Development of a sustainability strategy


Linde Material Handling is anchoring responsible corporate governance along the entire value chain by means of its sustainability policy and strategy, targets and fields of action. The Company is assuming a pioneering role within the KION Group on the basis of this strategically founded approach.

Sustainability policy

Linde Material Handling makes a commitment to its sustainability policy in a separate declaration. This includes a commitment by the Company to make a dedicated contribution to the solution of global challenges and in this way make a proactive contribution to sustainable development. In concrete terms, the content includes the key principles for action, approaches and social standards which form the platform for Linde to make sustainability a reality within the Company, in its business practices, with its products and in relation to stakeholders. (The formulated sustainability policy is provided on the inside cover).

Principles and guidelines

Linde Material Handling has formulated its own principles for sustainable corporate governance. The Company here makes a commitment to take responsibility for its impact

  • on the economic position of its stakeholders,
  • on the environment and the use of natural resources, and
  • on people and the community.

These principles are based on the “KION Group Code of Compliance“ and on other guidelines of the group of companies (see also section on “Corporate Governance”).

Furthermore, Linde Material Handling ensures through company-specific standards and instruments that the criteria of sustainability are well-established in operating business. These include a life-cycle assessment, which facilitates reliable calculation of the environmental impacts of products, and externally certified management systems for health, safety and environmental protection (in conformity with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 50001) at the production locations and in the national companies.

Holistic approach: targets, effect and fields of action

Linde Material Handling used the results of the materiality analysis to define strategic sustainability targets. In addition, a model for the fields of action (see figure) was developed with the aim of highlighting the point along the value chain – at suppliers, within Linde Material Handling or with customers – at which these targets exert an effect. Linde uses the model as a controlling tool and as an orientation framework for all future activities relating to sustainability and sustainability communication.

Fields of action along the supply chain of Linde Material Handling

Enlarge image

Fields of action along the supply chain of Linde Material Handling (diagram)

Go-ahead for implementation

In July 2015, the Management Board of Linde Material Handling adopted the key building blocks of the sustainability strategy – targets, fields of action and organisational structure (see section “Overarching organisational structure”). The sustainability programme of the Company for the coming years constitutes the next stage and is based on these parameters. It contains appropriately prioritised concrete goals, measurement parameters, and target attainment measures for all the fields of action.

The detailed sustainability strategy of Linde is scheduled for roll-out in 2016. This defines milestones such as company-wide implementation of the organisational structure, introduction of sustainability reporting and controlling, and implementation of the first concrete measures based on the sustainability programme that has been adopted.

Sustainability programme

Sustainability strategy and management

Continuous improvement of transparency and data quality:

  • Expansion of sustainability reporting to all consolidated units in 2016

Definition of targets and key performance indicators for implementing and quantifying sustainability:

  • Developing a target list and determining measures within the framework of the action field model in 2016

Corporate governance

Raising the awareness of sustainability in the corporate culture and consolidating it there:

  • Nationwide training for all employees in the context of the compliance programme until 2016
  • Training for all managers on sustainability issues until 2017

Defining and implanting sustainability standards in the supply chain:

  • Integration of sustainability criteria in purchasing conditions and standard supplier contracts by 2016

Environmental protection

Continuous improvement in environmental management and environmental performance:

  • External certification of the consolidated organisations in conformity with ISO 14001 or an equivalent standard by 2017
  • Audit and conversion of the paint facilities in production plants to more environmentally friendly technology by 2017

Definition of energy and climate targets:

  • External certification of relevant consolidated organisations in conformity with ISO 50001 or an equivalent standard by 2017
  • Derivation of potential savings in relation to energy and climate (continuous)
  • Audit for the use of LED lighting concepts in all units by 2017
  • Reduction of service journeys by increasing automation of the service processes
  • Definition of a climate target in 2016

Products and solutions

Reduction of the environmental footprint and expansion of alternative drives:

  • Updating and re-certification of the life-cycle assessment in 2016
  • Expansion of the availability of lithium-ion batteries for all series by 2017
  • Development of fuel-cell product range (continuous)

Improvement of safety and efficiency:

  • Expansion of safety and automation solutions (continuous)

Good employer

Improvement of occupational safety:

  • External certification of the consolidated organisations in conformity with OHSAS 18001 or an equivalent standard by 2017
  • Reduction of the accident rate (LTIFR) to 15.7 in 2015
  • Increase in the health rate to 97% in 2015

Further development of corporate culture:

  • Implementation of an employee proposal scheme
  • Definition of a proportion of women at all management levels

Community engagement

Making community engagement systematic:

  • Working out a concept that can be applied throughout the world for community engagement based on the objectives defined at the KION level