Material and resource management
- Current targets and measures improved Schaeffler’s CDP water rating to “A-”
- For the first time the summarized waste report considers all production sites
Bestandteil des GNFK StartThe Schaeffler locations use water for a variety of purposes, including sanitation and hygiene, cooling, and industrial applications. The issue of water was integrated into Schaeffler’s risk management in order to respond to the ever-progressing scarcity of global water resources and potential water shortages in certain regions. The Schaeffler Group is committed to reducing its freshwater withdrawal by 20 % until 2030 compared to 2019.
In addition, water dependence is systematically being reduced in an effort to minimize water-related production risks. The manufacturing sites that are located in areas with severe or extremely severe water shortages were identified based on the results of the World Research Institute (WRI). A variety of projects were planned for these sites to reduce water withdrawal and recycle withdrawn water using suitable circulatory systems and treatment plants such as water evaporation systems.
Current CDP water rating at: CDP water rating
Consumption of freshwater1) in thousand m3
1) No seawater or produced water is withdrawn. No water is wasted in the production of Schaeffler products, as water withdrawn is either reused internally or directed to third parties after treatment.
5,632 thousand m3 of freshwater was withdrawn in the reporting year (prior year: 5,034 thousand m3), which represents an increase of around 12 %1) due in part to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting increase in production capacity compared to 2020.
All locations treat industrial wastewater with the corresponding system technology in such a way that it can be reused. Where this is not possible, wastewater is treated in accordance with applicable guidelines and discharged into the public sewer system. A variety of technologies are used for this purpose, including evaporation technology, membrane filtration, ion exchange systems, and chemical and physical treatment processes.
All locations with large volumes of wastewater – generally the result of electroplating or needle production – are equipped with systems that enable nearly 100 % recycling. For example, the Indian plants treat and reuse all their wastewater internally.
Electroplating in Taicang, China
Surface coatings are applied to Schaeffler products to meet the increasing quality demands of customers in terms of corrosion prevention. However, electroplating in particular requires large volumes of water. The vacuum evaporators with downstream membrane technology installed in Taicang can recycle nearly 100 % of industrial wastewater, allowing the water to be reused.
Locations that pose a risk to natural bodies of water must be operated in a way that there is no fear of contamination of water or soil. However, if there is a leakage of fluids or unintended contamination, these are to be rectified immediately. Depending on the scope of damage, investigation measures are implemented under expert supervision and in coordination with local authorities. Additional measures are then defined based on the assessment results.Bestandteil des GNFK Ende
Bestandteil des GNFK StartThe Schaeffler Group’s products are primarily made from steel and only contain trace amounts of harmful substances. At the end of their service life, they can be melted down into crude steel without any issues.
At all locations that generate more than 25 tons of non-hazardous waste or two tons of hazardous waste per year, a waste representative must be appointed regardless of legal provisions. In addition to monitoring waste generation, collection and disposal, this representative’s responsibilities include the development and introduction of low-waste and eco-friendly processes. Providers of disposal services are assessed in accordance with the requirements of the EnEHS manual. The type and frequency of assessment are dependent on whether the service provider disposes of hazardous waste, scrap, or non-hazardous waste.
locations have achieved status of 100 % recycling
The main priority, however, should be to avoid waste wherever possible. If waste cannot be further reduced, it should be sent for approved recycling. Seven locations have so far achieved 100 % recycling status by sending waste to be recycled in accordance with applicable law.
Amount of waste generated by the Schaeffler Group in thousand tons1)
1) Excluding metals and scrap.
Another goal is to increase the recycling rate to such a degree that no more production-related waste needs to be disposed of. Each production site works with the same waste database for global reporting and to document nearly all waste operations. As of 2021, the data for all locations are reported in consolidated form.Bestandteil des GNFK Ende
1) No seawater or produced water is withdrawn. No water is wasted in the production of Schaeffler products, as water withdrawn is either reused internally or directed to third parties after treatment. The 2020 value has been adjusted.