Deutsch
English

Sustainability Declaration

Sustainability at SCHAEFER KALK

As a family business with over 150 years of tradition, the long-term safeguarding of the future of the company is our top priority. For SCHAEFER KALK, sustainable action not only includes a chronological dimension, but also the assumption of economic, social and environmental responsibility.


Economic responsibility
Our corporate principles constitute the foundation of responsible entrepreneurship. We view the business not only as a profit maker but as a permanent element of society and environment. Our actions are based on customer satisfaction, staff retention and securing of raw materials as well as innovation and social framework conditions. All together, they are the prerequisite to long-term corporate success.

With respect to the company's sustainable viability, we focus on long-term strategies and therefore we renounce short-term advantages, if necessary. Only a strong enterprise is able to fulfill its responsibility. The yardstick for this is the company's profitability. An appropriate return on investment is therefore important for us. For this reason and also due to economic responsibility, the economical use of resources is an essential component of our entrepreneurial action.
As a family business, we try to achieve economic goals taking into consideration social and environmental issues. In order to maintain the necessary independence to do this, the required financial means are generated primarily on the basis of our own resources. Our above average equity ratio, continued high levels of shareholder contributions and the excellent credit rating by our creditor banks are a reflection of this. SCHAEFER KALK is not involved in any speculative financial transactions. We use derivative financial instruments solely for the purpose of hedging interest rate, currency and other price risks in connection with existing underlying transactions. Financing activities are managed centrally. It is thus assured that the aforementioned financing standards are maintained.

In addition to the company's interests, protection of shareholder interests is also of major importance to a family business. This ensures a stable capital structure on the one hand. On the other hand, this orientation prevents disruptions in business management through conflicts amongst the shareholders.
The articles of association constitute the legal basis for this. They define the principal values and agreed conduct of the family members set forth in the shareholder principles. All shareholders are regularly and transparently informed about the company's development. Furthermore, appropriate continuing education programs are offered, designed to help shareholders not actively involved in the business understand and evaluate such information. An external advisory board advises and supervises the management since 1980. In its work, the advisory board takes into account the shareholder perspective, and, when necessary, mediates conflicts.


Social responsibility
As an enterprise, we take our social responsibility very seriously. Dealing responsibly with social outline conditions is therefore part of our corporate principles. Our actions are evident both inside and outside of the company. Social responsibility includes relationships with business partners, neighboring communities and other social institutions as well as with our employees. We aspire to be a valuable and reliable partner to our customers, suppliers and other business partners. We live according the rule: we do what we say we will do!

We maintain good neighborly terms with the citizens and representatives of the communities near our sites. We respect their concerns in the management of our company whenever possible within the scope of our possibilities. We inform neighboring communities in a timely and transparent manner about any noticeable changes. We are always prepared to enter into a fair dialog.

Compliance with relevant legal regulations and regulatory requirements is crucial to us. This also includes the respect for human rights at all our locations. We explicitly oppose any form of forced or child labor. We oppose corruption, blackmailing and bribery.

We place a high value on protecting the health of our employees. Occupational safety and health protection is therefore of great significance to us. It is complemented by health management, including offers for exercise, nutrition and relaxation for all employees.

We place great importance on treating each other with consideration and respect. For this reason we provide training programs to our executive employees regularly. We oppose any form of discrimination and personal denigration. Measures to prevent this are anchored in our rules and management principles.

Sustainable corporate management also entails safeguarding our employees' jobs and creating reliable and competitive working conditions. It goes without saying that our employment conditions comply with or exceed all legal, union or industry provisions with regard to working hours and remuneration. A works council was elected at SCHAEFER KALK even before the introduction of the Works Constitution Act 1952. We aspire to bring together employer and employee interests in a spirit of partnership and fairness and develop workable solutions for both sides.

At SCHAEFER KALK special value is placed on the professional training of young people. We thereby make sure we obtain the necessary new skilled employees. However, we also offer apprenticeship places 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 take part in examination committees of the Chambers of Commerce and other relevant institutions involved in training. We also provide regular supervision and internships for school and university students.

Furthermore, we involve ourselves as a business enterprise along with our employees in social and cultural, local or regional projects. We provide both financial and professional assistance and support. SCHAEFER KALK particularly promotes cultural commitment. This ranges from the Oraniensteiner Concerts - a series of classical music events of the highest standard - to supporting the cultural and youth promotion society "Altes Kalkwerk", where more than 40 music groups and various artists practice and perform on a regular basis. In addition, we regularly assist schools, kindergartens and associations in the communities where we are located in the fulfillment of their tasks which exceed their own financial capacities.
The social commitment is also practiced by the company shareholders themselves. Thus they regularly donate a portion of their profits to non-profit projects, e.g. with the objective of supporting the neediest Nepalese or protecting and preserving nature and people in Africa.


Environmental responsibility
As a natural resource company, we feel especially obligated to protect the environment. We take responsibility for assuring that our actions are as environmentally friendly as possible. We consider it our duty to make use of the natural resources needed for our production processes, products and services as prudently and ecologically soundly as possible.
 
By mining selectively and using raw materials efficiently, resource consumption from our quarries can be minimized. A smaller land area is needed as a result. Domestic raw materials are thereby saved and less energy is consumed. Any materials from the quarries not used for our processes are used for alternate purposes as far as possible. We cooperate closely with other raw material companies in this context. This applies to unavoidable by-products of our processes as well: whenever possible they are not disposed of, but are used as a product in other applications.

Biotopes with a high biodiversity have developed in and around both our active and decommissioned quarries and mining waste heaps. SCHAEFER KALK goes far and beyond legal restoration requirements in planning, maintaining and preserving them. We cooperate closely with biologists, landscapers and nature conservation associations. For its work in this area, our company has been the recipient of numerous sustainability awards.

We reduce environmental burdens far beyond what is required by law wherever possible. This also holds true for blast shocks, which are reduced to a minimum through the use of modern processes. The dust and gaseous pollutants are filtered by state of the art waste air purification systems to a far greater degree than the law requires. Our sources of noise pollution are minimized over and above regulatory constraints by our use of the most modern technology and adequate sound insulation in a project designed to continuously reduce noise.
Wherever feasible, we use groundwater from the required water holding and drainage system as our production water. We take care that the water is used and purified in a closed loop. Waste is avoided to the greatest extent possible and is treated and disposed of properly.
Climate protection is important to us. Carbon dioxide emissions are minimized by using ultra-modern energy efficient kiln technology and a portion of the emissions is later bound in our products during the preparation of precipitated calcium carbonate.

We have our own energy management system, within the scope of which we commit ourselves to taking all possible measures to fabricate our products with a minimal use of energy. This also means that we continuously work on improving the energy efficiency of our plants. We meet regulatory requirements as a matter of course and consider them a minimum standard. Among other things, we have made it our objective to significantly increase the ratio of renewable energies in our total energy consumption. We want to stop using fossil fuels completely for heating our production buildings.
The onsite PCC plants that we operate also reduce environmental impact. Using them avoids energy-intensive drying of the products and higher transport weights. At the same time, a significant portion of the released CO2 in the paper factory is bound again in our products.
Moreover, a large portion of the products we distribute actively contributes to environmental protection by being used in flue gas desulfurization, water and waste water treatment and thermal insulation.