Sustainability at SCHAEFER KALK
As family-owned company looking back on a tradition of more than 150 years, the long-term protection of the company’s existence is our uppermost goal.
However, sustainability does not only have a time-related dimension for SCHAEFER KALK but includes the assumption of economic, social and environmental responsibility.
Our corporate principles constitute the foundation of this responsible entrepreneurship, where the company is not understood as earnings driver alone but as a permanent component of society and environment. Action guidelines with respect to customer satisfaction, employee retention, securing of raw materials, innovations and social outline conditions are established, which are the prerequisite for a long-term entrepreneurial success.
With a view to protection of our company, we seek to achieve long-term success instead of short-term benefits. The yardstick in this respect is the company's earning power, which has to permit an appropriate rate of return to be achieved for the capital invested. The economical use of resources is a component and prerequisite for this economic responsibility.
As a family-owned company, were are particularly well placed to achieve economic goals taking into consideration social and environmental issues. In order to maintain the necessary independence, we have to generate the required financial means primarily on the basis of our own resources. This is demonstrated by our above-average equity ratio, long-term high shareholder contributions as well as the very good credit ratings given by our lending banks.
SCHAEFER KALK is not involved in any speculative financial transactions. Derivative financial instruments are used exclusively for the purpose of hedging interest rate, currency and price risks in connection with existing underlying transactions. The financing activities are controlled in a centralized manner, so that compliance with the preceding financing standards is ensured.
In addition to the company's interests, safeguarding shareholder interests is also of great importance in a family-owned company, in order to ensure a stable capital structure on the one hand, and to avoid disturbances to the company management resulting from conflicts among the shareholders on the other.
The articles of association constitute the legal basis for this, whereas the principal values and agreed conduct of the family members is provided for in the shareholder principles. The shareholders are informed regularly and transparently about the company development, and corresponding further training courses are offered to those shareholders who do not work in the company, to enable them to understand and assess this information.
SCHAEFER KALK has had an Advisory Committee composed of external members since 1980. Its task is to provide advice to and control the management in its management activities as well as to take into account the shareholder perspective and, if necessary, to settle conflicts.
Dealing responsibly with social outline conditions is an element of our corporate principles, and this becomes apparent both inside and outside the company.
Social responsibility includes the relations with business partners, neighboring communities and other social institutions as well as to our employees.
We wish to be a valuable and reliable partner for our customers, suppliers and other business partners: We do what we say! We are against corruption, including blackmail and bribery.
We have good neighborhood relations with the communities where our factories are located and take their affairs into consideration in how we manage our company within the scope of our possibilities. The neighboring communities are informed in a timely and transparent manner about any noticeable changes, and we are willing to enter into a fair dialog any time.
The compliance with legally relevant regulations as well as official and legal requirements is of great importance to us. This also includes the respect for human rights at all our sites. We explicitly reject any type of forced or child labor.
Maintaining our employees' health is important to us. Therefore occupational safety and health at work is of great significance and is complemented by health management, including offers for exercise, nutrition and relaxation.
We train our executive employees regularly and expect our employees to treat each other considerately and respectfully. We do not accept any form of discrimination and harassment. The respective rules are set down in our guidelines and management principles.
Sustainable management also means to secure our employees' jobs and to provide reliable and competitive working conditions. Naturally our working conditions comply at least with the statutory, collective agreement or industry standards for working hours and compensation. A works council was elected at SCHAEFER KALK even before the introduction of the Works Constitution Act, in order to coordinate the interests of employer and employees based on mutual fairness and to develop solutions which are acceptable to both sides.
SCHAEFER KALK attributes special importance to the training of young people. We thereby secure our pool of young qualified people but also offer professional training in excess of our demand, in order to give young people embarking on their career the opportunity of a qualified start into their professional life. Our employees are involved in the examination committees of the Chambers of Commerce and other educational commissions. In addition, they support and supervise trainees and students.
Furthermore we as company and our employees are also engaged in social and cultural, local or regional projects, providing both financial as well as material support and assistance. SCHAEFER KALK promotes special cultural commitment, from the Oranienstein Concerts, a series of events of sophisticated classical music all the way to the support of the culture and youth promotion group "Altes Kalkwerk", where more than 40 music groups and a variety of artists practice and work. Schools, kindergartens and associations in the communities where we are located are supported regularly in the fulfillment of their tasks which exceed their own financial capacities.
Within the scope of the family's philanthropic activities, the company's shareholders regularly donate parts of their company profits to two projects aiming at preserving the rain forests and supporting the poorest of poor in Nepal.
As raw material company, we feel especially dedicated to environmental protection and assume responsibility to design our actions as environmentally compatible as possible. It is our task to use the natural resources for our production processes, products and services as carefully and circumspectly as possible.
The selective exploitation and efficient use of raw materials minimizes the resource consumption as far as possible and allows for less surface area utilization. Domestic raw materials are thereby saved and less energy is used. Any parts in the quarries not used for our processes are used for other purposes as far as possible, and we cooperate closely with other raw material companies. This also applies to unavoidable side products of our processes, which are not disposed of but used as product for other purposes as far as possible.
Biotopes with a high degree of biodiversity have developed in and around our active and abandoned quarries. With respect to planning, conservation and maintenance, SCHAEFER KALK by far exceeds the requirements for restoration and works closely with biologists, landscape planners and nature conservation associations. Various sustainability prices have been awarded to the company already.
We reduce the burden for our environment beyond the statutory requirements wherever possible. This applies to blast shocks, which are reduced by employing modern methods, as well as to dust-type and gaseous pollutants, which are retained to a higher degree than legally required because we use state-of-the-art exhaust air purification systems. Our noise sources are minimized beyond what regulations demand by using the latest technology and appropriate sound insulation within the framework of a continuous noise reduction project.
Whenever possible, the production water we use is groundwater from the water drainage, which has to be performed in any case, which undergoes recycling and treatment. Waste is avoided to the greatest possible extent and otherwise treated and disposed of properly.
Climate protection is important to us. Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced to a minimum by using state-of-the-art furnace technology with optimized energy consumption and partly reintegrated into our products in the production of precipitated calcium carbonate.
Within the scope of our energy management system we furthermore commit ourselves to take all necessary action to produce our products with minimal use of energy. This also includes the continuous improvement of the energy-related performance of our plants. Compliance with legal requirements is a matter of course and is regarded as a prerequisite. Moreover, we have set the goal to clearly increase the share of regenerative energy in our overall energy consumption and do totally without fossil fuels in the heating of our production buildings.
The PCC-Onsite plants operated by us also help relieve the environment because the energy-intensive drying of the products as well as higher transportation weights are avoided, and the CO2 released in the paper factory are reintegrated in our products to a certain extent.
Apart from that, a great part of the products sold by us contribute actively to environmental protection by using flue gas desulphurization, drinking and waste water treatment and heat insulation.