Environmental data 2021

Measuring the impact on the climate

Only what is measurable can be managed in a targeted manner and sustainably improved. Our path to climate neutrality therefore begins with an objective and optimally comprehensive inventory of the greenhouse gas emissions that have been generated directly and indirectly. This is how we went about it:

In the spring of 2022, we teamed up with a specialized, external service provider to conduct a company-wide inventory of Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021. A detailed description of our approach can be found in the Facts chapter.

Methodology: For our reporting, we apply the principles and methods of the GHG Protocol. This protocol defines an internationally recognized and widely used standard for calculating a company’s corporate carbon footprint (CCF).

Scope: Both direct and indirect emissions resulting from our business activities are recorded. They are also referred to as Scope 1 (direct), 2, and 3 (indirect) in the reporting.

  • Scope 1: Direct emissions result from the consumption of natural gas, heating oil or fuel. This also includes direct emissions of fugative gases from industrial processes (e.g. refrigerants or methane slip).
  • Scope 2: This includes indirect emissions that arise from the production of purchased electricity and district heating from fossil sources.
  • Scope 3: The largest and also the most difficult area to measure and influence consists of all the emissions indirectly related to our operations. They result from activities that take place upstream and downstream in the value chain. We will gradually gain transparency about our Scope 3 emissions over the coming years.

Time period: For Scope 1 and 2 emissions, the Körber Sustainability Report 2021 encompasses the years 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Scope of application: All fully consolidated production sites, offices, and sales branches of the Körber Group worldwide are included in the analysis.

For a detailed description see the Facts chapter.

Our path to climate neutrality

Step 1

We are purchasing climate-neutral energy.

We are gradually converting supply contracts for electricity and gas to climate-neutral rates. In Germany we are exclusively purchasing green electricity in 2022. 

 

We are gradually converting supply contracts for electricity and gas to climate-neutral rates. In Germany we are exclusively purchasing green electricity in 2022. 

 

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Step 2

We produce with self-generated solar power.

<p>Wherever it makes technical and economic sense, we install photovoltaic systems at locations with high energy requirements. We already generate solar power for our use in Richmond (USA), Allschwil (Switzerland), and...

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Wherever it makes technical and economic sense, we install photovoltaic systems at locations with high energy requirements. We already generate solar power for our use in Richmond (USA), Allschwil (Switzerland), and Leingarten (Germany). Nine additional locations are to follow by 2024.

 

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Step 3

We are switching to electric mobility.

Our vehicle fleet will become electric by 2025. Around 10 percent of all company vehicles will run on electricity by the end of 2022. At the same time, we are pushing ahead with the expansion of our charging network.

 

Our vehicle fleet will become electric by 2025. Around 10 percent of all company vehicles will run on electricity by the end of 2022. At the same time, we are pushing ahead with the expansion of our charging network.

 

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Step 4

When it comes to business travel, we also think about the climate.

Avoiding business travel also avoids emissions. Compared to 2019, the travel budget has been reduced by a third. From now on, we will no longer travel by air on shorter routes.

 

Avoiding business travel also avoids emissions. Compared to 2019, the travel budget has been reduced by a third. From now on, we will no longer travel by air on shorter routes.

 

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Step 5

We are boosting energy efficiency.

<p>Consuming less energy is the direct path to greater climate protection. We support our locations worldwide with energy efficiency projects and promote the company-wide exchange of knowledge....

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Consuming less energy is the direct path to greater climate protection. We support our locations worldwide with energy efficiency projects and promote the company-wide exchange of knowledge.      

We are being spurred on by awards such as those for the Körber Campus Pécs in Hungary.

 

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A secure source: Solar power at Körber

Körber equips suitable locations around the world with photovoltaic systems in order to generate clean solar power for their own use directly on site.

The sun often lingers in Richmond, the capital of the state of Virginia. It shines here for nine to ten hours a day in summer, with an annual average of a whopping 7.5 hours a day. For centuries, the power of the sun has brought bountiful harvests to farmers in the southeastern United States. However, a machine manufacturing company like Körber can also benefit from it. The Körber Business Area Tobacco has been operating a plant for the American market in sunny Richmond since 1955. This location is now one of the trailblazers of the energy transition at Körber.

Before the end of this year, Körber will commission a cutting-edge photovoltaic system to produce solar power in Virginia. With an area of 6,700 square meters and an output of around 1,100 kWp (kilowatt peak)¹, the in-house power plant on the roof is large enough to cover up to three-quarters of the plant’s electricity needs with sustainably produced emission-free energy. “In the future, we can avoid an estimated 1,100 tons of CO₂ per year because we will purchase less conventionally generated energy,” says project manager Timothy Williams. The CO₂ reduction that is forecast¹ takes into account the regional energy mix at the location, which has a high proportion of electricity from fossil sources. Even if concrete results are still pending, the project will make a significant contribution to climate protection and is an important step toward the Group’s declared goal of operating climate-neutrally by 2025.

In economic terms as well, there is much to be said for sunshine as an accessible and almost inexhaustible source of energy. “Electricity is a major cost factor at many of our production sites,” explains Peter Bär, who is responsible for the global procurement of capital goods at the Körber Group in Hamburg. “Electrical energy that is generated in-house from sunlight enables us to significantly reduce our electricity bill and become less dependent on rising energy prices.” In addition to reduced electricity costs, tax breaks and public subsidies help to ensure that investments in climate protection pay off financially.

¹ Calculation by the photovoltaic service provider

The climate balance can be improved with photovoltaics not only in sun-kissed Richmond but also in Europe. One example of that can be found in Allschwil, Switzerland, where the Körber Business Area Pharma operates a packaging plant that requires a lot of electricity. Since the end of 2021, the plant’s roof-mounted power system has been generating sustainable energy for the plant’s own use. “The site directly consumes around 86% of the solar power that is produced. That’s a fifth of the local power requirement. The remaining 14% is fed into the local grid,” says Peter Bär. Compared to the use of conventionally generated energy, this saves around 330,000 kg of CO₂ per year¹.

Given the positive effects, Körber will equip further locations with photovoltaics in the upcoming years. A project team made up of internal and external experts and coordinated by Peter Bär has identified suitable PV locations at Körber worldwide. In addition to a high energy requirement and sufficient sunshine, structural conditions and the local energy mix played a role in the selection. “The question of when electricity is needed was also important, because we want to produce as much as possible for our own needs,” explains Bär. A further nine systems are to be planned and installed over the next two years, including Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Together, they will have the potential to produce more than 7,000 MWh of solar power annually (calculation by the photovoltaic service provider) — enough to cover around a third of the electricity requirements of the nine plants. Sunny prospects for the climate!

¹ Calculation by the photovoltaic service provider

Together, the planned new systems will produce more than 7,000 MWh of solar power annually — enough to cover around a third of the electricity requirements of the nine plants

Peter Bär, Senior Category Manager CAPEX, Körber Group

Oldest facility:

In Leingarten near Stuttgart, the Körber Business Area Supply Chain has been successfully operating its own PV system for more than ten years.

Latest facility:

In 2022, Hauni will put its own power plant into operation in Richmond. The output is sufficient to cover three-quarters of the local electricity needs with sunlight.

Expansion target:

By 2023, nine additional locations in Europe and North America are to be equipped with PV systems.

Climate impact:

Locations with high energy consumption which also obtain a large proportion of their electricity from fossil-fuel power plants have priority when it comes to PV expansion.

Where Körber is investing in solar power — existing and planned PV locations worldwide

    

On the move: Green mobility at Körber

By traveling less, switching to climate-friendly means of transport, and consistently electrifying the company car fleet, we are systematically reducing our carbon footprint on business trips. From 2025 on, vehicles at Körber will only run on electricity worldwide.

Around a fifth of CO₂ emissions in Germany can be attributed to mobility. According to the German government’s current Climate Protection Report, the transportation sector is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the energy industry and industrial production — and is thus a decisive factor for climate protection.

At Körber we have found the right answers to this problem. Business-related driving and business trips are part of our controllable carbon footprint. We want to contribute to climate protection in this area by making the mobility of our employees as sustainable as possible.

For us, sustainability begins not with the selection of the means of transportation — but with the question of whether a trip is necessary at all. “In 2021 we started to redefine the word ‘unavoidable’,” says Dennis Schäfer, the Travel & Fleet Manager at Körber in Hamburg, who is also responsible for the new climate-conscious travel guidelines, which went into effect in 2022. These guidelines require employees to check alternatives before booking a trip. Would a virtual meeting suffice? Can the itinerary or the schedule be optimized? “We assume that a significant part of the travel activity can be avoided by means of appropriate planning,” explains Schäfer. Compared to 2019, the travel budget has been reduced by a third.

If an on-site appointment is indispensable, employees should make the trip to their destination as climate-friendly as possible. Here’s an example: If the journey can be managed within five hours by train, the new travel policy rules out flying as a means of transport. Further measures, including contracts with carbon-neutral hotels and a digital booking tool that takes climate aspects into account, are being planned.

In parallel, Körber is gradually electrifying its company fleet. By the end of 2022, around ten percent of all company cars will be running on electricity, and by 2025 that figure should be 100 percent.“The growing array of brands and models as well as more and more positive examples within the company are increasingly making colleagues want to switch,” says Dennis Schäfer.

Michael Greth and Stephan Plewa are among the electric mobility pioneers at Körber in Germany. In 2021 both of them received their first company cars with a rechargeable battery instead of a fuel tank — and they are completely satisfied. According to Stephan Plewa, Executive Vice President of Strategic Sales & Key Accounts at Körber's Business Area Pharma in Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock, concerns about insufficient range or complicated charging processes are unfounded. Plewa, a self-professed e-mobility fan, drives an Audi e-Tron for work. In his private life as well, he is completely done with combustion engines (see the interview).

Michael Greth, Senior Vice President of Accounting and Tax at Körber Supply Chain in Leingarten, takes a similar view. “I was a bit nervous at first, but a range of around 300 km is perfectly sufficient for me,” he says.

Michael Greth’s long commute of more than 80 kilometers was the reason why he switched to an all-electric model as early as possible. For one thing, he saves money every month through the tax break for privately used electric company cars. Most importantly, however, he’s improving his own carbon footprint. “Electric mobility is an important way I can personally help to protect the climate,” he says. “I would make the same decision again at any time.”

Key facts

Ten percent of all company vehicles registered by the end of 2022 will already be electric. By 2025 our vehicle fleet will be completely converted to electric mobility.

We’ve begun to set up the charging infrastructure for all our locations worldwide. By the end of 2022, 15 percent of all our locations will have charging options for electric cars.

We will significantly reduce the number of business trips compared to 2019. Compared to 2019, the travel budget has been reduced by a third.

The new climate-conscious travel policy came into force in 2022. It is being continuously reviewed in regard to our climate targets and updated annually if necessary.

From now on, we will refrain from air travel whenever possible. On principle, journeys that take up to five hours are only made by train.

“Only electric”

Stephan Plewa is an electric mobility pioneer at Körber. The 56-year-old engineer has been driving an electric vehicle as a company car since June 2021. His conclusion after one year: thoroughly positive.

Stephan Plewa is an expert for sophisticated packaging solutions at Körber's Business Area Pharma, and he travels a lot for work.

Mr. Plewa, you have been driving electrically since June 2021. Why did you switch?
As an engineer and a technology fan, I’ve been enthusiastic about electric mobility for a long time and I’ve already been driving an electric car privately since 2019. When I was allowed to choose my next company car in 2020, I knew that it should also be an electric vehicle.

Because sustainability and climate protection are important to you?
Definitely. But also because it's fun. Anyone who has ever experienced how quietly an electric car drives, with constant torque, without rattling or shaking, will be amazed. I’m now much more relaxed when I’m driving.

You serve demanding customers from the pharmaceutical industry and travel a lot by car. Aren't you afraid that you might run out of electricity on the road?
Thanks to my private electric car, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and I felt no “range anxiety.” But just to be on the safe side, I reviewed all the typical business trips at my desk beforehand and checked whether I could get everywhere in an acceptable amount of time. I’ve driven more than 30,000 kilometers to date, and I can say: Yes, it works perfectly.

Even if you have to recharge on the road when you travel long distances?
A lot has happened in the past two years in terms of the availability of charging systems. We already have several wall boxes at our company parking lot — and many other Körber locations are now being similarly equipped. A lack of charging stations is definitely no longer a counter-argument for me.

So it's not too early to switch to electric mobility?
As an engineer, I can say that in terms of efficiency an electric motor is now far superior to a combustion engine. It is almost maintenance-free, durable, and consumes much less energy. That means a state-of-the-art electric car impacts the environment and the climate significantly less than a combustion-engine vehicle.

What’s your conclusion about switching to electricity?
Professionally and privately, I would no longer drive or buy a car with a combustion engine. For me, electric mobility is the future. That’s why I’m very delighted that Körber is promoting the mobility transition. Our new company car policy already reflects the increasing variety of models.

Learn more about our path
to more sustainability:


energy_savings_leaf
We reduce our energy consumption and become CO₂-neutral by 2025.
to environment
people
We are a fair and attractive employer.
to social
hub
We have responsibly organized supply chains.
to governance

Körber Sustainability Report 2021

All information at a glance: Download the Körber Group Sustainability Report as a PDF here.

Download PDF file (11 MB)

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