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The protests are organized by students and held around the world. At the first-ever international climate strike on March 15, 2019, nearly 1.8 million people participated in the “Fridays for Future” demonstrations.

SUSTAINABILITY ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY

IN THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION

How do demands for greater climate protection affect our day-to-day business? Research and Development, Materials Management, Production and Sales offer insights.

It is up to every individual to ensure that ZF becomes climate-neutral by 2040 at the latest. Everyone responsible for making a decision must make an effort to help us achieve this goal. At the same time, all corporate units are asked to do their part.

This will require a clear plan for how we will achieve our goals, as well as individual responsibility and, most of all, flexibility.

Research & Development

Continuous demographic and economic growth requires efficient use of our resources because, after all, the Earth is not growing with us. That is why, in line with the “Design for the Environment” approach, ZF takes aspects such as materials management, reparability and recyclability into account when designing its products.

Automated driving and e-mobility are already improving efficiency in megacities. However, the mobility of the future requires a variety of innovative approaches. For this reason, in addition to pure electromobility, ZF also offers systems for hybrid and fuel cell drives for commercial vehicles. In the industrial field, we are currently working on solutions such as sustainable concepts for construction and agricultural machinery as well as wind power.

Materials Management

Supply chains are extremely complex and only a small portion can be directly controlled. In order to achieve carbon-neutrality, it is therefore extremely important to establish transparency and understand material flows and manufacturing processes inside and out. ZF is taking a step-by-step approach, concentrating initially on the materials with the largest CO2 emissions: steel and aluminum.

When it comes to the selection of raw materials and components, ZF looks for solutions that protect human rights and the environment, and combine safe mobility and economic viability. For example, we rely on innovative suppliers and work together with them to develop alternative materials and designs.

Production

Unlike with supply chains, when it comes to production locations, ZF can exert a direct influence: By 2030, ZF aims to reduce emissions by 50 percent compared to 2018. ZF intends to be climate-neutral by 2040 at the latest. Energy efficiency, which accounts for around 20 percent of these emissions, will play a major role in these efforts, as will the purchase of green energy. We will also improve internal transparency and share experience with best practices in a targeted manner in order to identify and tap into savings potential across all locations.

Sales

Our customers are being challenged to reduce emissions in the mobility sector. Many of them have introduced strict sustainability standards as a result. In order to master this technological shift, they need a strong partner with the right expertise. However, in order to be successful in the long term, supplier systems must pursue similar sustainability and climate protection objectives. Effective commitment to sustainability on the part of ZF is the best foundation on which to build this success.

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“A company must be sustainable in all areas in order to be successful over the long term.”

Christine Betz, Head of Sustainability