In focus: people and the environment
Being a good corporate citizen, Autoneum wants to make a decisive contribution to a sustainable future. To this end, the Company undertook a range of projects and measures in 2019 as part of its Advance Sustainability Strategy 2025 in order to meet a comprehensive Group-wide set of environmental, social and ethical targets.
Eco-efficient production processes
Autoneum works continuously to improve its environmental footprint by reducing or recycling production waste and by lowering energy and water consumption. Over 60 such environmental efficiency projects at 29 of the Company’s sites have contributed to improving this record and thus ensuring environmentally friendly production in 2019. Besides energy efficiency measures such as the transition to LED lighting and energy-efficient motors in compressors and fans, Autoneum is endeavoring to create closed material loops by fully recycling raw and other materials used in the production process. Accordingly, the Company further expanded its recycling capacity in 2019 and new plants for recovering scrap from the production of the textile mono-material Ultra-Silent and the felt fiber technology IFP-R2 commenced operations in Asia. In Europe, the amount of production waste that was recycled rose significantly through the use of external recycling facilities.
Occupational health and safety
All Autoneum sites are committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for employees, customers, suppliers and visitors. In this context, the Company continued with the Group-wide “Manufacturing Safety Program”, launched in 2018, during the reporting year. The core element of the program is an occupational safety culture that focuses on prevention and risk reduction. Last year, two-day workshops were held at 21 plants across all four Business Groups, at which management teams learned different methods to promptly detect and correct unsafe practices and conditions. The Company also further improved its ergonomic standards: A newly launched ergonomics handbook contains, among other things, specifications for the identification of accident risks, for the ergonomic layout of the workplace and for physical relief through workplace rotation. In addition, five Autoneum plants were certified according to the new international standard for occupational health and safety, ISO 45 001, in 2019. This standard has a greater focus on accident prevention than its predecessor, OHSAS 18 001, which was designed in a reactive manner. By 2025, all plants will be certified according to this new standard.
In 2019, all of Autoneum’s branches analyzed the respective results of the employee satisfaction survey conducted during the previous year and with the help of focus groups appropriate improvement measures have been implemented. These are intended to bring about continuous improvement, especially in process optimization and production savings. In addition, Autoneum offered its staff a broad range of opportunities for professional and personal development in 2019. For example, 65 alumni of the leadership development programs for managers – the International Leadership Program (ILP) and the High Performance Leadership Program (HPL) – participated in a virtual deep dive workshop in November. As part of this innovative event format, employees from 23 sites from all regions analyzed and defined the corporate value of “Accountability” and reflected on how they, as managers, could best live this value on a day-to-day basis.
Autoneum not only acts in accordance with the law, but also strives to observe the highest ethical standards both within the Company as well as in all its business relations. The Code of Conduct, which is binding for all employees, forms the basis for all actions and, in terms of its control function, is supplemented by the guidelines, processes and objectives defined in the Compliance Management System (CMS). In 2019, the existing compliance policy framework was extended by the Human and Labor Rights Directive, representing an important measure strengthening adherence to ethical standards. The practice-oriented “Tone at the Top” program, implemented also in the reporting year, makes managers aware of their duty to serve as role models and behave appropriately when interacting with employees. Irrespective of position, regular training courses on the Code of Conduct as well as on the topics of corruption, competition law and cyber crime aim to ensure that Autoneum employees do not put themselves or the Company at risk as a result of inappropriate conduct.
Autoneum operates 55 production facilities worldwide and as such has a material economic impact on the communities where it is active. To make the best possible use of this influence in addressing social and environmental challenges, the Company maintains close, long-term ties with local stakeholders. In Brazil, for instance, under the “Formare” program some 40 employees provided manufacturing and logistics training to young people from disadvantaged families. In August, the staff at the plant in Bloomsburg (Pennsylvania) in the USA staged the United Way charity golf tournament for the 25th time. Proceeds from this event supported a number of public libraries, youth clubs, charities and a holiday camp for children with special education needs. The Autoneum plant in the south-east Indian city of Chennai mobilized 75 employees to plant more than 500 trees near the site – a small but important contribution to improving air quality in the area and promoting biodiversity in the long term. Last year, 130 such initiatives worldwide helped to promote the social and economic development of Autoneum’s local communities.
More than 60 eco-efficiency projects worldwide