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Environment, Sustainability and CSR

EcoVadis and UN Global Compact CSR awards for KLINGER Dichtungstechnik

CSR with certificate and medal: KLINGER Dichtungstechnik is strengthening its CSR strategy with EcoVadis by signing the UN Global Compact.

KLINGER Dichtungstechnik was awarded the silver medal for sustainability by EcoVadis. In addition, by signing the UN Global Compact, the company is supporting the United Nations’ sustainability goals.

Sustainable action has always been a high priority for KLINGER Dichtungstechnik (KDT) in Gumpoldskirchen. The careful use of resources is a decisive factor for many customers in choosing KLINGER solutions. That is why KDT places high demands on sustainability. Now the various activities in the area of CSR have also been evaluated and confirmed by an external body: The EcoVadis medal of sustainability, which not only takes environmental responsibility but all aspects of social responsibility into account, was awarded to KDT on June 25th, 2021.

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Comprehensive evaluation

The EcoVadis silver medal for ecological and social responsibility
The EcoVadis silver medal for ecological and social responsibility

The EcoVadis certification is only awarded after a comprehensive evaluation. 21 sustainability criteria in the four subject areas of environment, labor and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement are evaluated with the help of a questionnaire and the results are assigned a ranking based on the industry and company size. In addition to the activities that have been implemented, CSR awards and certifications that have already been received also play a role.

“Gathering all the information for the questionnaire was time-consuming, but it was worth it,” says Stephan Piringer, Managing Director. In a comparison with 4,134 other companies in the rubber and plastics industry, KLINGER Dichtungstechnik achieved above-average results and was ranked in the top third. The next evaluation is set for March 2022. Until then, KDT will strive to improve even more so that next time it can obtain further points and possibly achieve the gold status.

 

UN Global Compact signed

In mid-June, KDT also joined the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest initiative for corporate responsibility. With this step, KDT commits to working towards the sustainability goals of the United Nations. “The EcoVadis submission was the impetus to consider the areas in which we can do even more for sustainability. Because there is always room for improvement,” says Piringer.

From now on KDT will send an annual report to the UN on the activities it has undertaken to achieve the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such sustainable activities are constantly being implemented, as Piringer explains: “Since receiving the medal, we have started other specific projects, for example to raise employee awareness of ethics, to further increase employee protection and to encourage our suppliers to engage in corporate social responsibility.”

 

KLINGER Dichtungstechnik was welcomed on social media as a new member of the UN Global Compact
KLINGER Dichtungstechnik was welcomed on social media as a new member of the UN Global Compact.

KLINGER Dichtungstechnik can contribute in particular to three development goals of the United Nations with its product portfolio and careful use of resources in the manufacturing process
KLINGER Dichtungstechnik can contribute in particular to three development goals of the United Nations with its product portfolio and careful use of resources in the manufacturing process: “Clean water and sanitation”, “Sustainable consumption and production” and “Climate protection measures”.

Upholding environmental protection

The commitment to the environment at KLINGER Dichtungstechnik has been above average for many years. The company was one of the first to sign the EU’s voluntary environmental management system (EMAS) back in 1998. As an industrial company, KDT is aware of its responsibility and pays attention to resource-saving and low-emission production. For example, material waste that occurs at the partnered punching companies is retrieved, the material is ground and returned to production. With the construction of a plant for regenerative afterburning, the company now saves 150 tons of CO2. The resulting improvement in waste heat recovery reduced the need for thermal energy. For a number of years now, 100 percent of the electricity has also come from hydropower.

Stephan Piringer, Director and Head of Environment, Safety and Development at KLINGER Dichtungstechnik

„Since receiving the medal, we have started other specific projects, for example to raise employee awareness of ethics, to further increase employee protection and to encourage our suppliers to engage in corporate social responsibility.“

Stephan Piringer, Director and Head of Environment, Safety and Development at KLINGER Dichtungstechnik

 

Work safely

Safety at the workplace is particularly important in production and is ensured by numerous measures. “We can only further increase safety if the employees are directly involved,” Piringer is convinced. To ensure that potentially dangerous situations are recognized before something happens, two safety officers have been appointed: Herbert Hutter, Mixer Foreman, and Patrick Leeb, Topchem Production, are the contacts for any and all safety issues. Each quarter, they inspect the production and commercial buildings together with Piringer and discuss possible safety upgrades in order to remain at the leading edge of workplace safety.

Potentially questionable CMR substances are also meticulously tracked down throughout the manufacturing process and, whenever possible, they are exchanged for harmless substances or even removed without replacement. A control tool ensures that these hazardous substances do not find their way back into the operations, for example when changing suppliers.

Sustainable procurement

Stephan Piringer sees a need for improvement in sustainable procurement. Supply chains are rarely completely transparent, and there is no corresponding legal framework. “In order to select the most sustainable supplier from a selection of several, otherwise equivalent suppliers, we have developed a supplier code and created a sustainability questionnaire.” This allows KLINGER Dichtungstechnik to evaluate its suppliers in terms of sustainability and social responsibility. Suppliers who can provide a sustainability certificate in addition to a correspondingly high-quality product, make a much stronger argument for a partnership with KDT.


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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  • What is the core business of KLINGER Dichtungstechnik?
    At the Gumpoldskirchen location, KLINGER Dichtungstechnik develops a wide range of gasket materials and solutions.

  • Which products are manufactured in Gumpoldskirchen?
    The product portfolio includes flat gasket materials based on elastomer fiber composite materials, PTFE. The gasket sheets can be purchased directly from the manufacturer. In addition, KLINGER Dichtungstechnik offers services such as KLINGER Expert, software for selecting the right gasket, assembly instructions, product approvals, mobile training and advice.

  • What new products are available at KLINGER Dichtungstechnik?
    KLINGER Dichtungstechnik is currently launching a new gasket product for the drinking water sector: an important contribution to clean drinking water, one of the goals of the UN Global Compact.

 

Herbert Hutter, Patrick Leeb, Stephan Piringer and Ingrid Stassner in front of the bust of Richard Klinger
Herbert Hutter (2nd from left), Mixer Foreman, and Patrick Leeb (1st from right), Topchem Production, have been appointed as safety representatives. Photographed on the safety inspection with Stephan Piringer and Ingrid Stassner in front of the bust of Richard Klinger.

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