Strategy

Combining forces for a shared idea

Sustainability is not a brand-new topic for us. We were already promoting it when it was not yet on everyone’s lips and before sustainable business became a key principle for companies. Even our company founder, Kurt A. Körber, understood environmental protection as an “ethical task of modern industrial society.” We are now building on this conviction and expanding our efforts. We are using our technological know-how to preserve our unique planet and improve our shared habitat.

To date, our business areas have had very different priorities, be they solutions for a sustainable supply chain, as offered by our Business Area Supply Chain, or the use of plastic-free packaging, which has been supported by the Körber Business Area Pharma for many years. The applications of the Business Area Digital improve the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of our plants and those of our customers. This saves energy and reduces the need for investments in new factories, and that has a positive impact on the environment and the use of resources. The Körber Business Area Tissue is using less glue, plastic, and energy in production, paving the way for sustainability in the production of hygiene tissue paper. For more than ten years, our Business Area Tobacco has had a sustainability manager and has also been publishing sustainability reports — including reports on material topics such as biodiversity and mobility.

We are now combining these separate activities into a single holistic approach, which we are turning into a key driving force for growth and innovation. We are doing this not only with regard to the environment, but also with regard to our business activities’ focus on ethical and moral principles. This also applies to what we do as a fair employer for our employees — and as a company for society. We are taking action.

Our sustainability strategy is an integral, value-creating part of Körber’s corporate strategy. Our strategic focus on sustainability at both the Group and Business Area levels is clearly summarized in our “House of Sustainability”. In it we have defined clear competencies and responsibilities for the Group and its business areas, as well as governance rules for implementing the measures. This sustainability report is a first result and at the same time a further invitation to dialog for our stakeholder groups.

This report is a start and more is to follow, because we consider sustainability to be a firm guiding principle of our daily work. We are putting it into practice.

Sustainable grass paper packaging from the Körber Business Area Pharma

What we have planned

From now on, we will report voluntarily and regularly on our sustainability goals and what we have achieved.

We utilize our uniform, group-wide sustainability strategy to leverage synergies and create a common understanding of what sustainability means for and at Körber.

Our strategy encompasses all three dimensions of sustainability: environmental, social, and governance.

We consider sustainability to be a driving force for growth and innovation.

Our goals:


  • Greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption: We want to become carbon-neutral by 2025. Initial group-wide steps have been resolved and additional ones will be defined in 2022.
    • We will switch to green electricity wherever possible by the end of 2022 and to green natural gas by 2023.
    • We are promoting the production of our own green energy through photovoltaic systems. We will start the implementation by 2023 at all suitable locations.
    • We continuously implement recommended measures from energy audits to further improve our energy efficiency.
    • We will convert our vehicle fleet to electric drive by 2025.
    • Compared to the 2019 baseline, the travel budget will be reduced by a third and we are committed to environmentally friendly travel where possible.
  • Circular economy: We support the development of a circular economy by conserving natural resources, reducing waste, pollution, and water consumption, and ensuring that materials are recyclable.
  • We have laid a solid foundation for this with value engineering. The ecodesign and design for circularity of our products, services, and systems are making us even more sustainable.

  • Working conditions: We support remote working and new forms of collaboration by offering appropriate working models at all suitable workplaces in the company even after the end of the coronavirus pandemic. An example of this is the works agreement of our Business Area Tobacco, which enables employees to organize their working hours and locations more flexibly according to various models (“on site” and “remote”) in order to better reconcile work and private life.
  • Health and safety: We particularly protect the health and safety of our employees. In 2022 we are developing and implementing a company-wide policy to protect the health and safety of our employees in a manner that goes beyond the usual scope.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion: We promote all aspects of diversity throughout the Group, especially with regard to nationality and gender identities.
  • Career management and continuing education: We promote and demand lifelong learning as a contribution to individual professional and entrepreneurial growth. We are therefore setting an appropriate number of hours of study for all employees in 2022. By 2023, 90 percent of our managers will participate in our internal talent management system.
  • Internal dialog: We regularly inform employee representatives about our corporate strategy. At the Group level, employee representatives share information on this topic with the Group Executive Board on a quarterly basis. After the success of the works council conference with representatives of the Group Executive Board in 2021, we will repeat this event every two years.
  • Social commitment: We are continuing to centrally provide donations, among other things, as part of the Körber fundraising campaign. The starting point was our 75th anniversary, when we donated €75,000 to 75 projects. Every year, a sum of €1,000 is added to expand our commitment to society. Our employees can vote on the various projects and organizations. In addition, we make annual donations for exceptional events.

  • Business ethics: We laid the foundation for our ethical business conduct more than ten years ago with the establishment of our compliance organization. By 2024 we will ensure that 90 percent¹ of the intended employees have successfully completed a current compliance training course.  
  • Responsible information management: The Group provides good data protection and cybersecurity. We will ensure that 80 percent¹ of our employees have successfully completed a current data protection course as well as a cybersecurity training course by 2024. With regard to cybersecurity, we also intend to obtain the internationally recognized ISO 27001 cybersecurity certification for key software products and central IT by 2023. Moreover, we will ensure that 80 percent of the IT infrastructure will be monitored by the Cyber Defense Center by 2023.
    Responsible supply chains: In 2022 we will implement all the requirements of the German Supply Chain Act. By 2023, our suppliers will be systematically analyzed and evaluated for sustainability and compliance risks. In addition, we will ensure that our suppliers support our goal of carbon neutrality. In a first step, we are collecting the CO₂ emission data and the emission reduction targets of our most important suppliers.

¹ An idealistic target value of 100% cannot realistically be achieved because, for example, not all employee groups have online access. An expansion of online access to all groups of employees is planned at a later date.

Back to top
Back to top