The new trend: corporate social responsibility
The trend comes from the USA, of course. Corporate social responsibility, or CSR for short, was embraced by the governments of the European Union around twelve years ago, and ever since has gained in popularity year by year, not least in Germany. In a commercial context, the subject is being addressed with increasing frequency by the media, the politicians and the business community.
But what exactly is CSR?
Corporate social responsibility describes the general principles involved in a company’s responsibility for sustainable management practices in economic, ecological and social terms.
What does CSR mean at Krones AG?
Ever since the company was founded back in 1951, responsibility has been an important, indeed crucial constituent of Krones’ corporate philosophy. We divide the subject of CSR into four building blocks: economics, ecology, staff and social commitment. For each of these building blocks, there is a team of specialists responsible for the remit concerned.
In terms of economics, our goal is to ensure sustainable management of our operations, so as to be successful not only in the short or medium term, but also in the more distant future. This is why we prioritise an international focus and in all our activities rigorously meet the expressed requirements of our global clients, enabling us to stay flexible on the international markets.
Probably the biggest building block is ecology. This subsumes issues like reducing CO2 emissions, economical utilisation of resources, and optimising the consumption of energy, water and materials, as well as downsizing the amount of intra-company logistics involved. It’s vital for us and our clients, for example, to acquire the data on our CO2 emissions every year. Because then we know the areas in which our emissions have to be reduced still further, so as not only to become more ecologically aware, but also to save energy and cut costs.
Our corporate social commitment is not confined to giving something back to society in the form of charitable donations or sponsorship, for example, it also includes fostering mutual feedback with our stakeholders. We utilise a wide variety of communication channels, such as social media, as we endeavour to give anyone interested a look behind the scenes at Krones and tell them more about our goals and our initiatives. We want to offer everyone an opportunity to learn as much about us as possible.
Last but not least, of course, without a can-do team we would not be successful. This is why our staff (who are also an important group of stakeholders, by the way) are a vital constituent of our CSR strategy. It is their satisfaction, and their motivation, that are rightly prioritised in a family-run company like Krones. Our aim is to be a long-term, fair, attractive employer for all our people. This is why Krones endeavours to design its workplace environment and its work concept so as to meet the needs of its people to optimum effect. This also includes offering our staff flexible working hours, responsively conceived advanced training options or an option for a scheduled sabbatical.
Why do we need CSR at Krones, and what can be achieved with it?
We practise CSR not only because it’s currently fashionable or our clients demand it; rather, it’s because CSR also offers us a host of profitable opportunities. Sustainable innovations, for example, can offer us an advantage on the market over our competitors. By optimising a host of variables, e.g. by minimising energy consumption, we can downsize not only our own costs but those of our clients as well. In this way, we assure profitable growth, so as to remain successful in the future and thus provide long-term job security.
Why do we need a CSR report?
The annual sustainability or CSR report is the company’s most important medium in terms of corporate social responsibility. It maps out the principal thrusts of our up-to-the-future, sustainability-geared initiatives, and outlines how we are progressing. It is here that we document what we achieved (or not) in the year under review, and thus offer our stakeholders a certain amount of transparency in regard to our operations. In order to avoid any suspicion of greenwashing (embellishing our environmental performance), the TÜV SÜD technical inspectorate certifies the entire CSR report, and thus verifies the data being published as well. We use the report not only for showcasing our performance but also for self-analysis and for defining appropriate measures and goals, enabling us to progress our thrust for sustainable development.
You will find more information about CSR on our website under: http://www.krones.com/en/sustainability.php