Environmental protection has been an integral part of ZF's company values for many years and is embraced throughout the Group. The focus is squarely on using energy economically.

Strategy and objectives

Resource conservation and the responsible use of these natural resources underpin the ZF environmental strategy. This strategy is based on the environmental policy adopted in 1996 that applies worldwide to all locations. In October 2012, the Board of Management extended the environmental policy to include climate protection.

As part of our environmental policy, a corporate objective concerning the reduction of energy consumption and CO₂ emissions was defined in the field of climate protection: By 2020, 20 percent less CO₂ should be generated worldwide compared to the average figure between 2006 and 2010. We are planning to meet this target by improving energy efficiency at the locations and increasing the share of renewable energy in the overall energy supply.

Environmental and energy policy

We respect our planet's natural source of life and are committed to resource conservation and the reduction of environmental pollution. This commitment to sustainable environmental protection is anchored in ZF's Corporate Principles and is the basis for our work. This results in the following principles. These principles are checked on a regular basis and are binding for all employees worldwide; our executive managers are role models for their implementation.

1. We are committed to environmentally friendly product design

We design products to be as energy- and resource-efficient as possible. Our striving for technological innovations and excellent solutions also includes environmentally friendly product design. We are convinced that our innovative strength in terms of environmental issues contributes to our competitiveness.

2. We reduce the environmental impact of our operating processes to a minimum

We design our processes to be as energy- and resource-efficient as possible and reduce environmental pollution by our activities to a minimum. We take appropriate measures to ensure that environmental hazards are prevented and limited in the event of an incident. To this end, we use at least state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly technologies for our investments we actively support the worldwide climate protection efforts.

3. We continuously improve our energy and environmental performance

We implement our environmental and energy objectives worldwide with the help of appropriate management systems, we regularly review the agreed performance levels, and, if any discrepancy is detected, we take the necessary remedial action. For Corporate Development projects, we perform environmental risk assessments.

4. We strive to be a worldwide role model

We want to be a role model in the way we interact with the environment and its resources. In order to meet our claim to excellence, we not only comply with the respectively applicable legal requirements but also work on the worldwide implementation of ZF-internal standards.

5. We actively involve employees, suppliers, service providers, and customers and try to engage in a dialog with the authorities and society

We involve our employees in the development and implementation of our environmental and energy policy. We train and motivate them regularly; our employees actively contribute to shaping our environmental protection and energy management. Our suppliers and service providers are expected to comply with the respectively applicable environmental and energy specifications; from our suppliers with processes especially relevant to the environment, we demand a certified environmental management system. When dealing with environmental and climate protection issues, we engage in a dialog with the authorities and all parties interested on site. Furthermore, we report regularly on the outcome of our efforts.

Environmental management

In 1996, ZF set up a global environmental organization which it has been expanding ever since. It includes all levels of the Group, across all divisions and regions down to the locations. The Corporate Environmental Protection Officer is responsible at the Group level and senior Environmental Protection Officers are appointed on a divisional level. In individual regions, the regional coordinators support in ensuring compliance, the implementation of ZF standards, as well as the control of the environmental management system.

95 percent of all production locations certified

All ZF locations are obliged to conduct active environmental management. In 2014, 102 ZF production companies and organizational units worldwide were certified in accordance with the international ISO 14001 standard; this corresponds to 95 percent of the production locations.

The Group-wide environmental management system covers all regions in which ZF operates: Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, North America, South America, and Asia-Pacific.
For the Management Board Review is an annual basis, are derived from the strategic environmental and sustainability goals for the whole company.

Internal award for environmental protection

In order to fire staff enthusiasm for environmental protection, ZF has been presenting an internal award for outstanding work in the field of environmental protection since 1995. In 2014, the award went to the project “Elimination of phosphating of angle joints” at the Dielingen location. An alternative surface treatment prior to hardening makes phosphating of production parts superfluous. After the reorganization of production, which will be completed in 2015, we will save around EUR 550 000 in material and production costs per year. Furthermore, we will conserve precious resources such as water, electricity, and chemicals. This will significantly reduce environmental impacts from such factors.

Energy management

By 2015, ZF aims to continuously reduce its specific energy consumption. To achieve this objective, the key performance indicator energy consumption per sales is controlled within the environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001. Actions to increase efficiency are planned at the various locations. These measures, in combination with the energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001, enabled us to increase energy efficiency in Germany in 2014 by some ten percent. As from 2015, we will roll out the systematic energy management system at all European production locations.