KHS Group publishes its fourth voluntary sustainability report
Extremely light and fully recyclable: KHS and the ALPLA Group have jointly developed a returnable PET bottle.Photo - KHS

KHS Group publishes its fourth voluntary sustainability report

Executive Management Board comments on current and future challenges

The new KHS sustainability report has been published under Global responsibility – acting reliably and with foresight. The systems supplier presents its activities and results for 2019 and 2020 regarding strategy and product responsibility, corporate environmental protection and social issues. Furthermore, KHS outlines its position on future challenges and measures in protecting the climate, digitalization, and demographic change.

“Lots of consumers expect it and more and more customers and stakeholders are demanding it - The protection of the climate is an issue that’s also continuously growing in importance for us, too,” says Kai Acker, chief executive officer of the KHS Group. “We explore all possible ways and means of cutting emissions and saving on resources in the course of our value creation process and that of our customers.”

The Dortmund company has published a sustainability report voluntarily every two years since 2015. The entire content is structured based on GRI standards1, the sustainable development goals of the United Nations and legal reporting obligations pursuant to CSR-RUG2, among others. “The majority of the industry operates on a global scale and provides information on its achievements regarding sustainability according to recognized international guidelines. It’s thus all the more important that we make the same high demand of ourselves and issue statements and key figures that can be compared to others,” Acker believes.

The InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow molder cuts energy consumption by up to 40% and by making effective use of materials also saves up to 10% in PET, thus conserving valuable resources.
The InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow molder cuts energy consumption by up to 40% and by making effective use of materials also saves up to 10% in PET, thus conserving valuable resources.Photo - KHS

KHS helps customers implement their climate goals

KHS’ strategic fields of activity have thus been dealt with in greater detail and further key figures identified. In four separate chapters on strategy and governance, product responsibility, operational ecology and social activities, the company’s economic, social and ecological approaches to management key to standardized reports are presented. Here, one of the questions addressed is how the beverage industry can be given even stronger, more specific support in implementing its respective climate goals in the future.

“Our lines and packaging systems are a major component in the customer’s value chain,” Acker emphasizes. The report lists numerous new and further developments designed to save on resources; in this way, KHS machines considerably help reduce the carbon footprint. One example of this is the InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow molder that cuts energy consumption by up to 40% and by making effective use of materials also saves up to 10% in PET, thus conserving valuable resources. In view of the growing trend towards ever lighter containers, states Acker is a significant figure.

Kai Acker, chief executive officer of the KHS Group
Kai Acker, chief executive officer of the KHS Group

Broad-spectrum of expansion and modernization measures

Furthermore, important aspects such as ergonomics, product safety and durability are highlighted by the report. KHS’ broad spectrum of expansion and modernization measures newly devised and developed further in the relevant period is also showcased. The aim is to create products that are extremely flexible and thus future-proof. In this respect, digital services, in particular, are of increasing importance.

The Dortmund company also illustrates its many successes concerning consumer protection, health, and environmental friendliness in packaging design. Together with the ALPLA Group, for example, KHS has manufactured a returnable 1.0-liter PET bottle that positively impacts its low weight of 55 grams and high recyclate content of up to 35% of its overall eco-balance. This system is primarily aimed at mineral water bottling plants but is equally suitable for every other beverage segment.

Consistent savings in energy and resources

The issues KHS is helping its customers with are reflected in the company’s corporate activities. Among various other actions, the publication outlines the company’s in-house measures and targets as an essential contribution to protecting the environment. The KHS production sites in Germany, for instance, have been using certified green electricity from renewable sources since 2016. This enabled the systems supplier to save a total of 10,868 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2019 and 2020. “We aim to continue our efforts in this respect. As a global company, we focus on these issues, for example, in Brazil and the USA,” Acker explains. For the first time, the sustainability report contains a section dedicated to the company’s production sites outside Germany. KHS India, to name one example, already runs several extensive sustainability programs. These include countless initiatives that specifically help make the company more sustainable above and beyond recycling, conserving energy and the circular economy.

1GRI = Global Reporting Initiative: international, independent standards organization that defines guidelines for sustainability reports issued by large companies, SMEs, governments and NGOs.

2CSR-RUG = CSR Directive Implementation Act: in Germany, this law stipulates new reporting obligations for large listed companies with more than 500 employees.

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