SAF-Holland publishes sustainability report

From the April 2020 issue.

Equipment specialist, SAF-Holland, has contributed to a more sustainable transport industry as shown in its latest report which covers all production sites worldwide.

The 2019 Sustainability Report provides insight into product innovations, supply chains, carbon emission management and environmental and climate protection.

For the first time, SAF-Holland's report covers all 24 production sites throughout the EMEA, Americas, APAC and China regions.

“This highlights the global alignment of our management approach to sustainability in our business,” said SAF-Holland CEO, Alexander Geis.

Recording and analysis of the environmental impact at all sites has enabled the company to provide complete data, for example on the energy consumption of individual factories. On this basis, SAF-Holland will be able to identify hot spots at the different levels of the product life cycle in the future and take targeted action, such as lowering the emission of greenhouse gases. The medium-term objective is a climate strategy which systematically identifies the requirements of climate change in corporate risk management while using these as new business opportunities.

Life cycle analysis has formed a basis for SAF-Holland product innovations.

To examine and improve all environmental influences from a complete axle unit, for example, SAF-Holland generated a comprehensive life cycle assessment for a trio axle unit and examined different usage scenarios. The phase of product use during driving is reported to represent the largest part of the life cycle. The crucial parameter here, according to SAF-Holland, is fuel consumption.

“Product innovations which reduce weight or bearing friction allow us to save fuel and effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Geis.

"We have been working on this as a priority for several years and will continue this focus in our development work in the future," he said.

The axle specialist sees extended opportunities in the commercial vehicle market for its products and systems which are under continuous further development with regard to weight reduction and durability. The SAF INTRADISC plus INTEGRAL premium axle, for example, has been available in a lighter version since 2019, with a weight reduction of eight kilograms.

SAF Tire Pilot is a technical solution for lowering CO2 emissions: The tyre-inflating system keeps tyre pressure constant, even with puncture damage, reducing road load and therefore fuel consumption. It also makes a spare tyre superfluous, which saves up to 160 kilograms.

Digitalisation solutions also support fuel efficiency: In the SMART STEEL concept, SAF-Holland intelligently links mechanical and digital components, for example in tyre pressure management. The TrailerMaster system additionally supplies fleet managers with useful operating data in real time, which can be used for optimum planning of operating periods or maintenance intervals of the trailers.

SAF-Holland has also been strengthening sustainability in the supply chain.

In 2019, SAF-Holland thoroughly examined the topic of sustainability in the supply chain. The company considers compliance with this standard as an important added-value factor. Permanent monitoring of business processes also allows risks to be identified in the long term, evaluated and eventually minimised. Consequently, SAF-Holland can base storage concepts or delivery routes on potential climate change hazards, for example extreme weather events such as heat waves or flooding. The same applies to the supply chains and own production sites.

The company has also updated its code of conduct.

All suppliers have to undergo an audit process to qualify as a subcontractor for SAF-Holland. They receive a questionnaire for self-certification, for example on issues of environmental protection or human rights. Current audits – conducted throughout the Group in 2019 for 56 suppliers of production materials – have shown that all audited partners meet the required standards. To further raise awareness among auditors and purchasers and to derive relevant topics in individual regions, SAF-Holland has added sustainability criteria to the self-certification and communicates its updated Code of Conduct to all suppliers. The guideline for value-based and legally compliant conduct was first released in 2013 and was comprehensively revised and updated in 2019.

In other news, SAF-Holland has committed to the security of its supply chain amid Covid-19.

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