Integrating sustainability into our everyday life
Every day at Greiner, 11,494 people ensure that the actions of our company will be more sustainable in the future. We believe that nobody will be able to bring about the transformation and the change that is necessary alone.
We also firmly believe that sustainability cannot be prescribed or decreed hierarchically from top down. Accordingly, more than five years ago we established sustainability governance that incorporates all levels (Greiner headquarters, division headquarters, local sites), all disciplines and all geographical regions. The governance structure ensures that the topic of sustainability is successfully integrated and, as an interdisciplinary topic, always taken into account where needed. The Greiner-specific sustainability governance helps implement our Blue Plan sustainability strategy in the company as a whole, manage target setting and reporting processes, ensure general responsibilities and strengthen relationships with external stakeholders. When developing our governance several years ago, three things were important to us:
- Integrating sustainability into business processes and management decisions (sustainability must be an integral part of strategic management and business planning).
- Integrating sustainability into measurement and performance management (quantifying the impact of sustainable activities on financial performance and the influence this has on growth).
- Identifying key figures on company performance (identifying social, environmental and economic indicators that affect the company’s success).
“Anyone who wants to achieve goals has to get organized. This is why we created a governance structure that helps put our sustainability strategy into practice.”
How we work together
Sustainability Board sets the course
Our commitment to sustainability starts at the top. This is why Greiner AG’s CEO is also the Chair of the Greiner Sustainability Board. The Greiner Sustainability Board is the central and highest decision-making body for all sustainability matters. The board establishes the strategic framework, sets targets and ensures that processes and structures are set up that constitute a basis for the sustainability initiatives of our 11,494 employees. As well as the Greiner AG CEO, this board comprises senior executives from the four operating divisions, experts on all major topics at the Greiner group and representatives from the sustainability department at Greiner headquarters. Women made up 30 percent of the board as of December 2020. The board is also responsible for approving sustainability reports. The division representatives are appointed, whereas the subject experts are nominated by the Greiner divisions. The experts ensure that the senior management members on the Sustainability Board have the information on the impact of management decisions and technical details they need to make decisions. The board meets three to four times a year and is key to group performance.
Working groups responsible for implementation
At operations level, the four divisions work together in five working groups. Experts on the five major topics represent their division and provide input on relevant topics such as product development, materials procurement, the environment, resources and/or supply chain challenges as well as employees and social commitment.
Including colleagues from across various divisions and disciplines ensures that the sustainability agendas of all business units and regions are brought forward. The experts also head the actual implementation of the measures in their respective division. This ensures that the sustainability efforts are tailored to and coordinated with the respective business model and organizational structures. The five working groups are split by topic as follows: Products working group, environment and resources working group, supply chain working group, employees working group and communication and CSR working group.
Sustainability teams steer and coordinate
The Greiner headquarters has also had its own corporate business function since 2017, which manages and coordinates sustainability matters from headquarters. The department reports directly to the CEO of Greiner. The team at headquarters has been gradually expanded in recent years and has consistently taken on new tasks as well as building up its skills. It helps those responsible for sustainability issues in all divisions implement strategic initiatives, advises division management and aids strategic further development of the sustainability agenda. Key indicator reporting and the impact analysis are also managed from headquarters. In the four divisions, sustainability teams work in parallel on putting sustainability measures into practice. Collaboration across different levels is the key to our success.