As a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, ZF is committed in particular to promoting the protection of human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and the fight against corruption.



ZF advocates for responsible business practices and the preservation of the environment. We have defined the most important fields of action and objectives of our commitment in a sustainability program. We have made a lot of progress in recent years, including in 2019.

Supply chain: integrated sustainability

A large part of the added value comes from cooperating with our suppliers, including large corporations but also small family businesses. ZF actively cultivates these partnerships. It is therefore important to us that our business partners respect and promote the same values. In order to be able to fulfill its duty of care more consistently, ZF has reorganized the sustainability management of its supply chain and initiated extensive measures: Numerous processes have been reviewed, standardized and adapted. We have launched a pilot project with strategic suppliers that is designed to achieve a more reliable sustainability assessment of all suppliers. Negative events are to be identified more quickly via social media monitoring in order to take appropriate remedial action.

Employees: reduced Lost Time Accident Rate

We have also made further progress on the way to a global leadership and learning culture. We have set up a digital learning platform, introduced an active feedback system and harmonized further training for executive managers – measures that promote agile management at ZF and bolster our innovation performance. In the area of occupational health and safety, our approach of behavior-based safety combined with workshops for executive managers has had a major impact, reducing the Lost Time Accident Rate from 6.5 to 3.8, which is more than 40 percent, over the past three years.

Since diversity is an important driver of innovation and creativity, we organized a Diversity Day for the first time in 2019. Many ZF locations hosted events on the topic as part of the worldwide “Join the Conversation” campaign. The objective was to stimulate discussions about how diversity can contribute to ZF’s success.


ZF supports communities

Since 2005, the nonprofit association “ZF hilft e. V.” has combined all of ZF’s humanitarian engagements under one umbrella. It manages the company’s donations and the donations of its employees, who donate their overtime hours or portions of their salaries to relief and educational projects. The funds benefit the projects directly because ZF bears the administrative expenses.

Over €1 million was allocated to projects in 2019. These included emergency aid for Sulawesi, an island in Indonesia struck by an earthquake and a tsunami, as well as reconstruction projects in the most affected communities. In Yemen, the association worked to fight cholera. Furthermore, in India, Bangladesh, Senegal, Zimbabwe and Kenya, ZF hilft e.V. supports a number of educational projects to offer the local populations opportunities for a better future over the long term.

Production: climate strategy development

Production activities in 2019 were shaped by the strategy for climate neutrality. After all, many questions in terms of implementation of the strategy involved the 161 production locations around the world. In addition, the locations have also pursued many projects to improve their environmental performance. These often serve to improve energy efficiency further, as well as to conserve resources, reduce waste and increase the recycling rate.

Products: presentation of new products

In 2019, ZF was able to present a number of new developments, for example, for China: The electric central drive is designed for city buses up to 12 meters long or medium-duty trucks up to 12 tons, and takes into account the specific requirements of the Chinese market regarding safety, performance and cost-effectiveness. The new generation of the 8-speed automatic transmission takes the hybrid drive to the next level and reduces CO2 emissions in road traffic.

ZF recognized early on that recycling products can save a lot of energy and material, and has expanded its capacities accordingly. Meanwhile, 15 ZF locations worldwide contribute to reconditioning a wide range of vehicle components such as brakes, transmissions, steering systems or torque converters, and making them available in OE quality.

You can also find more information in the latest Sustainability Report