By Dharmesh Arora
Among an increasingly volatile and ambiguous world that is seeing rise in protectionism and slowdown in demand, sustainability is fast turning into a tool that assures long-term success. Turning into an all-encompassing word to define an important strategy that appeals to all stakeholders, sustainability at Schaeffler holds much importance. As a global entity with local presence throughout the world, Schaeffler has a well-defined Sustainability strategy in line with the UN Sustainability Development Goals. We practise this through sustainable management, customer and products, environment and energy, and employees and society.
Fairness, mutual respect and integrity are the cornerstones of Schaeffler Group on which the manner of conducting business is based. Through sustainable business conduct, Schaeffler hopes to secure its own viability and thus create shareholder value. Sustainability through management starts with engaging stakeholders in open and constructive dialogue that identifies common ground and establishes the highest possible standards for responsible supply chain management, human rights management and corporate governance.
As part of the efforts to build a secure and sustainable supply chain globally to ensure healthy development and successful operation, the Indian operations of Schaeffler are working towards sustainability excellence throughout its supply chain. In doing so, Schaeffler India has engineered a well-defined and developed process of mapping sustainability across the complete supply chain from the sourcing points to the customer delivery points. Covering all suppliers under the ‘Supplier Code of Conduct’, Schaeffler India is conducting business within the ethical and legal principles that have been laid down. Some of these include compliance to applicable laws, avoiding conflict of interest, integrity, fair competition, rejection of forced or child labour and safe working environment.A structured policy and a globally binding code of conduct is in place to practise human rights with due diligence. The code states that all suppliers should treat all individuals fairly and with respect. They should create a business environment which is free from any form of inhuman actions. The stringent code also calls upon its suppliers to treat their employees and all other parties with respect and dignity, and to refrain from unlawful harassment.
To ensure high level of corporate governance, it lays emphasis on integrity and accountability, incorporating practices aimed at a high level of business ethics and effective supervision. It provides for enhancement of value for all stakeholders. Conforming to all regulatory and legal requirements, corporate governance at Schaeffler India is based on the philosophy of achieving business excellence and strengthening the confidence of all stakeholders. Combining economic success with the need to act responsibly towards the environment, people and society, Schaeffler in India is laying much emphasis on sustainability as a prerequisite for long-term success.
Striving to shape the future of mobility for a cleaner, safer and smarter world, Schaeffler India is focused on reducing energy consumption, which would in-turn lead to a reduction in CO2. For example the company is consolidating warehouses and distribution centres. This will lead to a reduction of over 120,000 km of truck movement. Working on sustainable solutions for personal and mass mobility segments, Schaeffler is also pursuing the generation and transmission of clean energy across the value chain in order to create a meaningful impact. We develop products that are key in renewable energy sectors like wind, hydro and solar power. Schaeffler continues to expand its range of products and services for conventional energy as well with the firm belief that all segments of the energy chain can be optimised for sustainable growth. In the manufacturing plants, the Group is emphasising much on quality to make them error-free and safe, having defined and implemented standards for occupational safety and environment-friendly manufacturing the world over. Practising a well-developed manufacturing system that measures the right KPI’s for continuous improvement and kaizen mindset.
Committed to protect the environment, Schaeffler India is implementing climate neutrality at its production sites. This includes reduction in power consumption with the use of efficient pumps, lights, air-conditioners and burners, combining with use of alternative sources of energy like solar. With a well-defined EHS framework in place, which is about minimising environmental impact, Schaeffler India has been empowering its employees to contribute towards energy efficiency, reduction in water consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases. Driving leadership platforms to groom employees for the future, Schaeffler in India, as part of its sustainability roadmap, is putting much emphasis on employee health and happiness.
Long-term customer relations is a central factor for success. The Group, as a competent solution partner, invests heavily on innovation to bring solutions and services that customers require. Customer excellence is aligned well to our strategy of ‘Mobility for tomorrow,’ while practising ‘Responsibility for Tomorrow’. Placing customers at the core of its strategy of sustainability, Schaeffler has divided its customer initiative into four areas: Account Strategy, Customer Proximity, People Excellence, and Processes and Tools.
The corporate citizenship of the Schaeffler Group follows the mission statement, ‘In the region – for the region’. As responsible corporate citizens, we do work in our local societies for education and science, health and social issues, and sports and culture. This is beyond the core business of the Group, but in the interest of an all-encompassing sustainability approach. The ‘HOPE’ initiative (Health Care, Occupational Skill for Employability, Preservation of National Heritage Art & Culture, and Empowerment of Society) as a part of CSR Activities involves a number of impactful activities. We run a collaborative programme that improves the quality of life of the recipient. Our initiatives in healthcare, education, and vocational training impacted the lives of over three lakh people in 2018 alone.
Our motto of HOPE initiatives stems from the philosophy of ‘May Everyone Be Happy’ and we will continue to work on this initiative in a dedicated manner.
Dharmesh Arora is the CEO of Schaeffler India. He will be the Regional CEO Asia-Pacific for the Schaeffler Group from October 1, 2019. Based in Singapore, the Asia-Pacific region includes the business in Japan, Korea and South East Asia.