffler does not just deliver high-quality, energy-efficient, and resource-efficient mobility solutions for the automotive and industrial sectors. The company also wants to responsibly shape supply chains in terms of social and environmental issues such as working conditions, fair wages, freedom of association, occupational safety, and environmental protection. With its Supplier Code of Conduct, the company obligates its suppliers to comply with the relevant standards. For this purpose, Schaeffler has formulated minimum requirements based on the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the core labor standards of the International Labour Organization. New suppliers must acknowledge these requirements and are evaluated via on-site assessments for selected criteria. Since 2018, there has also been an evaluation procedure for existing suppliers. In addition, the company is involved in the “Sustainability in the Supply Chain” working group of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). In 2018, the members of the association developed an industry-specific audit log for sustainability-related supplier inspections.
In its Group-wide Code of Conduct and the Schaeffler Group's Supplier Code of Conduct, Schaeffler explicitly requires compliance with human rights. Violations can be reported via a whistleblowing system.For more information, see Responsibility in the supply chain and due diligence in respecting human rights
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Schaeffler contributes to resilient infrastructure and sustainable industrialization with predictive maintenance and service solutions for industrial equipment and transportation. In rail traffic, this predictive maintenance technology is used in conjunction with a partner company to monitor entire drive systems via the cloud. This allows maintenance levels to be optimized, increases running time, and reduces resource consumption. This technology is also used in other industrial sectors, for example for machine tools or wind turbines and for the Schaeffler Group's own manufacturing processes.
Schaeffler also works with other companies across the industry to improve the market and production conditions for future, more sustainable products. For this reason, Schaeffler is involved in associations such as econsencse.For more information, see Sustainable products and technologies
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
An increasing number of large cities require a fundamental change in individual mobility. Schaeffler is showing the way with its Mover vehicle: The electric vehicle, which is powered by four- wheel hub motors, forms the basis for various utilization concepts from cars to robo-taxis to autonomous driving cargo solutions. Key technologies include “Steer-by-Wire” and “Space Drive.” Originally designed for people with disabilities, they eliminate the need for the steering wheel and the mechanical connection of the steering column. In 2018, Schaeffler also presented the Bio-Hybrid, a four-wheeled vehicle powered by pedals and an electric motor, as a cargo variant for the first time.For more information, see Sustainable products and technologies
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Schaeffler works on a variety of technologies that make cars cleaner and more economical. The electrification of the powertrain is promoted consistently. From micro, mild, or plug-in hybrids to pure electric vehicles, Schaeffler develops tailor-made solutions for the engine, transmission, and electric drive subsystems. The activities were combined in 2018 in the new E-Mobility business division. Schaeffler gained additional skills for the production of electric drive units with the acquisition of Elmotec Statomat. In 2018, production started for an integrated complete system consisting of an electric axle and parking brake with software for optimum performance in the overall system. Schaeffler is now also offering an automated manual transmission with two electric and six mechanical gears. This allows the electric motor to unleash driving force even at high speeds.
Schaeffler also plans to combine and further intensify its operational sustainability activities. For this purpose, the new “Sustainable Factory” focus area was defined in August 2018. The main topics are energy production and consumption reduction, resource efficiency, and production systems as well as employee mobility and material transport.For more information, see Sustainable products and technologies and Material and resource management
Goal 13: Climate Action
Schaeffler develops numerous energy-saving and therefore climate-friendly products and components for the automotive and industrial sectors. The focus is on electrifying drives, increasing the efficiency of conventional drives, and reducing friction in drives and bearings.
In order to reduce the CO2 emissions of its own production, Schaeffler uses LED lighting for production lines, business premises, and open spaces, operates modern cogeneration plants that combine power, heating, and cooling, and uses efficient cooling technology and buffer storage for waste heat and cooling in administrative, workshop, and storage areas. The first pilot sites that pooled measures like these were set up in 2018. In the medium term, Schaeffler wants to make its locations climate neutral in this manner. Furthermore, the company combined its logistics into just a few highly efficient distribution centers and introduced a Group-wide “transport management system” (TMS). This improves the utilization of transport and thus also saves energy and CO2 emissions. Employees are involved in climate protection through idea management, through energy-saving tips on machines, and through additional training and special events.For more information, see Sustainable products and technologies, Logistics, and Energy management and emissions
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals
The company communicates closely with its key customers with its Global Key Account Management (GKAM). At the same time, the customer's requirements for the sustainability aspects of the products are also addressed.
An important quality and sustainability criterion is product safety. To further improve this, Schaeffler hosted the third product safety day in 2018. At the event, professionals and executives from the automotive industry discussed safety issues with NGOs, authorities, and government organizations. With further dialog events such as the “Premium Supplier Days” event and investor roadshows in the area of ESG (environment, social, government), Schaeffler cemented its partnerships in terms of sustainability.For more information, see Customer relationships, Quality management, and Materiality and stakeholder management
The Schaeffler Group is committed to the principles of the Global Compact and is guided by the requirements and principles of the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights, the UK Modern Slavery Act, the German Sustainability Strategy and the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Codes of conduct
These frameworks are the basis for two Schaeffler Group codes of conduct.
- The Schaeffler Group Code of Conduct is available at www.schaeffler.com/code-of-conduct.
- The Schaeffler Group Supplier Code of Conduct is available at www.schaeffler.com/supplier-code-of-conduct.
The codes contain binding ethical and legal principles for all company employees or for all suppliers and their business partners.