Population growth, scarcity of natural resources, rapid technological development and climate change are having a profound impact on our society. Industries are increasingly facing the challenge of doing more while using less. At ERIKS, we want to make a positive contribution by making industry more efficient and sustainable. In other words: we want to make industry future proof.
Making industry future proof is the essence of what we do. It is about supplying our customers with components that perform better and that are made of materials that last longer. This starts by making the right choice in material and type of product out of the estimated 900,000 products we have on offer. Our experts can provide advice or, alternatively, customers can choose themselves by using one of our online tools, such as the new Motor Calculator Tool, which allows to see how much energy and carbon emissions can be reduced when opting for a more efficient motor.
Making industry future proof is also about identifying how industrial processes can be improved. We can do this by conducting site-scans and surveys at our OEM and MRO clients’ facilities. An even more innovative approach to process improvement is taken in our recently launched Joint Improvement Program (JIP) in which we solve problems by visiting a customer’s location with a team of experts - each with different skills and experiences. This pressure-cooker methodology has already led to impressive results at a number of clients.
Ensuring uptime for our customers is another way we ‘future proof’ industry. We do this, for example, by offering engineering, maintenance and overhaul services that allow to prolong the life span of equipment. We also offer our customers so-called smart asset management, which involves sensoring and monitoring a plant’s processes, so we can measure performance and, in some cases, even predict when components are about to fail. This gives industrial companies more control over their production line, decreasing downtime and making them less wasteful. To enable these services, we continuously innovate and invest in digitalization and the use of new technology. Because we firmly believe that a future proof industry is one that uses the newest technology to decrease its footprint.
In addition to supporting our clients to become more efficient, we become more sustainable ourselves. This starts by setting ambitious targets measured against a globally accepted standard. All our targets for 2020-2030 are linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were determined in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The most specific SDGs that are linked to our key sustainability goals are ‘Decent work and Economic Growth’ (8), ‘Climate Action’ (13) and ‘Partnerships for the goals’ (17). A lot of our work is linked to other SDGs as well, but we believe that by bringing focus we can be more impactful.
This approach is demonstrated by the fact that we are already operating carbon neutral in the Netherlands, one of our largest markets, by lowering our energy use and offsetting our remaining footprint. We have now set the goal to reduce our overall carbon emissions by 30% in 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement. This challenge is actually harder than it sounds, because many of our companies are already using renewable energy sources. In 2019, we increased our yearly green energy consumption by 10%, making the total now 55%. A number of sites migrated to 100% green electricity and we partnered with Rooftop Energy (an NPM Capital participation – also part of SHV) to install solar panels on the roof of our new production location in Ede.
The topic of Health and Safety is also an important feature in this report. Improving safety is an ongoing effort and responsibility for all of us at ERIKS. I am very pleased to see that our continued work in this field has led to positive results during the past years, which is demonstrated by our Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR) that is historically low, as well as the fact that we have had zero life changing injuries in this year. This will also continue to be our target until 2030: Zero life changing injuries. Since 2016, we have observed a 49% decrease in LTIR. In 2019, we continued to invest in safety, with a successful first phase implementation of ISO 45001 certification which represents an important milestone in the further professionalization of Health & Safety management at ERIKS.
Another important topic of improvement is the diversity of our workforce. Many initiatives are taken to become a more diverse company and we have committed to have 35% of women in senior leadership positions and at least one member of senior committees being a ‘foreign national’.
As in previous years, our colleagues worldwide undertook a variety of initiatives – big and small – related to sustainability and CSR. Actions such as the annual tree planting in Belgium and the repairs and repainting of the walls of the school playground for Songjiang Auxiliary School in Shanghai China, contribute to the communities we live and work in - and also reflect our family company spirit. Some of our 2019 charity work was linked to sports activities, which traditionally play an important part in life at ERIKS. Our bodies and minds were strengthened by the many sports events that our companies around the globe competed in. We can safely conclude that, concerning sports, ERIKS is predominantly an endurance sport company, given the many people competing in running, cycling and speed skating. As of 2020, the CSR initiatives at ERIKS will focus on the topic of education.
The evidence of our future proof approach, as well as more explanation on the above-mentioned examples, can be found in the many stories that this 2019 Sustainability Report contains. For the first time we are going fully digital with our report, also stressing our commitment to reduce our impact. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.