Good management requires taking responsibility not only for people but also for the environment. But how can sustainable management be measured? moving discussed the significance of verifiable sustainability criteria with Interroll Group’s Chief Financial Officer Heinz Hössli and Martin Regnet, Head of Communications and Investor Relations.
Sustainability seems to be a topic that nearly everyone is talking about these days. Or is this just some hype that will fade in a few years?
HEINZ HÖSSLI: No, definitely not. Sustainability is a challenge that we – as companies and individuals – must address every day. Sustainability is not just about high-priority environmental topics such as climate change and biodiversity; it’s also about human rights, working conditions and anti-corruption. Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, is a term for the metrics used to evaluate how companies and countries are achieving sustainability.
What is the driving force behind all these efforts to verify and compare ESG data?
MARTIN REGNET: A major driver is the boom in sustainable investing in financial markets. Total global investments in this area are estimated at more than $20 trillion (€17 trillion) to date. But it’s not just about ethical issues when investing; numerous studies show that investments that take ESG factors into account also increase in value. Interroll also has huge interest in sustainable investing. We are creating a more informative database for strategic decisions with a controlling system that integrates ESG factors.
What are Interroll’s views on ESG?
HEINZ HÖSSLI: Sustainability is nothing new for us; it’s a task the Board of Directors and the Management Board have been vigorously addressing together. We published our fourth sustainability report in the previous fiscal year, providing information on our progress and the measures we have taken as a member of the Global Compact initiative of the United Nations. Parallel to this, we have integrated the United Nations’ key Sustainable Development Goals, better known by the abbreviation SDGs, into our reporting for the first time. We will continue to apply this process consistently in the coming years. In the current year, we’ll gradually quantify the corresponding progress we’ve made in Switzerland and in our international subsidiaries with key indicators, and from 2022 we’ll implement the internationally standardized guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative, or GRI. We’ll record the figures of the Group’s performance in this area in a way that can be measured and compared. The trend is toward using an independent auditor to deliver a report, similar to the approach widely used in financial reporting.
What contribution can Interroll make to climate protection?
MARTIN REGNET: It’s simple: The only way to achieve a rapid transition to renewable energy and meet the international climate targets is to make more efficient use of energy. Apart from continuing to reduce our own energy consumption, we’re making an important contribution with energy-efficient products like our drive systems, which are used throughout the material-handling sector. Our synchronous drum motors, for example, achieve an overall energy efficiency of more than 80 percent. Compared to conventional geared motors, our technology uses around 40 percent less energy. This is how we help customers and users significantly lower their own carbon footprint and reach their climate targets more quickly. At the same time, our technologies enable a low-noise working environment.