After his first 100 days in his new role as the KLINGER Group’s Sustainability Manager, Yusuf Avci feels welcomed and appreciated. “Although a challenge, the early days were a great experience for me, as both my colleagues and superiors were receptive to my concerns and glad to support me,” says Yusuf.
These concerns are no minor matter: Being responsible for ESG reporting for the KLINGER Group’s 60 or so subsidiaries, he must be intimately familiar with the EU sustainability reporting requirements that will soon come into effect. He must also win the hearts and minds of all those who collate and share the necessary figures in each of the companies. In this, he is supported by Ines Weikl from Group Accounting at KLINGER Holding. Time is of the essence: “We must gather all relevant data in 2025 so that we can report on it comprehensively in 2026. And 2024 is the year in which we must all make our companies fit for this task,” says Yusuf.
Establishing the essentials
In his first 100 days in the role, he has already contacted many of the subsidiaries. His points of contact are usually the people working in Quality Management, who are in charge of issues such as the environment and occupational safety. During this time, he was also involved in the so-called “materiality assessment”, which was conducted to define the sustainability issues relevant to the KLINGER Group. These, in turn, provide the roadmap for setting course towards environmentally friendly business practices.
An external consultancy firm supported him in identifying the key sustainability aspects.
Setting course for circular economy
“My priority was to only deal with topics that we can handle and move forward ourselves. It wasn’t about creating illusions, but about tangible projects that can actually be put into practice,” says Yusuf. The circular economy is a case in point: Some of the KLINGER Group companies are already demonstrating this, reconciling resource efficiency and product efficiency with an eye on recyclability. The aim is to extend this to as many Group members as possible. Technical innovations would speed up KLINGER's progress in this area, and Yusuf is expecting many helpful technological advancements.
There is one expectation, however, that he cannot fulfill: “You cannot expect an ESG manager to solve all problems by flourishing a magic wand. We can only make progress when we work together, and this requires the input of all employees. Everyone is needed, every idea is of value.”