Green Excellerate – the path to sustainability for Materials Services in Europe
thyssenkrupp Materials Services wants to operate on a climate-neutral basis, reduce CO2 emissions in the supply chain and enforce social standards. The company has formulated its sustainability plans as "Beyond clean", "Beyond green" and "Beyond good". These include not only the voluntary commitment to operate in a climate-neutral manner from 2030 and to continuously reduce all forms of environmental impact.
"With our customers in mind, we also want to become the first choice when it comes to climate-friendly products and services – in other words, decarbonizing the supply chain," Martin Stillger, CEO of thyssenkrupp Materials Services. "We also work intensively with suppliers on the topics of sustainability and social standards. We believe this will enable us to make a further contribution to a more sustainable world."
Joint approach for Europe
Materials Services has around 70 companies and 270 operating sites in more than 30 countries. To ensure the sustainability targets can be achieved, a large number of employees are involved in the initiatives. To utilize synergies, the company has developed a structured and joint approach for its distribution business in Europe: "Green Excellerate".
Under the program, colleagues from the different companies in the Materials Western Europe and Materials Eastern Europe operating units define how they will achieve the targets and combine processes, projects and initiatives. For example, the procurement of sustainable packaging for our products is evaluated and coordinated in line with customer requirements.
"We are convinced that we can have a greater impact if we join forces with our activities," says Robin Pedroza, Senior Program Manager for Green Excellerate. In doing so, the Green Excellerate project team provides systematic project management and tracks goals and progress. It also includes increasing motivation and identification with the goals among employees in the companies.
The focus areas of the performance program cover three areas: Energy reduction, CO2 reduction, and the sale of green products and services. Thus, "Green Excellerate" not only addresses the company's own processes and services, but also integrates the needs of customers and suppliers. This is the only way to make supply chains truly "greener".
Close exchange with customers and suppliers
The region has set out to create an entire ecosystem of green materials suppliers – and thus strengthen its own position. "As a large materials distributor and network partner, we are in a good position to actually implement a sustainability strategy," says Pedroza. "On the one hand, we know the sustainability needs of our customers, and on the other hand, we exchange ideas closely with suppliers. As a first step, this is primarily about green steel, which we are including in our portfolio."
The materials distributor has already received and sold its first deliveries of X-Carb®. The carbon-reduced steel is supplied by Arcelor Mittal, the leading supplier in this field. At the same time, talks are underway with several other suppliers who want to bring green products to the Eastern European market. Suppliers who do not yet have the topic on their agenda are also being approached. "We then discuss the strategic need to convert the production of materials and anticipate increasing demand," Pedroza describes the procedure.