Sustainability at Rheinmetall
From social responsibility to climate and environmental protection.
We at Rheinmetall have been taking responsibility for over 130 years, and on a daily basis. The public’s interest in corporate responsibility continues to grow, with customers, investors, employees and the general public all seeking to form a complete picture of how companies operate, how they conduct their global business activities, and the impact these have on people and the environment. We are receiving an increasing number of inquiries from all areas of society as people’s expectations regarding transparency and demands for comparability grow.
From social responsibility to governance all the way through to climate action and environmental protection – the Corporate Social Responsibility corporate function headed by Ursula Pohen (Head of CSR) pools together, evaluates and communicates information on sustainability activities across the entire Group.
A glance over the shoulder of Doreen Hölzer provides some insight into what a working day looks like for the team.
What exactly is corporate social responsibility understood to mean?
Corporate social responsibility with the three pillars of economy, environment and social was an early framework for companies’ areas of responsibility in respect of sustainability. The acronym ESG is now more widely used in political spheres as well as in the financial world. It stands for environment, social, governance – three terms with one aim, which is to obtain a complete picture of sustainability in all its facets.
Precisely that. In the CSR corporate function, we track and analyze stakeholder requirements, among other things, and derive areas for action and objectives as well as projects and measures from them.
At the moment, we’re devoting our particular attention to enacting the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, which comes into effect on January 1, 2023, and encompasses two subprojects involving the tier 1 supply chain and our in-house business unit. It sounds a bit abstract, but it’s not at all: Companies, Rheinmetall included, contribute to sustainable development – for example, by reducing CO2 emissions or implementing processes to uphold human rights within the business and on the supplier side.
As well as this, we’re already looking closely at the disclosure obligations under the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, which will come into force from January 2024. We’re progressively expanding our sustainability reporting to give stakeholders a transparent picture of how much Rheinmetall is focusing on sustainability and what progress it has already made in this regard. These report contents are also incorporated in the responses to ESG ratings – another important aspect of our work.
"The fascinating thing about CSR is that it covers a broad range of subject matter, from human rights and occupational health and safety through biodiversity and water management all the way to energy management, recycling and diversity."
This means that we have to work closely with other departments, locations and colleagues all around the world, which allows us to constantly discover new sides of Rheinmetall, gain a better understanding of how things fit together and of course keep a watchful eye. At the same time, the granularity inherent in the ESG system enables you to really “get into” new aspects. In our area you can be a subject matter specialist and a generalist at the same time – so the job truly never gets boring or monotonous.
"One thing’s for sure – the term
'sustainable future' really affects everyone. Something needs to change, and sooner rather than later."