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EcoVadis and the KION Group: Transparent Ratings for Ambitious Sustainability Goals

Long-term thinking, making a contribution to global climate protection, and promoting sustainability in supply chains and intralogistics processes: KION Group has already enshrined all of these promises in its corporate strategy 2027. Transparency will be needed if we are to keep these promises. That’s why we have set ourselves the target of ensuring that all Operating Units in the KION Group, as well as the KION Group itself, are awarded a gold sustainability certificate from established worldwide ratings agency EcoVadis by 2027. Some important milestones have already been reached.


Sustainability at KION is more than "just" protecting the environment

How do we want to live in the future? And how will the way we act today affect future generations? As a company with a global presence, we here at KION firmly believe that we can provide answers to these questions – and use our influence to develop the right strategies to advocate for a healthy and just future. That’s why we have been using sustainability concerns to guide how we act as a company for some time. We take consistent action to protect the environment and use energy-efficient products, as well as socially responsible practices in all areas.

In line with this, KION’s approach to sustainability is not only based on direct environmental protection measures. Instead, our efforts are wide-ranging and cover all four areas of an EcoVadis assessment: environment, working conditions and human rights, fair business practices as well as sustainable procurement. After all, only once consistent success is achieved in all of these areas, can an international company rightfully claim that it is making a substantial contribution to protecting the environment, promoting equal opportunities, and making the world livable for everyone.

EcoVadis: Objective Ratings for a Sustainable Future

The aim of the independent ratings agency EcoVadis is to support companies’ environmental and social practices. Since the company was founded in 2007, over 75,000 companies have placed their trust in EcoVadis’ expertise in reducing risk, promoting innovation, and establishing trust and transparency between business partners. The agency now assesses suppliers from 160 countries according to more than 200 spend categories and 21 CSR criteria. The assessment is carried out by CSR experts from EcoVadis, who use a comprehensive questionnaire to see how companies are performing, and assess the responses. The survey is designed for the countries in which the companies operate, taking into account the respective industry and size of the company.

Linde Material Handling EMEA and STILL EMEA in the Top 1 Percent for Environmental Protection

KION Operating Units Linde Material Handling EMEA and STILL EMEA have been taking part in the assessment since back in 2012 and have improved every year. In 2020, Linde Material Handling EMEA was awarded the Gold medal for the second successive year, with sister company STILL EMEA achieving the same ranking in 2021. This means that both Operating Units are among the best of the mechanical engineering companies around the world assessed by EcoVadis, particularly in term of environmental protection aspects: STILL EMEA and Linde Material Handling EMEA are ranked among the top 1 percent of all future-oriented, globally active industrial companies assessed. “The gold medal is testament to the fact that our Operating Units Linde Material Handling EMEA and STILL EMEA are reliable partners and take responsibility for social, ethical and ecological matters,” says Andreas Mix, Vice President Sustainability & HSE at KION Group. He adds that the EcoVadis rating always highlights specific areas where the brands can still improve. “We are harmonizing this potential for improvement with the goals and actions of our long-term corporate strategy.” All KION Group Operating Units worldwide, and the KION Group itself, are aiming to achieve a gold medal from EcoVadis by 2027. While STILL EMEA and Linde Material Handling EMEA have already achieved this goal, the KION Group and the remaining Operating Units are already making good progress.

Our Partnership with EcoVadis: Measuring Successes Objectively

In order to continue developing consistently, and taking into account the broad range of measures involved, you need fixed relations that you can build on, and an objective view from outside. EcoVadis’ comprehensive assessment catalog offers us both of these. With scores provided annually, participating companies can compare their own performance as a whole and in the individual categories, as well as at national and industry level. The score indicates where companies’ strengths are and where there is room for improvement. By taking part in the rating process, the KION Group and its brands gain a valuable insight into the area of sustainability. The results help us to develop our global sustainability strategy, serve as a basis for setting specific performance indicators and objectives, and therefore help us to take the right steps.