Sustainability report 2019/20

Creating value

Fields of action at KHS for sustainable and profitable added value

For the KHS Group, corporate responsibility means harmonizing the impact of its business activities with the demands of society. In doing so, we observe legal requirements and incorporate social and ecological issues into the strategies and processes adopted by our company.  

On our machines and system solutions our customers in the beverage industry process their products safely, reliably and with energy and resource efficiency for businesses and consumers alike. KHS also provides a range of packaging systems that meet high demands with respect to product design, economy and environmental friendliness and are subject to constant further optimization. With this we help our customers to generate value. This promise of performance is expressed in our claim to be a reliable partner to our customers – our mission statement – with which we provide dependable support throughout the entire productive life cycle of our clients’ plant machinery by supplying frequent new value-creating systems and upgrades.

This company vision is openly practiced in its full social diversity by over 5,000 employees from more than 80 nations worldwide. Their commitment forms the basis for a trusting and long-term cooperation with all of KHS’ business partners.

Anchoring and controlling corporate responsibility  

In order to be able to consistently monitor our mission statement and the claims derived from this, clear roles and responsibilities have been assigned within the company. The KHS Executive Management Board holds general primary responsibility for sustainable and ethical business practice; it establishes principles that apply to the entire group and reaches decisions on policies and investments. The subject matter of these decisions is prepared by the responsible executive managers who also monitor the implementation thereof. Systems of management have therefore been set up at our central divisions and production sites that define processes and operative responsibilities. These also include an increasing number of certified management systems governing compliance, our suppliers, quality, innovation, energy and environmental protection, human resources and occupational health and safety. Furthermore, KHS has performed an EcoVadis audit at all of its production sites every year since 2015; at the time of writing, it again has a successful silver rating valid until April 2022.

During the establishment of our systems of management local officers were named and charged with assisting with the local application of the various guidelines, defining targets and measures with colleagues and evaluating the achievements made. Through emerging formats for the exchange of ideas and internal reporting, KHS aims to encourage mutual learning processes through status quo assessments, milestones and lessons learned.

In order to record and communicate KHS’ corporate responsibility and its contribution to sustainable development, our Corporate Communication Division acts as a central interface in dialog with our stakeholders. We identify the demands made of KHS by various groups through a number of different channels. These include in particular the perspectives held by our employees and their representative bodies, our executive managers, customers, job applicants, the media as stakeholders for the general public and other interest groups. Questions surrounding sustainable and responsible business practice are increasingly becoming a topic of discussion. This is especially evident in the queries posed by customers during talks and that we provide meticulous answers to through our sustainability report and participation in various rating schemes.

Corporate Communication is also responsible for the systematic establishment of KHS’ CR reporting system. Here, the company’s strategic positions are developed and approaches and achievements made recorded and described together with the executive managers and responsible user departments. In this respect the department closely aligns itself with the CR functions of our parent company Salzgitter AG.

Strategic positions and fields of action

As a successful international company, KHS is particularly responsible for aligning its activities with demands for sustainable development with an eye to its customers and the future. This gives rise to a number of central fields of action that demonstrate how we aim to meet this demand.

  1. Customer satisfaction through top standards of quality
    Our global demand for quality forms the basis of our success: KHS stands for the highest standards that are always geared towards customer requirements. The high quality of our filling and packaging systems is the prerequisite for a long machine service life, smooth, efficient production processes, product protection and safety in the operation of our plant technology. In order to meet these demands, KHS engages in systematic quality management, defining and monitoring suitable requirements to this end for its suppliers.
  2. Development of flexible and expandable system solutions for sustainable value creation
    The requirements customers have of our lines and machines can change in time – not least as a result of market developments, new regulations, innovations, changing patterns of consumption and demands for sustainability. The use of different container designs, alternative secondary packaging or increases in capacity impose new conditions on our filling and packaging equipment. For this reason, it is one of our most important concerns to design our systems so that they can be flexibly amended and expanded as and when required. Providing options for modernization and system modularization are important principles in product development at our company.
  3. Consultancy for perfect line design
    We always aim to find a system solution for our customers that gives them perfect results as regards output and cost and resource efficiency. Our portfolio is intended to help them leave as small an ecological footprint as possible. We have aligned our consultancy services based on this principle. We support our customers from the initial plans to on-site installation with our tailor-made concepts, long-term empirical values and customized solutions.
  4. Development of safe, environmentally-friendly packaging systems
    One of the areas our new and further developments focus on is PET container systems and secondary packaging. In the course of the debate on single-use plastic packaging and the pollution of our environment associated with this, specifications for this type of packaging and the materials it uses are changing. We therefore already now offer sophisticated systems for PET containers based on recyclate and lightweighting in an attempt to promote packaging recyclability and in doing so continue to significantly cut carbon emissions. Demands regarding secondary packaging are following a similar course. Here, too, we offer a broad spectrum of innovative concepts from secondary packaging made of paper to packs held together by nothing more than a few dots of adhesive. When developing our packaging systems, our aim is always to save on resources and use fewer primary raw materials – and instead more recyclate. Keeping our promise of protection and optimizing the environmental friendliness of our packaging are the concerns at the heart of each and every new and further development from KHS.
  5. Worldwide service concept
    We aim to provide our customers not only with high-quality products but also give them expert service on a local level. This means that they are permanently assigned to designated KHS representatives who with their expertise can help to ensure the proper and efficient operation of our clients’ plant engineering. We ensure a full local supply to customers of spare parts and consumables, for instance, and can be reached immediately if needed, for our responsibility does not end with the delivery of our machines. On the contrary: this is where it really begins. We can be reached by our customers in many ways: from direct support through our 24/7 HelpDesk through our worldwide spare parts service or IT-assisted remote diagnosis in the event of system disruptions to personal assistance from one of our many service centers located around the world, we are at your service.
  6. Responsibility for the people and environment at our factories
    As a company that supplies efficient, future-proof lines and machines, we of course pay particular attention to the amount of energy and resources used in manufacture. Electricity, water, natural gas and fuel are required for production and intralogistics, our offices and vehicle fleet and for structural extensions of and modernizations to our production sites. We consider it one of our key tasks to continuously reduce the necessary consumption of the above. For this purpose, we install systems of environmental and energy management at our production sites, continuously improve our production processes with an eye to energy and resource efficiency and encourage the exchange of ideas. At our production sites outside Germany we produce for the local market. This decentral arrangement allows us to react locally to customer demand and accept our cultural and ethical responsibilities as a global company.
  7. KHS as a future-oriented and attractive employer
    We are aware that our company can only be as innovative, successful and fit for the future as our own employees are. Encouraging them and their development is thus one of our core concerns. This is why we attach the greatest importance to providing fair, attractive working conditions and an open environment defined by mutual respect and appreciation. The most important fields of action for our HR Management are therefore digitalization and process efficiency, creating a modern working environment, assuring skilled labor and personnel development plus the continuous expansion of our occupational health and safety management system.

The various fields of action within our company form the basis of our cooperation – and of our success. We have permanently anchored the underlying values thereof in our everyday work through our compliance guidelines. Moreover, we find it extremely important that our partners and suppliers also comply with established standards.