Clear guidelines for environmental protection

Environmental protection at Linde covers not only environmentally efficient products but also operational environmental management, energy consumption and material purchasing.

Sustainability targets Environment and resources1

  • Continuous improvement in environmental management and environmental performance
  • Definition of energy and climate targets

1 Operationalisation of the sustainability targets defined in 2014 can be found in section “Development of a sustainability strategy”.

Environmental protection in the processes

The sustainable alignment of Linde Material Handling is primarily demonstrated by the environmentally friendly and safe products of the Company. They help customers to save energy, reduce emissions and guarantee high safety standards. However, increasingly demanding targets for environmentally benign production and a safe working environment are also being applied at the operational level. Linde has introduced comprehensive HSE management (health, safety, environment) to meet this demand (read more about safety in the workplace in section “Occupational health and safety”).

Standards and management systems

As a company of the KION Group, Linde Material Handling is committed to group-wide standards and observes all relevant rules of conduct. The KION Code of Compliance also includes regulations and initiatives on the subject of HSE. These entail:

  • complying with all relevant national laws, standards of conduct and industrial standards,
  • ensuring a safe working environment and training for employees,
  • avoiding the release of pollutants, discharges and emissions into the environment as far as possible,
  • reducing the volume of waste by making better use of raw materials and using recyclable materials,
  • using materials, products and processes that comply with best environmental practice,
  • using resources, energy and raw materials efficiently.

An important focus is the requirement formulated in the HSE policy of Linde that all organisational units must establish appropriate management systems. A large proportion of these systems have already been certified in accordance with ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 50001. By 2017, external certification will have been implemented in all units of Linde throughout the world within the scope of the sustainability strategy. However, these standards are already exerting a tangible effect today. During the year under review, no fines or nonmonetary sanctions relating to compliance with environmental standards were imposed on Linde Material Handling.

Furthermore, key environmental data concerning matters such as energy and water consumption, and waste have been recorded for many years at all the production locations in Germany, France, the Czech Republic, the USA, China and India. Each location is pursuing targets for reduction and efficiency which are monitored by the HSE Manager responsible for the site. In the course of expanding Linde sustainability management, company-wide quantitative targets are being launched from 2016 and they will be monitored in a management review. Compliance with the HSE requirements is being ensured by regular audits at KION level. The implementation of environmental management at Linde Material Handling was reviewed by 125 internal and 29 external audits during the course of the year under review.

Current focuses in environmental management

On business and environmental grounds, the focus of environmental management at Linde over recent years has been on the topics of energy and waste. Lower energy consumption in production has tangible impacts on the cost structure and on the generation of CO2 emissions. Consistent recycling helps to reduce waste. Significant annual improvements have been achieved each year in these areas for each production unit. During the year under review, there were also no spills of waste, fuels or chemicals.

In order to make these successes even more beneficial for all the companies in the Group, the future will see relevant management processes and the associated savings targets being rolled out globally. These also include the incremental introduction of energy management systems in conformity with ISO 50001 in the relevant units. An important energy-savings measure relates to the conversion of sites to LED lighting.

A further target is stronger integration of suppliers into sustainability management. In 2014, the KION Group developed an appropriate guideline which includes environmental and ethical rules for purchasing materials.