Climate Action Plan

The Schaeffler Group established the Climate Action Plan in 2022 to achieve its climate targets and systematically rolled it out throughout the company in 2023. The plan defines measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and forms the framework for developing and implementing the necessary climate action measures.

The Climate Action Plan is based on four important pillars.

Green Purchasing: Purchasing low-emission materials and services plays a key role in achieving the sustainability targets

Green Production: The process of decarbonizing production is primarily based on using renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency, and retrofitting systems for a shift to climate-neutral production.

Green Products: Motion is the core element of all Schaeffler products. The motion technology company boasts a unique level of expertise in innovative motion technology, from vehicles and machines to wind turbines.

People: Schaeffler employees and their innovative ideas are essential to making production, products, and everyday operations more sustainable.

Green Purchasing: Green steel and other innovative approaches to purchasing

For Schaeffler, purchasing low-emission materials and services plays a key role in achieving the sustainability targets. Due to the Schaeffler Group’s present and future product portfolio, steel, aluminum, plastic, electronic components, and logistics play a decisive role in decarbonization in particular. The company plans to actively discuss options with suppliers such as purchasing green long and flat steel.

In 2023, the Schaeffler Group further intensified its collaboration with the Swedish start-up H2 Green Steel and increased its equity interest in the company to EUR 100 million. As of 2026, the Schaeffler Group will purchase CO2e-reduced steel, which is produced using hydrogen, from H2 Green Steel. Compared with steel conventionally produced in the blast furnace, the green steel purchased from H2 Green Steel releases up to 95 percent less CO2e emissions. 


But even beyond steel, the Schaeffler Group is working actively with its suppliers to find new and innovative approaches to purchasing that will help reduce environmental impact and combat climate change. For example, Schaeffler India invited its suppliers to attend an “Innovation Hour” and introduce technologies that focus on sustainability, optimized performance, and efficiency in 2023. Four areas of focus were addressed: Green Materials, Green Energy, Green production, and Green Data. Particularly when it comes to sustainability, exchange across multiple levels of the value chain is extremely important for identifying innovations and learning from one another.

Protecting human rights in the supply chain was yet another important topic associated with suppliers in 2023. For the Schaeffler Group, human rights are an indispensable part of its corporate responsibility and corporate culture and have only grown in importance as a result of the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG), which took effect in 2023. The company expects its business partners to observe Human Rights Due Diligence as well. In 2023, the company also published guidelines and a declaration of principles on respecting human rights. The Schaeffler Group Supplier Code of Conduct forms the foundation for responsible collaboration with suppliers.

“Our partnership with H2 Green Steel brings us that much closer to our goal of climate-neutral operations. We’re proud to be the world’s first tier 1 supplier to work with H2 Green Steel as a strategic technology partner. With this investment, the Schaeffler Group is reinforcing its network in this key material sector over the long term”.
Andreas Schick,  Chief Operating Officer at Schaeffler
“There’s a lot for Schaeffler to discover on this journey as well. It’s always important to look at the big picture and build on existing knowledge together with suppliers to identify innovative solutions”.
Nina Starklauf,  Manager Purchasing Strategy & Strategic Supplier Management Sustainability Asia Pacific at Schaeffler
“Our risk analysis allows us to speak directly to suppliers, which means we go beyond what’s legally required. The positive and constructive responses are a form of validation for us and motivate us to further intensify exchange in the future”.
Achim Döll,  Head of Supplier Sustainability Social Governance at Schaeffler
approx. 24 %

reduction of production-related CO2e emissions compared to the previous year through continuous energy efficiency improvements and the increased share of renewable energy.

Green Production: Renewable energy and resource efficiency

The production decarbonization process in the Schaeffler Group will primarily entail using renewable energy sources, increasing energy efficiency, and retrofitting systems for a shift to climate-neutral production. Schaeffler locations are therefore expanding in-house generation of renewable energy as a complement to the existing energy efficiency program.

Since 2023, 100 percent of all electricity purchased at most of the plants in the Schaeffler Group’s Europe, Greater China, and Americas regions comes from renewable sources. The plants in the Asia/Pacific region will follow in 2024. Photovoltaic systems with a capacity of 8.0 MWp were installed in 2023, thus increasing the total PV system capacity in the Schaeffler Group to 20.2 MWp.


The Schaeffler Group has been bundling all relevant resources in a group-wide energy efficiency program since 2020 to increase energy efficiency. The aim is to identify and implement measures between 2020 and 2024 that will result in annual energy savings of 100 gigawatt hours (GWh) as of 2025. A total of 380 energy efficiency measures were implemented and externally verified between 2020 and 2023 and will lead to cumulative annual savings of at least 97.1 GWh as of 2024.

The Schaeffler Group has also set itself the goal of reducing its use of freshwater by 20 percent by 2030 compared to 2019. All locations with industrial wastewater and large volumes of wastewater are equipped with a variety of systems that enable a range of processes from treatment to nearly complete recycling. A total of 5,035 thousand m³ (previous year: 5,501 thousand m³) of freshwater was used in 2023, which represents a drop of around 9 percent. A total of 27 water-saving measures were implemented and externally verified in 2023 and will lead to annual savings of at least 265 thousand m³ as of 2024. 

Sustainable production also means using resources optimally. For example, the Schaeffler Group can combine the punching process for different components into a single process thanks to a newly developed progressive punching concept, which manufactures rivets using the raw material produced from the scrap of flange production. Flanges and rivets were originally produced from different raw materials. The existing material can now be better utilized, as a portion of what was initially disposed of as scrap is now used to produce a new product.

“The demand for electricity at Schaeffler will continue to increase in the coming years. By generating renewable energy ourselves, we are consolidating our production network over the long term and supporting the company’s goal of achieving climate-neutral production by 2030”.
Frank Bauer,  Energy Management Engineer Governance
“The Greater China region plays an important role in generating renewable energy ourselves at Schaeffler. Photovoltaic systems have been in operation at the plants in Anting, Taicang, Suzhou, and Nanjing since 2021”.
Huang Bin,  Sustainable Production Greater China
“We streamlined our process in 2023 and were able to offer the plants additional advice and help them identify and develop energy efficiency measures. This allows us to implement projects faster”.
Johannes Kehm,  Energy Management Engineer
“For manufacturing sites located in areas with severe water scarcity, a variety of projects were launched to reduce water usage and recycle withdrawn water using suitable circulatory systems and treatment plants”.
Frank Wittauer,  Project Manager Sustainable Sites
“The Nanjing plant optimized the wastewater treatment process at its needle roller production facility. Even sanitary wastewater is reused for production”.
Li Dan,  Facility Supervisor of Schaeffler’s Nanjing Plant
“The Taicang plant has received ‘Zero Solid Waste to Landfill’ certification. Here, all of the scrap generated through the punching process is reused, which reduces the amount of raw material required for coils”.
Cao Yutao,  EHS Manager
“We’ve developed a new punching tool that punches both components of the end product, a clutch disk, in the same process and in the same press with the same raw material. The new tool has allowed us to reduce costs, the number of rejects, the use of raw materials, and the electricity consumption, while increasing machine capacity”.
Jose Paulo de Oliveira,  Engineering Automotive – R&D South America
approx. 90 %

of CO2 emissions can be avoided through remanufacturing of bearings compared to new production.

Green Products: Motion – innovative and sustainable

Motion is the core element of all Schaeffler products. The Motion Technology Company boasts a unique level of expertise in innovative motion technology, from vehicles and machines to wind turbines. With its innovative strength and technological expertise, the Schaeffler Group can offer its customers sustainable, pioneering technologies for a variety of applications. 

Sustainable products don’t only benefit people they are also better for the environment, as they release fewer carbon emissions during production, transport, use, or disposal. The Schaeffler Group is therefore developing a comprehensive concept for automated and holistic calculation of carbon footprints that focuses on the product’s entire life cycle. By adapting project design and the materials selected and creating new processes, the Schaeffler Group continues to improve its CO2 values in product development. 

“When developing products, Schaeffler focuses on reducing the carbon footprint compared to our products already available on the market”.
Dr. Johannes Möller,  Professional Sustainable Products & Advanced Material at Schaeffler

Here are a few examples of sustainable products from 2023:

  • By further developing different product and process innovations, the Schaeffler Group was able to further improve the efficiency of electric motors. Process innovations such as annealing of stator laminations and advanced continuous hairpin winding make it possible to boost the efficiency of current radial flux machines even further. Furthermore, Schaeffler is creating a concept for a separately excited synchronous machine that reduces the ohmic losses in the lower speed range through slot cooling in the rotor is arising.
  • The Schaeffler Group is continuously working to develop solutions for optimizing friction and extending the service life of rolling bearings, which also includes the remanufacturing of rolling bearings. As a result, remanufacturing bearings rather than producing new ones can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent as well as save time and money.
  • With TriFinity, the Schaeffler Group offers a triple-row wheel bearing for electric cars that not only transfers greater axle loads, but also offers a much longer service life compared to a standard double-row ball bearing. 

Many of the Green products from all three divisions – Automotive Technologies, Automotive Aftermarket, and Industrial – benefit the Schaeffler Group’s Circular Economy strategy directly. The fundamental idea is to use raw materials, components, and products repeatedly and for as long as possible, as important targets such as Climate Neutrality can only be achieved in combination with this guiding principle. For example, the Schaeffler Group’s circular economy focuses on reusing products and materials.

“For us, the principle of the circular economy is an important tool for developing new business and achieving our sustainability targets. Establishing a circular economy makes it possible to decouple economic growth and resource consumption, and also contributes to protecting the climate and biodiversity”.
Sabine Adrian,  Professional Corporate & Sustainability Strategy at Schaeffler
approx. 2,600

employees completed the Climate Training in 2023.

People: Actively supporting the sustainable transformation

Lasting change requires the motivation, the integration, and ultimately the commitment of everyone involved. It’s the employees who, with their creative drive and sustainable behavior, can successfully shape transformation. Their innovative ideas are essential to making production, products, and everyday operations more sustainable. The Schaeffler Group closely accompanies all of its employees along this shared path, as everyone’s behavior is key to making the sustainable transformation a success.


It’s absolutely essential to raise employee awareness of green and sustainable behavior. To promote this idea, the Schaeffler Academy offers and continues to expand training courses on the sustainability strategy with a focus on the dimensions of environment, social, and governance in collaboration with the different departments. Since 2022, employees have had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of climate protection in a voluntary online training course, among other things. In the year under review, 2,566 (previous year: 1,627) employees completed the Climate Training. With the corresponding awareness and behavior, everyone can help reduce the carbon footprint and conserve resources.

“Everyone’s personal attitude counts on the path to a sustainable future. We don’t only have to enhance our awareness accordingly, but also need to actively support implementation to ensure a successful sustainable transformation”.
Linda Hammeter,  EHS Professional in the Schaeffler Group

A range of innovative measures that the Schaeffler Group implemented or launched in 2023 reveals the company’s commitment to including its employees on its journey to the sustainable transformation:

Management training courses

Throughout the course of the year, the topic of sustainability was further integrated in the Schaeffler Academy’s individual management training courses as well as the GROW junior employee program. The new “Leadership & Sustainability” training course will start in 2024. It will support the management further integrate the role of sustainability into their teams and their everyday operations. 


The global range of training courses featuring a variety of learning formats was expanded to increase employee awareness of sustainability and improve training on the subject – and now includes, for example, the “Human rights” online training course, which is available in many languages. Employees should also receive the motivation and support they need to increase their commitment to sustainability both at work and in their private lives.   

Company car guidelines

Schaeffler’s company car guidelines now provide more of an incentive to use low-emission vehicles.

uRyde mobility app

The uRyde mobility app offers Schaeffler employees in Nuremberg, Herzogenaurach and Erlangen the opportunity to form carpools. Employees can use the app free of charge and even carpool with commuters from nearby companies. 


In the canteen at the Erlangen location and, to some degree, in Herzogenaurach, employees can get food and drinks to go with the reusable REBOWLs & RECUPs option against deposit. The locations Kitzingen, Höchstadt, Hirschaid, Gunzenhausen, Suhl, and Lahr followed in January 2024.

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