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Sustainability: the cornerstone of future-oriented business

Mattijs Smits 18 de agosto de 2023
Reading Time: 10 minutos
Swisslog prioritizes sustainability. As a company, it is committed to environmentally responsible operations while also taking responsibility for its employees, customers, and society. Swisslog's Sales Manager Benelux, Mattijs Smits, explains the company's commitment to sustainability, social policy, energy, and environmental management.
1. What does sustainability mean to Swisslog? 
Sustainability is an integral part of our corporate culture and philosophy around corporate responsibility. We want to handle (natural) resources carefully and take responsibility for our employees, customers, and society. Sustainability is essential to achieving our long-term goals and making a positive impact in health, equity, education and training but also sustainable products and services, energy management and climate impact and sustainable procurement, in order to generate a positive impact.

2. How does that work out in practice?
We have defined three pillars of corporate responsibility: social policy; energy, environment and resources; and economy. The first component focuses on our internal organization. Sustainable working, wellbeing, energy efficiency, and environmental awareness are central. Second, with our portfolio of technically sustainable technologies, we strive for efficient warehouse solutions. And finally, we also extend these high standards to our entire supply chain.

3. Social sustainability is also hugely important, how do you capitalize on that?
Social sustainability is inherent in our business operations, both for current and future employees. Social justice, diversity, and social cohesion are embedded in our code of conduct. We work on awareness and strive for a flexible and healthy work environment with a good work-life balance. When designing workstations, we focus on ergonomics and employee health. We encourage sporting initiatives such as lunch walks and regularly organize activities around social themes. For example, every year we plan Wellbeing Month. During the whole month, we organize various social and sporting competitions through the WEPLUSS app, in which we also encourage each other.

4. What is the "Think Red: Go Green" campaign? 
'Think Red' symbolizes Swisslog's red branding. 'Go Green' indicates sustainability. More than a nice concept, it must be deeply rooted in the DNA of our employees. We believe it is important that they understand the impact they have on society. We encourage sustainable initiatives so that together we contribute to a better future for future generations. In the coming months, we will launch new initiatives to further promote our sustainability policy.

5. Can you explain some specific initiatives?
In addition to the optimization of internal processes, we are also committed to improving the efficiency of our warehouse solutions, and measures within sourcing and supply chain. For example, we have developed cranes (Vectura crane) with regenerative power and brake modules, which can absorb energy for later reuse. Thanks to advances in robotics, we also need to light and heat warehouses less. We are constantly innovating in terms of sustainability both within our own processes and those of our customers.

6. Why is sustainable procurement so important?
For the development of our products and solutions, we depend on materials and resources that we purchase externally. We can only build on our future-oriented vision by partnering with sustainable suppliers. So, we consciously choose partners who share our values. This allows us to purchase environmentally responsible materials, create more efficient products, reduce waste, cut costs and enhance our reputation.

7. Sustainability should be a collective effort. How do you guys look at that?
We work closely with external consultants to shape our sustainability strategy and planning. We invest in resources and expertise to make a real difference.  Swisslog aims to promote supply chain sustainability by working with industry to create energy-efficient solutions and reduce or replace polluting or wasteful processes. Together, we ensure that all services and solutions created internally and by our suppliers meet our sustainability requirements. Before we engage with any supplier or partner, we first conduct a thorough preliminary investigation. We also conduct regular sustainability, compliance and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) assessments.

8. How do you ensure compliance with those principles?
We monitor this strictly and have an annual report prepared by our partner IntegrityNext. If suppliers do not meet our requirements, we terminate the agreement. We work closely with both suppliers and customers to make changes and improvements throughout the chain. Moreover, we also anticipate social expectations and market evolutions so that we can offer solutions that are future-proof.

Swisslog plays an important role in making logistics processes more sustainable. Through automation, we can achieve significant improvements. We are proud of our strong position in the industry and continue to make progress in the area of automation. Swisslog offers innovative solutions that contribute to a sustainable future.
Mattijs Smits

Sales Manager, Swisslog Benelux

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