• Work on an overarching strategy1) continued in the reporting year
  • A total of eight locations have achieved the status of 100% recycling thus far

Strategic framework

Part of NFBThe Schaeffler Group’s overarching goal is to optimize the use of resources beginning in the product’s design phase, and thus exploit the potential of material efficiency, reduce the use of critical and rare raw materials, and ensure product repairability. There is also a particular focus on efficient and repeated use of resources in the production process. The fundamental idea is to use raw materials, components, and products repeatedly and for as long as possible, which is essential to achieving targets such as .

It was on this basis that the circular economy strategy was further developed for the Schaeffler Group in 2022, with progress reported to the Executive Board on a regular basis. The strategy focuses in particular on five of the ten Rs: 

Circular economy: The 10-R-Strategy1)

1) Source: Fraunhofer Institute (2022).

Part of NFBLife cycle analyses are an important element when it comes to developing measures particularly for products – and can be used, for example, to determine the influence that recycling activities or secondary materials have on the carbon footprint. Part of NFB Ende

Material compliance

Part of NFBThe substances used in the Schaeffler Group’s products have a key impact on their recyclability. To implement its circular economy strategy, the Schaeffler Group has set agoal of observing all relevant guidelines for the materials and substances used and taking these into account when selecting suppliers. Therefore, the Material Compliance department works closely with the Purchasing department responsible for production materials. Legislation, public standards, and customer requirements relevant to the Schaeffler Group are regularly assessed, and criteria are developed for consideration when selecting suppliers. The material requirements also apply to chemical substances, purchased parts, and packaging and materials in manufacturing processes and products.

Relevant regulations include “Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals” (REACH), “Restriction of Certain Hazardous Substances” (RoHS), the EU Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV), the EU Directive on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP), the chemical regulation, and the Dodd–Frank Act.

Important criteria and relevant regulatory frameworks for both supplier selection and orders are outlined in the Schaeffler Group’s “Prohibited and declarable substances” standard, which was updated in mid-2022 and provided to suppliers. In addition to internal training courses on purchasing, suppliers will also find a range of training courses accessible on the Schaeffler Group website.

Even if the use of hazardous substances is not legally prohibited, the Schaeffler Group aims to manufacture more eco-friendly products, as formulated, for example, in the EHS policy. At present, responsibility for material composition is assumed on a project level. The company provides information on “sunset dates”2) for substances and systems to help with material declaration.

The Schaeffler Group primarily uses the automotive industry’s International Material Data System (IMDS) for declaring substances. This system is required for labeling the substances in purchased products and their materials. In addition, the SCIP3) database of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has been used to declare substances of very high concern (SVHC) since 2021.Part of NFB Ende

Waste management

Part of NFBThe 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.

Amount of waste generated by the Schaeffler Group in thousand tons1)








Waste generation, total







Of which non-hazardous







Of which hazardous







Of which waste for recycling







Of which waste for disposal








Excluding metals and scrap. Figures first reported in 2021. The 2021 values have been adjusted.

The Schaeffler Group aims to avoid waste wherever possible. If waste cannot be further reduced, it should be sent for approved recycling. A total of eight locations have achieved 100% recycling status so far by sending waste to be recycled in accordance with applicable law. The Schaeffler Group’s 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. Categorization for hazardous and non-hazardous waste, for example, corresponds to the definitions prescribed by the countries in question.Part of NFB Ende

1) The circular economy strategy addresses the issue of the circular economy.

2) The date from which a chemical substance is no longer permitted or only permitted in limited quantities.

3) The electronic database of the European Chemicals Agency, which contains information about substances of very high concern in components or complex objects such as products.

Circular Economy
A model which involves efficient use of materials and sharing, using, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing products as long as possible. This way, the life cycle of products is extended.
Climate neutrality
The Schaeffler Group has set itself the goal of reducing the climate impact of its corporate activities to an absolute minimum. Specific emission reduction targets have been set for this purpose: The production of the Schaeffler Group (Scope 1 and 2 market-based) will be climate-neutral by 2030, and by 2040, so will the remaining supply chain (Scope 3 upstream, categories 3.1, 3.3, 3.4). In both cases, this means an emission reduction within the respective scope of at least 90 % (base year 2019). Unavoidable emissions are offset by means of compensation measures. The extent and nature of these measures are to be determined in more detail by the respective target years (2030 and 2040).
Circular Economy
A model which involves efficient use of materials and sharing, using, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing products as long as possible. This way, the life cycle of products is extended.