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Acting now. Sustainability@ZF Acting now. Sustainability@ZF

Acting now.


How ZF Thinks and Acts Sustainably

Sustainability is an integral part of ZF Group strategy. Its targets include complete climate neutrality by 2040. However, sustainability means far more to us than climate protection. In addition to climate and nature, we focus on the dimensions of people and lasting values.

ZF's Sustainability Strategy

We act resolutely for climate and nature, people and lasting values. We bundle our global sustainability activities under the motto Acting now. Sustainability@ZF.

Climate and Nature

  • Climate action
  • Sustainable and circular products
    and operations


  • Employee development and diversity
  • Keeping ​people safe
  • Human Rights and working conditions

Lasting Values

  • Responsible behavior across ​the business
  • Long-term ​value creation ​and resilience

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations has defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are political targets that serve sustainable development worldwide on an economic, social and ecological level. ZF has identified eight of these targets to which the company is able to make a relevant contribution. This means either through minimizing consequences or by developing new technical solutions with positive effects. Our focus is on climate and nature, people and lasting values.

Annual Report 2022: Sustainability

In the annual report, you will find important data and facts about sustainability. The ZF Sustainability Report is part of the annual report.

The sustainability report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI standards (Core option) and the TCFD standards.

Interview with Michael Karrer

“Sustainability must be integrated into all key business processes”

Dr. Michael Karrer, Senior Vice President Sustainability & EHS, on ZF’s commitment to sustainability.

Mr. Karrer, how important is sustainability to ZF’s business success?
"Sustainability is a determining factor for our long-term competitiveness. It is not just about sustainable action by the company. It is also about sustainable products and business models. To this end, sustainability must be integrated into all key business processes. Our climate targets can be found, for example, in strategic and operational planning as well as in the product development and purchasing process. Design and material selection significantly influence the product carbon footprint. This is how we create the prerequisites for long-term transformation. The same logic also applies to the other aspects of sustainability."
Dr. Michael Karrer, Senior Vice President Sustainability & EHS
Read the complete interview

The German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz) came into force on January 1, 2023. How is ZF prepared for this, especially when it comes to human rights?
We prepared meticulously for the start of this legislation and created the necessary structures. A cross-functional Human Rights Working Group is looking into integrating the core elements of the Human Rights Due Diligence approach into the relevant business processes. This includes expanding risk management. We are also revising the Global Business Partner Principles to flesh out requirements for social and ecological issues.

Where is ZF involved so it can position itself and participate outside the company?
ZF actively participates in the “Branchendialog Automobil”, an automotive industry forum run by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Its goal is to improve the human rights situation along the global supply and value-added chains. In 2022, ZF became a member of the Responsible Supply Chain Initiative (RSCI), which helps the industry promote sustainability in its supply chains. The RSCI standard enables audits of own locations and the supply chain to create transparency on working conditions.
"We prepared meticulously for the start of this legislation and created the necessary structures."
Michael Karrer, Senior Vice President Sustainability & EHS

What role does the circular economy play in ZF’s strategy?
Increasing geopolitical tensions also lead to a reassessment of global supply chains. This gives the circular economy a strategic dimension: Reusing materials not only helps significantly reduce product-related emissions in the manufacturing process, but also reduces our risk in raw material procurement. The findings so far have been incorporated into a ZF Circularity Framework that makes the future fields of action transparent and covers a product’s entire life cycle.

Circular Economy at ZF

Learn how ZF keeps valuable raw materials and resources in the economic cycle.

How do you implement the circular economy in practice?
A good example is remanufacturing. Industrial remanufacturing restores products that are no longer functional to the condition they were in when new. This saves materials, energy and costs. ZF offers remanufacturing for more than 250 product types at 25 ZF locations in 15 countries at present. Our Bielefeld location received the German Award for Sustainability Projects for its long-standing activities in this field. Furthermore, ZF participates in cross-company projects, such as the EU project SUSMAGPRO, which deals with the recycling and reuse of rare earth magnets from electric motors.
ZF’s Bielefeld remanufacturing plant won the German Award for Sustainability Projects in 2022.
In the photo: Location manager Jörg Witthöft, patron Brigitte Zypries and Michael Reinhart, Regional Operations Officer of the ZF Commercial Vehicle Division.

Sustainability worldwide

As a globally active technology company, we take on responsibility along our entire value chain – for our employees and our locations, as well as in our supply chain and for our products. Thanks to intensive and focused investment in research and development, ZF promotes the topic of sustainable mobility in general.

It’s About Community

At a time in which the pace of change is increasing sharply, the ZF Way provides orientation for employees as they journey together towards the future.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion enhance our creativity, increase our innovational power, and are key to business success. We offer equal opportunities in a diverse working environment.

Social Commitment

The association "ZF hilft e.V." collects donations of employees and customers for sustainable relief projects worldwide. The donation income comes to 100% with the projects.

ZF Strategy

With the corporate strategy “Next Generation Mobility”, ZF is developing holistic solutions to address these challenges – today and in future.

Sustainable Finance

Investors can participate in ZF's sustainability strategy and contribute to a lower-emission and more climate-friendly economy.


ZF has gained trust of its customers thanks to its responsible corporate management, compliance, and its outstanding performance. The aim is to maintain this high esteem.