SFS increases focus on sustainability

News – 4 June 2020

Sustainable thought and action have belonged to the DNA of SFS right from the beginning. In order to report more comprehensively on sustainability at SFS, the topic is receiving its own platform ( sustainability.sfs.biz). In future SFS will therefore publish a Sustainability Report each year. In the reporting year SFS focuses on five significant topics. Successes are visible in every area and further measures for improvement are being launched.

The visions "every employee an entrepreneur" and "together we are striving towards sustainable success" visions come from the early years of SFS and have characterised the path the company has taken to this day: this is expressed by the value proposition "Inventing success together", which is actively practised internally and externally.

Focus on sustainability increased

In order to increase the focus on sustainability at SFS, the topic is receiving its own website and is published separately to the annual report. "I am really looking forward to provide you an exciting and transparent look "behind the scenes" with the new format of the Sustainability Report and invite you to continue the dialogue with us", explains Jens Breu, CEO SFS Group. In future SFS will publish its Sustainability Report annually and according to the internationally recognised guidelines by GRI Standards (option "Core").

Materiality matrix updated in the reporting year

The materiality matrix has been adjusted to the GRI requirements and updated. To this end SFS carried out comprehensive interviews with the identified stakeholder groups in the reporting year. The subsequent consolidation and prioritisation of the results yielded the significant topics on which SFS has focussed in the reporting year:

  • Economic performance
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Training and education
  • Emissions
  • Socioeconomic compliance

Progress made and further improvements pursued

SFS achieved good successes in all five significant topic areas and launched further measures for various improvements.

In 2019 SFS was able to prove its solid economic performance and slightly increased the added value once again. In accordance with its medium term planning SFS is pursuing the goal of continuously expanding its economic performance until 2025, while the share of added value for each of the stakeholder groups shall remain stable. The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the planned economic performance cannot be comprehensively assessed yet.

In the occupational health and safety area the number of workplace accidents fell by 19% worldwide, compared to 2018, to a total of 113 occupational accidents. This corresponds to an occupational accident rate of 12.5 per 1,000 employees. SFS has set itself the goal of reducing workplace accidents by 50% by 2025 in order to gradually get closer to the long-term goal of zero occupational accidents.

SFS is a strong supporter of the dual training and education system. The long-term goal of 5–7% of all employees being trainees or employees in a dual educational activity was once again confirmed by the company in 2019 with 6.3% (2018: 6.6%). In particular in the German-speaking region the dual training and education system is taking place on a very good level. SFS continues to expand this educational standard across the entire Group.

Along with the effort to continuously reduce emissions, SFS is developing a roadmap for the entire Group by the end of 2020. This roadmap serves as the basis for systematic reduction of CO₂ and will be presented in the next Sustainability Report. Furthermore, SFS is pursuing the steady continuation of certifying production platforms according to ISO 14001 (environmental management): currently 15 out 27 production sites are already certified according to ISO 14001. Further production sites are to follow in 2020.

The SFS Code of Conduct describes the basic requirements for being an exemplary, reliable and fair business partner and employer. In order to uphold the requirements of the Code of Conduct the company has established an effective compliance system. In the reporting year the SFS Group was not affected by any sanctions in the area of socioeconomic compliance. This is also clearly the objective for 2020.