Sustainability means more than just a green logo or a comprehensive sustainability report. At Linde Material Handling, the term stands for much more too—namely a targeted sustainability strategy that has a positive impact on the environment, but also on customers and employees.
Sustainability means accepting responsibility. A long-term sustainable orientation is therefore important at Linde because the business success of our customers and thus our own success depends on it. We create lasting value by integrating environmental and social objectives into our business processes and activities.
Where does the term sustainability come from?
The principle of sustainability originates from forestry and means not using more resources than that which will be regenerated in the future. This approach is now being taken up globally and defined more broadly—such as the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development in the so-called Brundtland Report entitled "Our Common Future":
It is sustainable development that meets the needs of today's generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and choose their own lifestyle.
What does that mean for Linde?
Diverse global challenges affect the environment, society, and our company. However, a sustainable company does not emerge overnight. Since 2012, we have been working on a systematic and comprehensive sustainability strategy to address the following developments facing Linde and its stakeholders:
STRATEGY AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
The central element of the sustainability organization is a steering committee led by members of the Linde management board. In addition, the committee is made up of the heads of the individual sustainability fields of action and the regional sustainability coordinators.
The implementation and achievement of the measures stipulated in the sustainability program are the responsibility of the fields of action, supported by the coordinators in the regions and units.
As a supplier, Linde has been regularly tested and certified by the independent service provider EcoVadis since 2012. With a silver rating, Linde ranks among the top five percent of companies in the peer group. The analysis system on which the review is based comprises 21 criteria from the four thematic areas of environment, fair labor practices, ethics and fair business practices, as well as the supply chain. The methodology is based on international sustainability standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations' Global Compact, and the sustainability guideline ISO 26000.
Linde's sustainable orientation is reflected in its environmentally friendly and safe products. They help our customers to save energy, reduce emissions, and ensure high occupational safety standards. But also at the operational level, there are ambitious targets for environmentally friendly production and a safe working environment. To this end, Linde has introduced a comprehensive HSE (Health, Safety, Environment) management system.
For economic and ecological reasons, Linde's environmental management activities in recent years have focused on energy and waste. Lower energy consumption in production has measurable effects on the cost structure and greenhouse gas emissions. Consistent recycling helps to reduce waste and conserve raw material resources.
It's not only environmental protection and safe products that are part of a sustainable company. Employees also play a central role in Linde's sustainability policy. The company's increasing internationality and demographic change, the effects of which are particularly noticeable in Germany and Europe, account for the most important developments. This means that human resources management at Linde Material Handling focuses on safeguarding and enhancing systematic personnel development.
The training association of Linde Material Handling and Linde Hydraulics in Germany is the largest training company in the Bavarian Lower Main region. Linde offers young people a career start in twelve different apprenticeships and three dual degree programs. In addition to training, we also support employees with professional experience through various further training programs and the Linde Mobility exchange program.
Linde is actively committed to the equal participation of women and men in the company. Therefore, we systematically support our female employees. Linde is implementing various measures to increase the proportion of women in the long term. Linde is strengthening its university marketing in order to attract young female talent at an early stage. Increasing the proportion of female candidates on the shortlist for new vacancies is a clear guideline for our recruitment.
Leadership at Linde refers to both the company and its employees. In addition to leadership and the development of employees, the main tasks of managers include organization with the help of a powerful team. The team develops in agile processes and structures and recognizes the needs of customers and markets.
As an employer, Linde Material Handling has a major responsibility for the health of its employees. For this reason, occupational health and safety protection have top priority in the company. The company actively supports employee health care and, with "Vision Zero—Safety in your World", sets itself the goal of avoiding accidents as far as possible in its own operational processes and also supporting customers in achieving this goal. Our externally certified occupational health and safety management systems form a stable basis. The principles of employee health and safety at work are anchored in Linde's Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Policy.
Linde customers who wish to evaluate and optimize their own environmental performance receive reliable data for assessing environmental friendliness. In a complex process, Linde and the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP) have developed their own life cycle assessment method and evaluated the main product types from pallet trucks to combustion forklifts. Both the methodology and the seven product life cycle assessments are certified by TÜV Rheinland.
Sustainability also involves a social responsibility. Linde has long been actively supporting the social and humanitarian sector with a number of initiatives such as "Linde Solidaria", "Les Restaurants du Coeur", and "StaplerCup hilft e. V.". Funding is also available for educational, scientific and environmental projects.
The social commitment of Linde Material Handling is characterized by our employees. They contribute to almost all of the company's activities and initiatives with a great deal of personal commitment—by interacting with and treating disabled people, making donations at sporting events, collecting food for the needy and homeless, or collecting raffle prizes and selling lots. This reflects Linde's strong local ties as a regional economic factor and employer.