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"Sustainability is much more than just environmental protection"

Three questions for Kerstin Heinrich, Head of Corporate Sustainability, about sustainability at KUKA.

Carolin Hort
3 May 2023
Reading Time: 2 min.

Kerstin, what does sustainability look like at KUKA?

Kerstin Heinrich: The term is often equated with environmental protection, but sustainability goes much further and stands for the consideration of economic, ecological and social or societal aspects - ESG for Environment, Social and Governance.


That is why we at KUKA take a very comprehensive view of the topic: 
By sustainability, we mean acting responsibly as a company - towards our environment, our customers, our investors. Towards our employees and our social environment.

Kerstin Heinrich, KUKA Head of Corporate Sustainability

The title of the current sustainability report is "Shaping tomorrow". You are looking ahead, so let's do that together: What sustainability goals is KUKA pursuing?

Kerstin Heinrich: At KUKA, we have identified the topics that are essential for us. These include

  • Climate protection/climate risks,
  • efficient and responsible products and solutions,
  • responsible procurement,
  • employee responsibility/promotion
  • and good corporate governance.


Among other things, we have set ourselves specific CO2 targets for 2030 and anchored important KUKA principles in our Code of Conduct - a kind of guard rail for our day-to-day activities.

By sustainability, KUKA means acting responsibly as a company - especially towards the employees. 

However, we are not only looking at what we ourselves can do to promote sustainability within the company, but also as a supplier to our customers. As a technology company, we play a major role in shaping sustainable production for our customers. To name just a few examples: We offer energy-efficient robots and are developing business models for the circular economy as part of a Group-wide innovation campaign. We are currently designing a CO2-neutral production plant for a customer in Finland.

Let's stay with the look into the future: From 2025, new rules for sustainability reporting will apply in the EU. What is in store for us?

Kerstin Heinrich: The EU is significantly expanding the reporting rules from 2025. Companies will then have to present transparently how they are driving the issue of sustainability, and in a similarly mandatory manner to what we already know today from financial reporting. The main issue here is that every company must address the future viability of its business model. This is also what our customers expect of us. For example, the requirements of our customers, regardless of the industry, have also risen sharply worldwide. They demand a transparent presentation of their globally sustainable performance from their suppliers and will also increasingly include this in future when awarding contracts. That's why our first step is to record our global ESG data. After all, we can only improve if we know where we stand.

The establishment of a globally standardized reporting system is the basis for a sustainability program with targets and concrete measures for improvement. 

The transparent presentation of our global sustainability performance in the Group will be a major and important task that will occupy us over the next 1.5 years and on which we must all work together.


Shaping tomorrow

To the KUKA Sustainability Report 2022

About the author
Carolin Hort
Manager Corporate Communications
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