Sustainability at Schüco
Sustainability is not a trend, it's an attitude, one that we at Schüco demand and practice every day. For us, acting sustainably is both a duty and a motivation – our "Motivation Green". As a company in the building industry, we are taking responsibility for the long term and using our products and services to make an active contribution to a more sustainable world. Our calling: to be pioneers in effective sustainability for the construction industry.
We see sustainability as more than just environmental and climate protection
Sustainability is the key to a good standard of living for everyone. That's why we've aligned ourselves with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations and are working towards achieving these goals with our expertise, our understanding of quality and our passion for creating outstanding buildings. A look at the stress limits of our planet makes it clear that several of these limits of the Earth's ecosystem have already been exceeded. If we continue in this way, we will endanger the foundation of our lives and our economy. So for us, there is no alternative to sustainable business.
Find out more about our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.
"The reality of the situation has already exceeded the worst-case climate scenarios. That is why we must act immediately. Protecting the climate and conserving resources are the most important duties of my generation, because it is our responsibility to drive change, now. The construction industry can make a crucial contribution to this today with energy-saving and recyclable products."
A holistic approach – across six action areas
Sustainability goes over and above climate and environmental protection; we see it as a challenge across the board. It is therefore our duty to act conscientiously in all areas, using what we have at our disposal. Sustainability is not an abstract idea, but a concrete item on the agenda that we are addressing every day through each of our six defined action areas of environment, products, business development, supply chain, employees and society. As we are unable to do everything all at once, we have defined six projects in addition to our action areas, which narrow down the Schüco sustainability focus points even further and which are currently our main focus. Here we have assigned each action area to one of these focus projects.
Our focus projects
Action area: Environment
In our "environment" action area, we focus on the areas of climate protection, water and wastewater, biodiversity and use of land, waste, and energy use. Our sustainability strategy focuses on climate protection and conserving resources in particular. We are therefore actively tackling these issues as part of our collaboration with the WWF.
Focus project: Emission Zero
Our focus project "Emission Zero" specifically deals with our CO2 reduction targets. These targets are in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To this end, we want to reduce our overall emissions by 30 percent by 2025 compared to the reference year of 2018 and to no longer generate any emissions that are harmful to the environment by 2040. These ambitious targets were set together with the WWF and their effectiveness has been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Action area: products
As a business in the construction industry, we think it's important that our products and services make an active contribution to a more sustainable world – something that sets us apart from many other industries and companies. To ensure that we achieve this, we focus on quality, conserving resources and recyclable products. This is how we are already helping today to continually improve buildings for future generations.
Focus project: Go Circular
At the heart of our focus project "Go Circular" is the idea that buildings are the raw material stock of the future. In this project, this is why we are actively driving the transition from a linear to a circular construction method, i.e. to closed material cycles. We want to continue increasing the number of our products which can be fed back easily into the material cycle after they have been used. This is our contribution to expanding the circular economy and how we are promoting the responsible use of valuable resources.
Action area: Business development
Our business development action area includes complementing our core business with business models and innovative products with a clear sustainability focus, as well as promoting research and development into our products and materials. To this end, we are responding to changing customer requirements triggered by the progress of climate change, which demand new solutions and a complete change of mindset.
Focus project: Innovate Business
Our focus project in this action area, Innovate Business, is based on the premise of seeing the sustainable transformation of the construction industry not just as a challenge, but as a huge opportunity for innovative business developments too. We are taking this opportunity by adding new, sustainable products and services to our core business. This, together with sustainable business models, will allow us to strengthen our future focus for the entire company.
Action area: Supply chain
The construction industry depends on resources and materials like aluminium and PVC-U. Our supply chain action area covers a range of areas that are of particular importance to us as a company with global supply chains. Here we focus on the challenge of reducing greenhouse gases along the entire supply chain, pursuing responsible procurement methods, safeguarding human rights and the environment, as well as maintaining good working relationships with our suppliers.
Focus project: Responsible sourcing
With our focus project Responsible Sourcing, we want to ensure that we handle our materials in an environmentally and socially conscious way, and scrutinise every part of our supply chain. We want to work closely with our direct suppliers to ensure that human rights and the environment are protected and manage our supply chain responsibly.
Action area: Employees
In our Employees action area, we focus on safe workplaces, fair working conditions, health and secure employment for our employees – these issues are our top priority. Furthermore, we believe it's important to create an innovative work environment for our staff, with no place for discrimination. We are committed to diversity, solidarity and personal development, because this is the only way we can shape the future together.
Focus project: Fair Company
In our Fair Company focus project, we want to be an employer that provides secure jobs and guarantees fair and equal treatment of all employees – these are fundamental to a fair company. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind and for whatever reason, and advocate for the diversity and heterogeneity of our employees. To this end, we are developing a diversity index, which we will use to set concrete aims and measures.
Action area: Society
As a commercial company, we are conscious of our social responsibility. This is also the focus of our action area of society. With sites all over the world, we are not just familiar with the regions where we are active and its local people, we also support cross-regional and international initiatives and associations which focus on sustainability. With the WWF as a key partner at our side, we are also actively working on making an effective contribution to a more sustainable construction industry.
Focus project: Good Citizen
As part of our Good Citizen focus project, we as a company want to contribute to a better society and take corporate responsibility, which goes beyond creating and maintaining valuable, secure jobs. It also includes supporting social initiatives, committing to select associations and working with social causes. We want to refine these measures by developing a corporate citizenship strategy.
Acting transparently and effectively – for our future
We have deliberately aimed high. Admittedly, we don't have an answer for everything, but we are open-minded, develop effective concepts and implement them consistently. And we report on our progress transparently while doing so. We will probably also make mistakes on the way, as there's no blueprint for this kind of change for us to simply copy. It is important to us that we learn from our mistakes and take on new challenges so that we can continually improve. Even though no one can save the world on their own, as part of society we are nevertheless responsible for leaving it in a better state than when we found it. That's why we're rolling up our sleeves and making changes, day by day.