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At thyssenkrupp's steering business, Magdalena, Andrea, Tobias and Julien ensure that economic performance and sustainable action are thought together. As the ESG team they work with the operating units to make the company more sustainable overall.
Magdalena Kunz has been with thyssenkrupp Presta AG since 2001 and started her new job as a ESG Project Manager three months ago. In this interview, the mother of two reveals why she is passionate about ESG and what she aims to change.
Andrea Obweger started as Project Manager ESG at the steering business in Liechtenstein on June 1, 2023. As a native Carinthian, she studied at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna and at Cranfield University and most recently worked for the Ministry of Agriculture.
Tobias Danner started working at thyssenkrupp in March 2019 in Cost Engineering. When the sustainability department was established, he calculated the first product carbon footprints and researched databases and certifications. After further training to become a Climate Engineer and studying to become a Sustainable Engineer, Tobias moved to the ESG department in September, where he is responsible for the C02 footprint of products and the implementation of climate targets in the supply chain.
Julien Becker has been the new Head of ESG at thyssenkrupp Presta AG since March 1, 2023. In this interview, the passionate mountain biker reveals what drives him when it comes to ESG and what goals he has set for himself for the future.
Magdalena: ESG stands for operational standards relating to the environment, social issues and governance. These topics are becoming increasingly important for the capital market. Without ESG ratings and official sustainability reports, investors and banks would withdraw. Those who do not respond to this are taking a business risk. That's why we, too, must act responsibly and sustainably. But also because we owe it to our children.
Andrea: Sustainability is already a central element of our corporate strategy. As thyssenkrupp's steering business we want to offer innovative products, technologies and services worldwide that contribute to the sustainable success of our customers.
Together with our customers we look into the future and include economic as well as environmental and social aspects in our decision-making processes. The basis for this is a 360-degree view of our value and production chains. This way, we improve our performance and strengthen the future of our company.
Tobias: Absolutely. The European Green Deal, for example, aims to achieve climate neutrality in Europe by 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions are already to be reduced by 55 percent by 2030. The European "Green Deal" encompasses social, environmental and economic factors and aims to achieve sustainable growth. We operate in the European Union and are affected by the upcoming climate protection requirements. Of course, this also applies to legislation in other countries in which we operate.
Germany, for example, wants to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2045 with its "Climate Protection Act," while Switzerland wants to achieve the "net zero target" by 2050 with its "Federal Act on Climate Protection Targets, Innovation and Strengthening Energy Security" of June 2023. Politics, economy and society agree that greenhouse gas emissions must be limited in order to prevent serious and irreversible changes to the climate system. How this is to be done, however, is the subject of controversial debate. Policy instruments are EU regulations and EU directives or national laws, often in combination with incentive instruments such as subsidies. One of these is the much-discussed CO2 pricing. It is intended to create incentives to cut emissions.
Tobias: ESG rating agencies assess a company's commitment to sustainable business. The assessment results, known as scores, enable transparency and comparability of a company's sustainability performance in terms of environmental, social and governance factors. As a Group, thyssenkrupp holds ratings from CDP, MSCI, Sustainalytics and Ecovadis, among others. Due to its responsibility thyssenkrupp is a member of econsense and supports the UN Global Compact.
The ratings from the rating agencies provide valuable feedback on our sustainability performance. As a Group with industrial and technology businesses, thyssenkrupp reports in a fully integrated way as part of its sustainability reporting.
Julien: Sustainability is an integral part of our Group strategy, which also aims to contribute to the sustainable success of our customers with our products, technologies and services. This means ensuring a clean value and production chain. Therefore we have set ourselves specific goals to become climate-neutral. Communication and monitoring are also very important, as is the training of our employees.
Andrea: The entire thyssenkrupp Group has defined concrete climate targets: 30 percent less own CO2 emissions and emissions from purchased energy by 2030 (scopes 1 and 2) compared with 2018. 16 percent less CO2 emissions in the upstream and downstream supply chain (scope 3) by 2030 compared with 2018. The independent scientific organization Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) has recognized this target as ambitious and in line with the Paris climate agreement. Only a few manufacturing industrial companies are achieving this target.
The Automotive business segment has set itself even more ambitious targets: By 2024 we aim to be climate neutral at all sites in Scope 1 and 2, and by 2035 in Scope 3. This also includes offset measures.
As part of the strategic alignment of the steering business, we are in the process of defining detailed sustainability targets and integrating them into the "House of Strategy" and the "Strategy 2030."
Because one thing is clear: Sustainability has definitely come to stay. Not only our shareholders, but also our customers are making increasingly specific demands on us. Hence the impulse to all employees: Let's work on it together and get involved!