Materiality and stakeholder management

  • The materiality analysis was updated and new material topics were identified
  • Sustainability ratings and rankings have been improved

Identifying material topics

Bestandteil des GNFK StartA comprehensive analysis identified 13 material topics for the Schaeffler Group in the year under review. In accordance with Sections 289c and 315c of the German Commercial Code (HGB), these are relevant both for understanding the core business, business results, and the company situation as well as for understanding the impact on non-financial aspects.

The materiality analysis included a global survey of more than 1,000 stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and media representatives. The results provided important insight for the company’s sustainability strategy, sustainability management, and sustainability performance and were subsequently discussed with relevant stakeholder groups in internal workshops. The Sustainability Committee adopted the 13 defined topics in September 2021. “Corporate Responsibility” is ultimately not a material topic but is reported on additionally. Newly adopted topics are “attractive workplace” and “long-term profitable growth”. The latter is defined as being “in harmony with social and environmental aspects for economic success over the long term” and can thus be found throughout the entire report.

The stakeholder survey has also revealed that the Schaeffler Group is increasingly acknowledged for its innovative mobility solutions. At the same time, more and more stakeholders are demanding green products, ambitious sustainability targets, and further digitalization of processes. The drivers of sustainability in the Schaeffler Group most often mentioned were innovation, management, and processes.Bestandteil des GNFK Ende

In addition to customers, employees, and suppliers, the most important stakeholders also include investors, analysts, associations, universities, and research institutes. Stakeholders are not only incorporated into the process of defining material topics, but also encouraged to share information. Formats such as customer workshops, industry dialogues, and professional exchange with universities were used in the year under review.

More information on material topics in the GNFK index 

Material topics of stakeholder analysis

Initiatives and associations

To establish a shared understanding of sustainability, the Schaeffler Group is involved in a variety of initiatives and associations that promote standardized measures and processes for effective sustainability management.

The Schaeffler Group is also participating in multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the industry dialogue of the German Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (). As a member of the Value Balancing Alliance (), the Schaeffler Group is also working with other companies to develop a consistent standard for measurement and monetary assessment of the environmental and social impacts of companies.

List of memberships of relevant initiatives and associations: Selected memberships of the Schaeffler Group (34kB)

Ratings and rankings

Bestandteil des GNFK StartThe Schaeffler Group further improved its sustainability ratings and rankings in the reporting year through consistent implementation of the Sustainability Roadmap.

With 75 out of 100 points, the Schaeffler Group achieved Platinum status in the EcoVadis rating (2020: Silver status with 65 points), thus positioning the company in the top 1 % of the peer group (Manufacture of parts and accessories for motor vehicles). Material improvements were made in the areas of labor and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement. In the climate rating, an “A-” was achieved again in the year under review. The measures that contributed to this rating include the increased percentage of green energy in the electricity mix, additional energy efficiency measures, and disclosure of the reductions in CO2 emissions associated with each measure implemented. The company also managed to improve its CDP water rating to “A-” (prior year: “B-”). This is, among other things, due to the global water risk analysis as part of the Schaeffler Group’s risk management and its goal to reduce the use of freshwater by 20 % until 2030. Corresponding measures to decrease the consumption of freshwater were also implemented, and a monthly reporting to the Members of the Executive Board established.Bestandteil des GNFK Ende



Rating scale


Current rating


Previous rating



“A” to “D-”, whereby “A” is the best grade and “D-” the worst.







“A” to “D-”, whereby “A” is the best grade and “D-” the worst.






0 to 100 points, whereby 0 is the worst value and 100 the best.


75/100 points
platinum status


65/100 points
silver status



Five risk categories: Negligible (0–10),
low (10–20),
medium (20–30),
high (30–40),
severe (40+).


“negligible risk” – core framework


“low risk”
– compre­hensive framework


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Abbreviation of "National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights": initiative of the German federal government to respect human rights in global supply chains, based on the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.
Abbreviation of "Value Balancing Alliance": association of multinational companies that aim to create ways to measure and compare the value of companies' contributions to society, the economy and the environment.
Abbreviation of (formerly) "Carbon Disclosure Project": non-profit organization that evaluates and provides corporate information for investors, companies and governments in the areas of climate, water and forests.