One of the greatest challenges in the Environment action area and of our times is climate change, and Klöckner & Co regards it as its duty to counter related risks with a suitable contribution to protecting the environment.
A significant part of our business model involves shipping products to customers by truck. Klöckner & Co’s key task in the Environment action area is therefore optimizing the environmental impact of logistics processes along our value chain.
Environmental protection is an important part of our SHEQ policy – our internal safety, health, environment and quality policy. In bi-annual international working groups, logistics and quality managers from all country organizations share best practice solutions for resource efficiency in logistics. Common goals and projects are developed here and systematically advanced. The management is informed after each meeting about the outcomes and subsequently ensures that promising projects are implemented.
To this end, we endeavor to influence the environmental impact of logistics at three levels in our value chain - receipt of goods, internal transport and delivery to our customers.
At the first level, we strive to optimize the management of incoming goods. The products are mainly delivered to our locations by suppliers. Through the targeted coordination of suppliers at level one coupled with enhanced inventory management, we aim to reduce the internal transport between our locations at level two. This is achieved, for example, through optimized inventory allocation. In the pilot project region in eastern Germany, the warehouse structure was improved, which has further reduced our internal transport from other regions of Germany. France is pursuing the same aim by opening a new central warehouse in Paris to replace two existing ones. In addition, all locations at our country organization Kloeckner Metals UK and our German company Becker Stahl-Service are already certified to the ISO 14001 environmental standard, which also covers logistics.
At the third level, the goods are delivered to customers from our roughly 100 warehouse locations in Europe. Here, we pay particular attention to efficient delivery route planning, where key quality aspects include adherence to delivery dates along with ongoing optimum utilization of truck capacity and optimized route planning. In 2017, we consequently launched the universal rollout of transportation planning software. With the aid of data analysis from the transportation planning software, we have already begun to develop approaches for reducing truck fuel consumption. These can include tactics such as avoiding empty runs and fine-tuning delivery frequencies.
In addition, several country organizations already deploy state-of-the-art on-board computers that provide continuous feedback on driving behavior, vehicle speed and engine speed, thus helping to reduce truck fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions. In Germany, the drivers operating our modern fleet are provided with road training and regular feedback on their driving behavior. At Kloeckner Metals UK, too, the “Safe & Fuel Efficient Driving” program has been in place since 2017. In France, we plan to deploy two gas-powered trucks in the greater Paris area in the future. If this pilot project is a success, we will decide whether to roll out this technology further.