For a sustainable future
At KAEFER, sustainability forms a core part of what we do in each of the following areas: Economic, Social, Environmental and Cultural.
Priorities vary from place to place. KAEFER’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CRS) department encourages and enables local entities to implement their own actions through a global network of Sustainability Champions. In addition to performing their day-to-day tasks, our Champions organise campaigns on issues related to sustainability and support the preparation of our annual Sustainability Report.
“Our role in the CRS department is to set the framework, support local management, and ensure that initiatives around the world are communicated effectively.”
Francisca Gorgodian, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Communication
KAEFER is in the fortunate position of being able to pursue sustainability both in terms of our Business Model and our Business Strategy. We promote sustainability in two ways:
- As an enabler – we enable our customers to reduce their environmental footprint
- As a leader – we lead by example, following ESG standards in all our business activities. Our annual Sustainability Report benchmarks our performance as a company against multiple frameworks, including ESG, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
A new approach – the Sustainability Working Group
Beginning in 2020, KAEFER’s sustainability strategy is supported by an international, cross-departmental Sustainability Working Group. This latest chapter in our sustainability journey began when our colleagues from KAEFER Energy in Norway approached us requesting more detailed global guidelines to help them reach the targets set by their clients.
Inspired, KAEFER began talks with business partners around the world to find out how we can cooperate to increase sustainability. As a key provider of services to industry, this is an area where we can offer added value and play a greater role in combating the global climate crisis. The KAEFER Sustainability Working Group was created to analyse the needs of KAEFER entities and clients in different countries (covering ESG, UN Sustainable Development Goals, waste and CO2 reduction, as well as sustainability in general) and define corresponding strategies.
Green, LEAN and Digital – a virtuous circle
Made up of representatives from the Executive Board, Corporate Operations Excellence (LEAN), Corporate Strategy, Corporate Responsibility & Communication and KAEFER Energy (Norway), the Sustainability Working Group is committed to pursuing green policies through the integration of KAEFER’s LEAN management philosophy and the smart implementation of digital tools. Our goal is a culture of continuous improvement (in productivity, quality, cost reduction, and technological innovation) focussed relentlessly on the elimination of all forms of waste, including excess material use, scrap, pollution, emissions, and hazardous waste.
“In business, there’s often pressure to think short-term. True sustainability is about putting the right people, tools and systems in place to produce the right long-term solutions.”
Claudia Lucas, KAEFER Energy, Member of the Sustainability Working Group
Understanding our clients’ sustainability goals
The Sustainability Working Group led a multi-stage investigative process to understand our impact:
Stage 1: SDG Impact Assessment
Actions: A “B Lab Impact Assessment” helped identify which of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals we should initially focus on to achieve the greatest possible impact. As a result, 3 SDGs have been chosen for KAEFER:
- Good health and Wellbeing (SDG 3)
- Climate Action (SDG 13)
- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16)
Stage 2: Group Management Committee Survey
Gathering feedback is essential: In October 2020, the Group Management Committee provided us with their view on sustainability, including the status of carbon footprint analysis in their country and the local importance of the SDGs.
Actions: Unsurprisingly, our survey revealed that different KAEFER entities have significantly different needs – highlighting the importance of involving a broader range of decision-makers. As a result, a wider Sustainability Sounding Board was created, made up of members of the Working Group plus senior representatives from South Africa, France, Brazil, Spain, the UK & Ireland, and the Middle East.
Stage 3: Raising awareness and engagement among stakeholders
Actions: Our most recent Stakeholder Survey (February 2021) provided an ideal opportunity to find out if the priorities of our internal and external stakeholders are aligned with the three SDGs identified by the Sustainability Working Group. The survey results have also been used to define the material topics of this edition of KAEFER’s Sustainability Report.
Stage 4: Implementation
- Sustainable Development Goals: At Group level, KAEFER is initially focussing on Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Peace Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16). For the purposes of this report – to ensure that we reflect specific concerns raised by respondents to our Stakeholders Survey – we also benchmark all sustainability goals against GRI and ESG guidelines. Local KAEFER entities are free to focus on additional SDGs as required, in line with our desire to ensure that people on the ground are always able to respond to local conditions and opportunities. The overall roll-out of the SDGs is planned for 2021/22.
- In addition, the company published its global Environmental Policy in November 2020, designed to place an even stronger focus on environmental issues through:
- identifying and managing potential environmental risks and hazards
- using resources efficiently and responsibly, and applying best practices to topics including waste avoidance and the reduction of pollution
- setting annual objectives
- engaging our business partners with a view to creating shared global climate goals.
The early results are encouraging, with KAEFER entities in Norway and Germany (KAEFER Industrie) already exploring ways of recovering insulation materials from the companies which collect their waste. For more information on KAEFER waste management recycling programs, please see our environmental approach.