The Kistler Group is nominated for the German Sustainability Award

Winterthur, August 2023 - What's the status of ecological transformation at the Kistler Group? Following the publication of the company's first Sustainability Report in 2022, the Kistler Group has now received its first official nomination. This is confirmation of the steps taken to date and an incentive for the future, says Franziska Kunz, Sustainability & CSR Manager at Kistler.

Sustainability project at Kistler in Straubenhardt: A photovoltaic system was installed here at the beginning of 2023.
A photovoltaic system was installed on the roof of the Kistler building in Straubenhardt at the beginning of 2023. Since then, the system has produced more than 35,000 kWh of electricity. It is expected to produce 60,000 kWh on average every year.

First of all, congratulations on the nomination! What are the individual sustainability goals of Kistler, and what has been achieved to date?

Thank you very much. We're very pleased about our participation in the German Sustainability Award – you can't apply for this yourself, but have to be nominated. As before, our main objective is still to be CO2-neutral at the six production sites in Germany by 2025 – initially for Scope 1 and 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol – and to reach climate neutrality for the entire Kistler Group by 2030. When we look at the balance sheet for 2022, the carbon footprint measured against revenue and per employee is already substantially smaller.

In addition, our products consistently help our customers to save resources and reduce their CO2 emissions. This is true, for example, for the electromechanical joining systems, which a new study has recently confirmed to be highly energy efficient compared to other technologies. It also applies to the cylinder pressure sensors used in large ships that optimize the operation of the engines and thus reduce fuel consumption. Many of our solutions contribute to more digitalization and resource efficiency in various industrial segments, and in particular in series production. Many small steps, but they're important and together, they add up.

In absolute terms, how do you intend to achieve the trend reversal for greenhouse gases?

Many measures and initiatives have been launched to date, but it will take a while before they become effective. But we're on the right path. Following the six largest production sites, from 2024 the remaining sites in Germany and the country organizations in China, Japan, Switzerland, Slovakia, and the US will be converted to green electricity – another major step towards CO2 neutrality. Mobility is the second major factor besides energy supply. We're making progress with the installation of more charging stations and the conversion of the company car fleet to electric vehicles, so we're becoming greener in this regard too. We've also launched a new app for the booking of pool vehicles, which optimizes usage behavior.

This brings us to the infrastructure segment. What other projects have you implemented, initiated, or planned?

A new photovoltaic system has recently been commissioned at Straubenhardt, and further locations for investments in photovoltaics are being investigated. In June 2023, our IT division in Bratislava moved to the greenest building in Slovakia, a building that is certified LEED Platinum, the highest sustainability rating. Much is also happening in the fields of software infrastructure and digitalization: we recently introduced a new travel management system for Germany, Switzerland, and Slovakia which applies automatic CO2 compensation for all business trips. Generally speaking, it's important to not only think about infrastructure, but also to motivate and activate the employees.

What is Kistler doing in this regard, and what input is received from the employees?

Sustainability is an important component of the Kistler Group's leadership program. We regularly train managers and employees in this topic, and the Cut the Carbon challenge is an important tool for generating ideas and implementing them successfully at the different locations. Many good and specific proposals have been received on how to save energy, reduce waste, and generally improve resource efficiency. The winners included a project for digitalization in the accounting department: instead of the current process, which is still very much an analog process, this project proposes a fully paperless process – the roll-out is expected to take place in 2023.

What are the next steps, and what specific measures have already been planned?

We're currently taking an in-depth look at the Scope 3 emissions, i.e., all indirect emissions generated along the value chain. This overlaps in part with the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (SCDDA), the implementation of which is also underway. In addition, we're working hard to increase the number of ISO certifications, in particular for environmental and energy management, for our locations worldwide. And last but not least, we're analyzing the production processes at Kistler – in keeping with the motto cradle to cradle – with a view to aligning them to the circular economy and improving resource efficiency.

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