At KAEFER, we were quick to understand the importance of sustainability in our business environment, forming a dedicated Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability (CRS) department in 2008, systematically seeking stakeholder engagement, and producing annual Sustainability Reports from 2011.
As of 2023, Sustainability will become part of Corporate Strategy & ESG. The department continues to develop KAEFER’s ESG strategy, raising awareness and ensuring that the environmental, social, and community-based efforts of our employees are properly resourced and effectively implemented.
KAEFER’s stakeholders include employees, clients, business units, suppliers, investors, financial market participants, governments, regulators, NGOs and other interested members of the public. KAEFER regularly engages with these groups to understand how they see KAEFER, to validate our findings, and ensure our ESG strategy addresses external concerns and priorities.
Within our ESG strategic approach, the following three stakeholder groups have been identified to be key and thus require a regular and intensive involvement. Representatives of these groups have been closely involved into our impact assessment in 2023.
ESG governance & Monitoring
An ambitious ESG strategy, involving many different functions, relies on sound and supportive governance
Everyone at KAEFER is committed to reinforcing positive impacts and mitigating or eliminating negative impacts across all our sustainability commitments. Our governance model clarifies responsibilities and reporting lines within the company – ensuring that sustainability remains a constant area of focus.
Accountable: Everyone at KAEFER is committed to reinforcing positive impacts and mitigating or eliminating negative impacts across all our sustainability commitments. Our governance model clarifies responsibilities and reporting lines within the company – ensuring that sustainability remains a constant area of focus.
Empowered: As of 2023, KAEFER’s Corporate Strategy & ESG department serves as the coordinating hub for all ESG-related topics. In addition to analysing our impact, the team develops and evaluates KAEFER’s ESG strategy, targets, and sustainability related regulations. Corporate departments support the implementation of strategic directives as well as defined measures and KPIs. These departments work with a global network of subject matter experts at operative entities.
Informed: Made up of representatives from business units around the world as well as corporate departments, KAEFER’s Sustainability Sounding Board (SSB) has a review and network function designed to support the development of our ESG strategy, share knowledge, and connect KAEFER entities worldwide.
Double materiality & Risk assessment
Developing our ESG strategy
In 2022, KAEFER’s comprehensive ESG strategy was developed in line with the UN’s Sustainability Goals, regulatory and science-based frameworks, and the expectations of our stakeholders – including employees, clients, investors, and ratings agencies. At all times, we assess the risks and opportunities we face, the impact(s) we have globally as a company – both positive and negative – and the concerns and priorities of our stakeholders.
Our principal areas of focus included the implementation of an ESG governance structure at every level of the company, and the first-time adoption of rigorous double materiality analysis to drive our transition to a qualitative approach on all ESG topics – from labour practices and GHG emissions to leadership and supplier assessments.
Rigorous, professional, binding
In line with the upcoming regulations, we have established a double materiality assessment process to provide decision-makers with clear, evidence-based information. To set the frame, an impact assessment as required by the GRI Universal Standards 2021 serves as the starting point. To be prepared for the EU’s upcoming Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), we began applying the principle of double materiality analysis in 2022. On top, we have also mapped the findings with our contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The outcome of this approach plays a crucial role in helping us understand and address the ‘impacts’ which KAEFER has on an economy, environment, or people because of its activities and/or business relationships.
In this context, impacts can be actual or potential, negative or positive, short-term or long-term, intended or unintended, reversible or irreversible. Double materiality allows us to explore these impacts from multiple perspectives – the impact of environmental and social factors on our business (financial materiality), as well as the impact of our business on people and planet (impact materiality).
The following sources have been considered for double materiality analysis:
- Sustainability/ESG self-assessment, in the form of an ESG questionnaire clustered into 19 sections, evaluates our current performance and identifies areas for improvement.
- Context analysis identifies the impact(s) operating on KAEFER from external sources, including competitors, shareholders, market trends, and regulatory directives.
- Stakeholder dialogue includes feedback from shareholders, selected business units, and our internal HSEQ and sustainability community to complete and verify the material topics as a basis for KAEFER’s ESG strategy.
- System analysis provides a high-level view of KAEFER’s activities and business relationships, the sustainability context in which we operate, and an overview of the needs and expectations of our stakeholders.
In all cases, we evaluate and prioritise impacts in terms of scale, scope, and remediability – identifying opportunities to drive positive change and providing decision-makers with clear, evidence-based information. For potential impacts, the likelihood of occurrence has been rated additionally.
Within the financial materiality assessment, the risks or opportunities that affect or are likely to affect future cash flows and thus the enterprise value in the short, medium or long term, but are not covered by financial reporting have been evaluated as well.
Following the results of our double-materiality assessment, the use of water is not considered a material topic for KAEFER. No water is used in production at our workshops (prefabrication of insulation, GRP-production etc.) and only for drinking and sanitary purposes at our facilities. Even though water is not a material topic for KAEFER, we encourage everyone to be mindful about the use of water.
Biodiversity is vital to the achievement of most SDGs and underpins human well-being and livelihoods. At KAEFER, we want our organisation to have a minimal impact on natural ecosystems throughout the entire value chain and aim to conserve biodiversity and avoid negative impacts. Our direct impacts are limited by the fact that we provide services in established industrial areas.
A detailed overview on all impacts can be found by clicking on the button below. The results of the due diligence process, as well as established mitigation and remediation measures, are presented as a separate overview.