Ex environment sustainability R. STAHL



Our modern way of life would not be possible without fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas and their industrial use. However, if not done with appropriate precautions, the extraction and further processing of these raw materials could result in life-threatening risks for both people and ecosystems. The same applies to many other combustible gases, liquids and dusts.

R. STAHL designs its products and solutions with the sole aim of preventing explosions and minimising the potential risks associated with the production and processing of combustible gases, liquids and dusts. This enables us to protect people, plant and the environment. We also feel committed to this claim when structuring our internal processes and actions. We ensure that we act according to environmental, social and corporate standards. We place great emphasis on respecting the environment and on maintaining good relationships with our stakeholders, notably our customers, suppliers, business partners, employees and shareholders.

Our responsibility towards our employees is very important for us. As a manufacturing company, occupational health and safety plays a particularly important part here. Our customers, who review us as a supplier and as a part of their own sustainability reports, also consider us to be reliable partner based on our due diligence. This is why the 180 customer training sessions (approx) held each year largely comprise training in safety and explosion protection.

In 2016, our occupational health and safety management system, at our largest site in Waldenburg was clean certified as a part of an audit by the Berufsgenossenschaft Energie Textil Elektro Medienerzeugnisse (BG ETEM, German Employer's Liability Insurance Association for Energy,Textile, Electrical and Media Products) which is carried out every three years. With 16.4 accidents at work per 1,000 persons reported in, whereby none of them resulted in serious injuries, the accident rate continues, as in the past, to be below the sector average determined by the BG ETEM.

With the aim of keeping the frequency of reportable accidents at work as low as possible, we consider basic safety training for new employees to be just as worthwhile as offering annual safety training and performing continuous safety inspections. We are well-prepared for any accidents that might occur, we provide first aider training every two years. At present, 18 % of the staff at R. STAHL are trained first aiders, which is well above the statutory required figure of 10 %.

In addition to the issues relating to occupational health and safety, we organise a number of activities that make us an attractive employer. Our objective is to maintain and nurture the satisfaction and performance of our employees always. R. STAHL employees can therefore use flexible working time models to ensure a good work/life balance. In addition, our health concept includes intensive occupational medical care, provision of free-of-charge flu vaccinations and the promotion of various fitness and sports activities. Using an extensive further training concept, we help our staff to attain the latest trainings and remain highly motivated. This includes internal and external training on explosion protection, further training in various IT areas, management training, as well as language courses and competence training. Participation in these training measures take place in consultation with the relevant superior and is subsequently evaluated.

Code of Conduct and conflict resources

Our viewpoint of working in a sustainable manner will make an important impact and is shared by leading industrial associations. This is why the Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e. V. (ZVEI, German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association) has devised an industry-wide Code of Conduct for social responsibility, good working conditions and social and environment compatibility in our sector. R. STAHL is highly committed to complying with this Code of Conduct. 

As a manufacturing company in the electrical engineering and electronics industry, R. STAHL acquires a wide range of raw materials from various sources. Our manufacturing processes and products also use metals, including tantalum, tin, wolfram and gold, which are predominantly extracted from ores using smelting procedures. In some regions of the world, there is a risk that the materials acquired from the extraction of such ores or gold can be used to finance armed conflicts. There are very limited possibilities available here for tracing the origin of the raw materials used in the production of the metals back to a specific region since it is only possible to determine chemical or geographical origin before smelting.

R. STAHL unreservedly supports all efforts aimed at effectively and verifiably preventing and limiting armed conflicts and crisis situations in any country. For this purpose, the Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e. V. (ZVEI) has drawn up a position paper with a recommendation to contractually obligate suppliers to comply with the "OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas". We follow this approach. We monitor compliance to this obligation using a process we have implemented especially for this purpose.

The progressively changing global climate currently poses to be one of the largest global challenges. We share our responsibility towards the environment very seriously and go beyond purely ensuring the best possible explosion protection to our customers' plants. It is becoming increasingly important for companies, especially in the manufacturing industry, to consider environmental aspects in their processes – R. STAHL included.

With our services and products, such as switchgear, control panels, lights and automation solutions, we are on the one hand supporting the operators of industrial plants by ensuring safety in hazardous areas and thus preventing damage to the environment. We are therefore continually developing our products and systems to provide the highest possible level of safety. On the other hand, we also take into consideration the protection of resources in the development of new products. For example, the LED lights used in most R. STAHL products have a significantly lower energy consumption than conventional luminaires. This means that cable diameters can be reduced, which makes the systems lighter and more compact overall. This, in turn, reduces costs over the entire operating cycle and lifecycle.

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Ex environment sustainability diagram R. STAHL

However, environmental protection at R. STAHL does not stop at the performance promise of our products and solutions. We have therefore established structures to continually determine the opportunities for energy savings at our own sites too and to increase them exponentially. An example of this is the certifications of our sites in Waldenburg, Weimar and Cologne in accordance with DIN EN 16247 in a move towards higher energy efficiency and lower energy consumption. These measures have played a part in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 30 % in the last five years.

Here, our highly efficient combined heat and power plant in Waldenburg is making a significant contribution in reducing emissions. We are consistently working to reduce our CO2 emissions even further. While we currently have detailed and verified data for our head office in Waldenburg in particular, in the medium-term, we also want to collect data on energy consumption across our sites spread world-wide.