KLU talks Business ... with Gabriele Maurer, Jungheinrich

Intra-logistics solution provider Jungheinrich, listed on the stock exchange and headquartered in Hamburg, ranks among the most sustainable two percent of all companies in the mechanical engineering sector according to the sustainability ratings platform EcoVadis. Their next milestone: climate neutrality. As Head of the Department of Sustainability and Environment, engineer Gabriele Maurer knows the path there and the difficulties along the way.

For you is the glass half full or half empty regarding climate change and its noticeable consequences? In other words, does hope or worry predominate for you?

Gabriele Maurer: For me, hope prevails. I joined the sustainability department at Jungheinrich to make a contribution to climate protection. I’m delighted that many companies, organizations, and individuals have recognized the subject’s relevance.

Many people are ready for change and are reconsidering the requirements for companies and products. That’s a positive development because there is still a lot to do and it needs to happen faster. At Jungheinrich we are committed to the 1.5°C target of the Science Based Targets Initiative and are currently creating concrete measures. I hope that more companies subscribe to the 1.5°C target.

Jungheinrich calls its sustainability strategy 2025+, is planning for climate neutrality, and wants to use resources efficiently. How is the company organizing this transition, and how does your department contribute?

Gabriele Maurer: At Jungheinrich, we understand sustainability as economic, ecological and social responsibility. This self-concept drives us. About six years ago, our sustainability department was both created and is being further expanded. Key sustainability targets were included in the 2025+ corporate strategy and thus institutionalized. As a result we can effectively implement them In the JH group. We want to create value in a sustainable way – for our employees, business partners, clients, and society.

Our core activities are covering six areas: climate neutrality, ecological efficiency and circular economy, customer benefits, sustainability management, and cooperation and sustainability outside of Jungheinrich.

Knowledge grows when it is shared. Along these lines, Kühne Logistics University (KLU) asked you what excellent executive education in sustainable management should look like for Jungheinrich. The new KLU certificate program Sustainable Management and Operations (SuMO) and deriving future alumni will benefit from this. What knowledge is currently needed in companies?

Gabriele Maurer: We’re looking for employees who know the requirements of corporate sustainability and can implement them in a specialist field. For example, an employee in the work preparation department who knows how to design a factory layout according to sustainable criteria.

I assume, knowledge of corporate sustainability is needed in all areas. SuMo is therefore a good qualification for professional activity regardless of specialization.

For you what does KLU stand for in three words?

Gabriele Maurer: A unique blend of logistics and leadership with a high standard

Jungheinrich, founded in 1953, ranks among the leading solution providers in intra-logistics worldwide. With a comprehensive portfolio of industrial trucks, automation systems, and services, Jungheinrich offers its clients custom-fit solutions for the challenges of industry 4.0. Headquartered in Hamburg, the firm is represented in 40 countries by direct distribution channels and in around 80 more countries by affiliates. Jungheinrich has 18,000 employees worldwide and generated Group sales of € 3,81 billion in 2020. Jungheinrich stock is listed in the MDAX.

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