Our Strategy – „Klöckner & Co 2025: Leveraging Strengths”
In implementing our “Klöckner & Co 2025: Leveraging Strengths” strategy, we focus primarily on four levers: Customer Growth, Leveraging Assets & Partner Network, Digitalization & Value Chain Automation, and Operational Excellence. With our strategy, we are building on the strengths we have created in recent years and leveraging them to take the next evolutionary step, leading Klöckner & Co into a successful future.
We aim to generate added value for all of our Company’s stakeholders. And we want customers and business partners to benefit from seamlessly integrated, digitalized and automated processes. For employees, we aim to foster a culture of empowerment and collaboration, upskilling them for the future and enabling them to grow and develop. For shareholders, our focus on a higher level of profitability also means a focus on the sustainable financial success of their investment in Klöckner & Co. Furthermore, we strive to make a positive impact on society and the environment.
We aim to establish Klöckner & Co as the leading one-stop shop for steel, other materials, equipment and processing services in Europe and the Americas, to bring the digital and the physical sides of our business closer together and to continuously improve our internal and external networks. Inefficiencies in low-margin steel and metal distribution are still primarily caused by linear supply chains and lack of transparency. By integrating third parties while both digitalizing and automating core processes, we can eliminate existing inefficiencies in the value chain and significantly reduce our variable costs.
Our goal is to deliver the best solutions for our customers and add value in everything we do. By focusing uncompromisingly on their needs, we aim to achieve the highest customer satisfaction in the industry. This requires an extension of our product and service portfolio and larger regional coverage. The acquisition of National Material of Mexico allows us to expand our business in North America and increase our presence in Mexico, which is an important region for automotive and industrial customers. As a one-stop shop with a fast-track, best-in-class user experience, we aim to grow our client base and increase our “share of wallet”: customers buy more from us, and more customers buy from us.
Leveraging Assets & Partner Network
To improve efficiency, we aim to integrate our partners more deeply into internal processes along the value chain while optimizing network and asset utilization through increased international collaboration. We also plan to bring on board new partners with complementary product ranges and competencies outside
Klöckner & Co’s core portfolio.
Digitalization & Value Chain Automation
Building on our pioneering role in the steel industry, we are further exploiting the significant potential of digitalization and extending it to the level of automation. We develop innovative solutions and continue to digitalize our internal core processes. With seamless, end-to-end process integration featuring a very high degree of digitalization and automation, we can take process speed and efficiency to unparalleled levels along the entire value chain. Our goal is “zero touch,” meaning value generation with minimum manual effort. In the first nine months of 2023, we improved the efficiency of our digital ordering processes in the relevant organizational units. As a result, the average number of manual changes per order was reduced by more than 14% compared to the prior-year period.
In order to deliver the most efficient solutions and best service to our customers, we are continuously improving our operations. Excellence is our benchmark. By eliminating inefficiencies in our internal processes, we are optimizing our operational results and increasing profitability. We continue to further advance excellence in operations and sales through process automation, increased cost and process transparency, data-driven decision-making and organizational measures.
Sustainability is at the heart of our “Klöckner & Co 2025: Leveraging Strengths” strategy. We approach our dedicated sustainability strategy from an overarching environmental, social and governance (ESG) perspective and integrate it into our strategic planning.
We believe that innovation, technology and new business models, in particular, will enable the steel industry’s successful sustainability transformation. As part of our Group strategy, we are working as a pioneer of a sustainable steel industry to establish innovative business models by creating a comprehensive portfolio of sustainable customer solutions. By expanding our product and service portfolio, we are seizing the strategic opportunity to integrate the attractive new business area of sustainable solutions into our business model. We see this transformation as a unique growth opportunity – not just in the future, but already today.
Under our Nexigen® umbrella brand, we have focused our sustainable product and service portfolio across the Group, providing transparent, CO2-reduced solutions in the categories of materials, processing, logistics, circularity (closed-loop) solutions and comprehensive Sustainability Advisory Services for sustainable customer solutions. In this way, we are already helping customers to reliably source CO2-reduced steel and metal products, while our smart software solutions give them full visibility into the carbon footprint of the products they buy. To provide our customers with optimum support in establishing sustainable value chains, we have introduced a set of categories for our CO2-reduced steel, stainless steel and aluminum products. These categories are rooted in international, science-based standards and categorize the CO2-reduced materials according to their certified emissions along the entire value chain from resource extraction to production and processing, or cradle to Klöckner exit gate. They serve as a guide and a comparison tool when determining the carbon footprint of end products for customers. Through numerous partnerships, we already offer our customers CO2-reduced steel and metal products today.
Emissions in kg CO₂e/ t carbon steel
In addition, as of the beginning of 2023, we now provide customers with an individual Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) for almost every product in our portfolio. This allows customers to reliably, transparently and easily see the carbon footprint of a product purchased from Klöckner & Co. With the Nexigen® PCF Algorithm, we have developed an innovative tool whose automated PCF calculation methodology is certified by TÜV SÜD. The Nexigen® PCF Algorithm’s methodology for calculating the PCF follows the internationally recognized Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO 14067, ref. 14040 and 14044, and, in accordance with those standards, calculates the product’s cradle-to-customer entry gate emissions. As a result, our customers receive information on the extent to which Klöckner materials can contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of their business activities and their own end products, and can reliably include the cumulative carbon emissions of their products in emissions calculations across the entire value chain, from resource extraction to production and delivery at the customer’s factory (hence “cradle to customer entry gate”).
We have made a further major step towards decarbonizing the steel industry with the recent introduction of Nexigen® Data Services for the active management of product carbon emissions. This digital technology solution will enable customers to view, at a glance, the cradle-to-customer entry gate carbon emission history of all products so far sourced through Klöckner & Co, and automatically receive suggestions for alternative CO2-reduced products and thus potential for reductions compared to past orders. The use of open blockchain technology ensures a high level of data integrity and seamless transparency along the entire value chain. In this way, we are helping our customers to achieve their decarbonization goals.
In recognition of our contribution to the decarbonization of the steel industry, we won the prestigious German Sustainability Award 2023 in the Climate Transformation category. This shows the importance of the transformation we have initiated and that Klöckner & Co is also perceived externally as a pioneer of a sustainable steel industry.
In addition to the strategic opportunities we see in the sustainable transformation of the steel industry, we are meeting our responsibility to reduce our own emissions and those of our upstream and downstream supply chains. As part of this, we have designated the reduction of carbon emissions as a non-financial target for variable remuneration of the Management Board, the entire first management level below the Group Management Board and additional executives at levels two and three.
Our net zero carbon targets have been recognized as science-based through the regular process of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Klöckner & Co is thus committed to reducing emissions in the entire value chain to net zero by 2050.
We focus on specific actions to avoid emissions and work in close collaboration with customers and suppliers to achieve this goal. As this is a continuous, long-term process, in addition to our reduction measures, we offset all of our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions, although not in emissions accounting. This means we are already carbon-neutral today.