The best examples and CSR methodology in Knauf Automotive
The best examples and CSR methodology in Knauf Automotive
From an environmental point of view, the key issue is the reduction of the carbon footprint and the relatively long service life of the industry's products. The very use of a car has the greatest impact on the environment. This clearly shows that improvements are worth making, especially during the design phase (e.g. using light materials, improving fuel efficiency, inventing new energy sources).
One of the effective CSR initiatives is, for example, the implementation of management in line with the idea of a green supply chain (GSCM), which refers to the integration of environmental aspects into the entire value chain.
Therefore, being aware of the potential of sustainable business (e.g. the possibility of increasing economic, social and environmental results) many companies from the automotive sector try to implement CSR programs to integrate environmental and social aspects not only into their supply chain but also into the business strategy and directly into the organizational culture of the company.
See how we do it at Knauf Group!
All CSR activities have an impact on the financial performance of companies, brand reputation, cost savings and customer loyalty, but most of all, they aim to have a positive impact on the local community, sustainable supply chains and climate change. Therefore, managing directors develop a strategic CSR plan and are required to educate employees and other stakeholders about initiatives for sustainable development and social and environmental benefits.
See how our managing directors and project teams develop a strategic CSR plan and engage and educate employees, customers and other stakeholders on initiatives for sustainable development, social and environmental benefits.
For an industrial company operating in several countries, taking a CSR initiative is no longer an option - in strategic planning and successful business performance, it is necessary to reconcile short-term and long-term perspectives.
Being aware of all the changes in the world that can affect our activities opens up our horizons, promotes discussion, and improves our company values and practices. We want to remain flexible and we work with our stakeholders so that our plastics expertise can develop, to better adapt to their expectations and those of the market.
As Kurt Münder, CEO of Knauf Industries said:
“We express our social responsibility in our company strategy, culture, everyday operations, and in our area of influence”.
In 2020, despite the context of the Covid-19 pandemic which was a big challenge of corporate social responsibility for lots of industries, we did not review our CSR plans and budgets. We continued to structure our CSR approach, define our priority issues, and involve our teams and stakeholders. But this is still just the beginning of our CSR efforts. We want to anchor this strategy to give life to new ideas, to innovate, and to continue to create shared value together in our territories.
Let’s read how our responsibility applies to our teams, our markets, our territories, and our environment, all at the same time.
We chose to focus our efforts on five new social issues deemed to be the most relevant and highest priority by our teams and our stakeholders. These issues correspond to five-year targets that have been set and monitoring indicators that allow us to measure our progress.
A structured CSR approach has allowed us to determine the most relevant issues in society, i.e. those that have a significant impact on the activities of Knauf Industries and its ability to create value for itself and its stakeholders. The identification of our social challenges is based on our strategic commitments, the challenges in our business sector, and the main CSR benchmarks.
“We will continue our efforts so that every Knauf Industries employee everywhere takes this CSR approach on board and brings it to life every day through concrete actions.”
Gilles Istin, Sales, Marketing and innovation director, Knauf Industries
Knauf Industries specialises in packaging, protection, insulation solutions and technical components. This naturally leads us to pay attention to implementing a comprehensive strategy to ensure economic responsibility for our partner organizations.
One of our existing initiatives, the “Reinvent + Reduce + Reuse + Recycle Strategy” which we have chosen in consultation with our internal and external stakeholders allows us to operate throughout the life cycle of our products, culminating in the recovery of materials at the end of their life.
Parts made of 100% recycled EPS
we have established criteria to define what we consider to be an innovative solution. These criteria are based on four goals: Meeting the needs of our stakeholders (desirability), providing an innovative solution (feasibility), creating value (viability), and reducing risks (ethics).
Our French-based experts work with their counterparts and contacts in different countries in an agile and connected way in the following fields of challenges facing corporate social responsibility: research on raw materials and innovation, integration of new technologies, traceability, eco-design, creation, prototyping, tests and numerical simulation.
Material collected via Knauf Circular©
Investments related to collection and recycling
In partnership with our customers and suppliers, Knauf Industries developed NEOPS®, a foam material obtained from biomass (green waste), which is REDcert²-certified. NEOPS® is available in various grades (thermal performance, fire resistance, shock absorption characteristics, and food contact). At end of life, NEOPS® products will be sorted and recycled via the existing EPS processes.
The central buyers, located in France, Poland, and Brazil, are aware of competition law, and two of them are “Mission CSR” ambassadors. In each country, the sites are responsible for groups of additional purchases, in compliance with the principles of business ethics. To be clear with our suppliers, to make them aware of our expectations and to build mutual trust, we have implemented a “Responsible Purchasing Charter” covering environmental, social, and ethical issues.
Our suppliers are also obliged to observe a Code of Conduct. We carry out regular qualification audits, we respect payment deadlines, and we favor suppliers located in Europe for our European sites, for example.
What is more, early in 2020, Knauf Industries launched a consultation with its internal and external stakeholders. To enrich its thought process and offer stakeholders the opportunity to make their expectations, inspirations, and proposals for the future, a questionnaire was posted online, and interviews were conducted. These allowed everyone to get to know each other better and build trust, share expertise, consider synergies, identify weak signals, define the most relevant CSR issues, and build a solid action plan. The external stakeholders and employee feedback, which is very important for every CSR project, enable us to implement better sustainability initiatives and make additional value for our clients.
Main suppliers who have signed the Responsible Purchasing Charter
Central buyers with business ethics awareness
It starts with attentive listening, understanding expressed and potential needs, taking regulatory and legal requirements into account. Very soon, all the departments in the company become involved, to provide the relevant information throughout the customer’s journey. Because Knauf Industries is the specialist partner for custom products and solutions, co-development is often key in this collaboration.
One of the major social challenges at Knauf Industries, as a socially responsible company, is to protect the health and safety of consumers. We work to protect the health and safety of the final consumers and users of our products. We eco-design our products, working closely with our customers, and give clear user instructions to guarantee the end-users that we have taken every possible precaution to protect their health and safety.
Since 2016, at the request of its customers, Knauf Industries joined the EcoVadis extra-financial evaluation platform intending to become a preferred supplier by improving its CSR practices. In 2020, our efforts paid off, since our score increased by 30%. With a score of 51 points, Knauf Industries thus reached the top 25% of companies in its business sector. In 2021 we further improved our score, reaching 60 points and acquiring a silver medal.
Quality Certifications (ISO 9001, IATF 16949)
78,6% of sites
Food hygiene and safety certifications (ISO 22000 or BRCGS Packaging)
75% of sites
dedicated to agri-food
The Knauf Industries health and safety policy concerns all company activities and all persons present on all sites. All QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety and Environment) managers refer to it. The unique risk evaluation document (URED) is drawn up in consultation with the teams; it incorporates a risk evaluation and a procedure for the prevention of psycho-social risks.
Below, we describe some of the CSR activities which we develop in this sector.
Ergonomics experts recommend improvements in workplaces. Awareness and prevention workshops are regularly organized by ithe management.
What’s more, we offer teleworking options to employees whose physical presence on site is not always essential. Their ability to work independently and the principles of responsibility and trust that lie at the core of the company’s values are highly prized. In parallel, everyone was reminded of the right to disconnect, to prevent digital work tools from becoming too invasive in the personal lives of employees.
Knauf Industries attaches great importance to compliance with the Group's anti-corruption guideline, the correct application of the provisions that prohibit anti-competitive practices, applicable environmental laws and regulations, data protection and retention, and the directive on trade sanctions. It is very important to establish clear formal rules and ethical business practices on these matters that are known to all employees and corporate governance.
That’s why KnaufGroup, as a socially responsible company, has adopted a code of conduct that reflects the particular commitment to values such as ethics, loyalty and integrity in relations with its stakeholders and is applied to all Group employees.
We are also proud of our compliance with competition law regulations. Our employees are made aware and trained on anti-competitive practices and regulatory changes. Knauf Industries ensures compliance with fair business practices, in particular concerning competition and price transparency.
That is why every Knauf Industries site creates an annual improvement plan, which also focuses on the teams, customer satisfaction, quality, and costs. Not only CSR leaders but all the participants are the drivers of the continuous improvement processes, supported by the QHSE Managers. Regular management reviews help to ensure that our management system remains relevant, adequate, and efficient.
The continuous improvement process consists of regular efforts to improve products, services, internal processes and CSR initiatives. Knauf Industries relies on a benchmark common to all divisions of the Knauf Group. It describes the behaviors that are required for the continuous improvement framework to succeed.
The collection and consolidation of data already take place on the French sites and will be gradually deployed worldwide to make competitive advantage in social and environmental challenges. The reduction of material in both weight and volume is one of our eco-design rules. Waste is shredded to the desired particle size and then reintroduced into our production stream.
From 2012 to 2019, we reduced our electricity consumption by 15% on all our sites in France. This improvement was possible thanks to many actions including modification of our facilities, the purchase of more energy-efficient equipment (compressors, refrigeration units, motors), as well as the renewal of our computer hardware, reducing the number of printers, and printing less.
Knauf Industries has made also made other successful CSR initiatives like a voluntary commitment to Operation Clean Sweep, whose aim is to prevent plastic particles from being lost in the environment or contaminating the aquatic environment. This action is deployed on all twenty Knauf Industries French sites, where they have been fully integrated into the organization; especially into their “5S” approach.
The industrial facilities, tools and methods have been adapted to contain the plastic pellets and polystyrene beads within the boundaries of the production sites. In parallel, employees and external partners have been trained and given responsibility for the prevention, cleaning, and elimination of losses during processing and transportation operations.
The Executive Committee, the Steering Committee, and the 31 Ambassadors of Knauf Industries actively participated in the strategic analysis and drafting of the CSR approach described in this Report. They were supported by external experts from Stepping Stones and Atelier Christelle Paris, who ensured observance of the CSR and reporting laws and the principles of responsible communication.
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