The Natural Capital pillar covers renewable and non-renewable environmental resourses. Material themes for this pillar include:
- Energy consumption
- CO2 emissions
- Waste and recycling
- Renewable energy sources
Energy consumption and CO2 emissions
Kendrion endeavours to make efficient use of energy and aspires to reduce energy consumption in an effort to combat climate change and the depletion of fossil fuels. Reduction of energy consumption and reduction of CO2 emissions are important themes of the CSR strategy and good progress was achieved in this respect. Relative CO2 emissions and energy consumption were reduced 58% and 17% respectively compared to 2014. In addition, many of the companies have switched to CO2 neutral gas contracts.
Kendrion encourages awareness of electricity and gas use among its employees at its operating companies by requiring simple changes in behaviour such as switching off lights and lowering thermostats after working hours. Kendrion has invested well over EUR 3 million in energy-efficient systems in recent years. In 2017, Kendrion made further investments in energy-efficient systems for manufacturing sites in Germany and the USA that will lead to further improvements in 2018 and 2019. These investments include the installation of new combined heating and power systems, compressors and LED light projects. In 2017, Kendrion devoted a great deal of effort reducing production-line energy consumption in and around the workplace, for example by more efficient use of air-conditioning systems.
As an international company operating in various jurisdictions, Kendrion cannot avoid travel. Kendrion does, however, strive to avoid unnecessary travel as much as possible and encourages its employees to use teleconference calls and other remote communications or messenger services. Electric cars are made available for business use at some Kendrion operating companies.
Kendrion aims to minimise and dispose waste in an environmentally responsible manner and considers feasible recycling solutions for its business, with a view to reducing process residuals, reducing costs and maintaining environmental compliance, while continuing to streamline its operations.
All Kendrion companies which have been awarded ISO 14001 certification keep records of their production and processing of waste. Internal instructions at these companies are issued for the safe use of materials and the separated collection and disposal of waste. The companies work solely with certified waste processing companies. As part of the certification process, new waste reduction measures must be implemented each year, and measures that reduce the use of hazardous goods are externally audited. Those measures can differ from plant to plant. In 2017, Kendrion worked on the further development of an environmentally conscious plan to dispose of hazardous waste generated by its business activities, and it aims to progress the finalisation of this plan in the course of 2018. In defining its global waste management plan, Kendrion experiences different local practices towards the minimisation and disposal of waste in the different regions in which it operates. Local practices of the USA, China and Europe are different.
Renewable energy sources
Kendrion’s plant in Austria uses a district heating system based on biomass and/or solar heat. Kendrion will look for further opportunities in this area.