Acting Responsibly: Multifaceted approach to sustainability at KSB

Companies play a crucial role in pursuing the goal of a sustainable society. Their activities have an impact on people and the environment; they shape social development. So KSB takes a multifaceted approach to sustainability.

By joining the UN Global Compact in 2010, we committed ourselves to aligning our business activities with ten principles which seek to make globalisation more socially and environmentally responsible.

Rainer Michalik, Head of Integrated Management at KSB

“Sustainability is an indispensable pillar of our corporate strategy,” emphasises Dr Stephan Timmermann, CEO. “For us, acting responsibly means striking a balance between profitable growth and corporate social responsibility.” The environment, social issues, the economy – these are the areas the company is focusing on. Only by understanding the interaction between these three factors can we sustainably preserve the world’s natural resources for today’s population and future generations. “Entrepreneurial thinking means long-term thinking,” says Stephan Timmermann.

Dr. Stephan Timmermann in conversation with Rainer Michalik Dr. Stephan Timmermann in conversation with Rainer Michalik

Acting with a sense of responsibility is one of the core values of our company which looks back on a history of almost 150 years. “By joining the UN Global Compact in 2010, we committed ourselves to aligning our business activities with ten principles which seek to make globalisation more socially and environmentally responsible,” explains Rainer Michalik, who is responsible for Integrated Management and sustainability issues at KSB. In addition, the company is committed to the 17 goals for sustainable development set out by the United Nations and is engaged in ongoing efforts to achieve them.

KSB views compliant conduct as a non-negotiable and essential aspect of corporate responsibility. It is not just business partners and shareholders who expect this. The company utilises a global compliance management system to ensure that all employees adhere to laws and internal regulations.

Sustainability in the supply chain is an important issue for companies. This is why KSB regularly evaluates its business partners according to the standards defined by the United Nations. The idea behind this: Get others to participate and be consistent in removing black sheep.

In 2050, the world will probably be home to around ten billion people. “If we maintain today’s patterns of consumption, our planet cannot possibly cope with this population increase without suffering harm,” says Stephan Timmermann. “This is why we must start acting today – calmly, but consistently.”

Dr.-Ing. Stephan Timmermann, CEO of KSB “For us, acting responsibly means striking a balance between profitable growth and corporate social responsibility”, says Dr.-Ing. Stephan Timmermann, CEO of KSB.

Conserving resources

As a manufacturing company, KSB is keenly aware of its impact on the environment and implements appropriate measures including reducing its consumption of energy and materials to a minimum. “As well as conserving natural resources, this also makes our products more cost-effective by reducing outlay for raw materials,” explains Rainer Michalik.

At its locations, the company applies internationally recognised standards to measure and continuously improve its own environmental performance. KSB is, for example, investing in the energy-efficient renovation of buildings and foundries in order to minimise emissions of climate-critical carbon dioxide. In 2019, 34.4 percent of the electricity used by the Group came from renewable sources, and this share is planned to be increased further. Demand for products with low energy input is rising. “We have launched a variety of products onto the market that reduce power consumption in our customers’ systems,” reports Stephan Timmermann. “This doesn’t just benefit our business partners – the environment wins too.” By 2025, KSB aims to save 850,000 tonnes of CO2 a year in Europe alone through the sale of water pumps equipped with variable speed systems.

People are the foundation for success

“We will not achieve positive corporate performance on a sustainable basis without committed employees,” says Stephan Timmermann. Corporate culture is thus a matter of strategic significance at KSB. “As an attractive employer, we want our company to be a source of inspiration for our staff so that we can tackle the challenges ahead,” explains the CEO. Investing in the development of a state-of-the-art workplace for employees is one example of KSB’s action in this regard. The company also attaches great importance to the opinions of its employees, and regular surveys are conducted worldwide.

KSB offers a broad range of sport and leisure activities for employees. “Our health and fitness programme combines many activities relating to nutrition, sports and work-life balance”, says Stephan Timmermann.

Companies bear a responsibility for the health of their staff. KSB protects its employees from work-related hazards and aims to keep the number of accidents at work as low as possible. “The occupational health and safety of employees is our number one priority at every location,” reports Michalik. “Alongside international standards we also apply our own initiatives which extend beyond these.”

KSB employees in conversation

Supporting social development

As a global company, KSB is aware of its social responsibility and is committed to social causes. Especially significant is KSB’s commitment to education for children and young adults, and the company’s support for international projects providing drinking water supply and treatment. The Group also contributes to disaster relief. 2019 saw our company engage in 116 initiatives around the globe seeking to improve people’s lives.

Binding targets

KSB has defined nine sustainability targets which the company aims to achieve by 2025 at the latest.

  1. Reduce CO2 emissions from production plants by 30 percent.
  2. KSB water pumps save an annual 850,000 tonnes of CO2.
  3. Ecological product rating of newly developed products.
  4. The employee satisfaction index is 80 percent.
  5. Women make up at least 20 percent of management staff.
  6. Reduce lost time due to occupational accidents to less than 0.3 days per employee per year.
  7. Each employee invests at least 30 hours per year in professional development.
  8. Assess sustainability performance of 90 percent of key suppliers.
  9. Global contributions to 25 social projects.

KSB applies international standards to secure compliance with binding labour regulations at all locations, to actively implement climate and environmental protection measures and to ensure its business is conducted with integrity. In so doing, the company’s own initiatives often extend beyond stipulated minimum requirements.

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