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REICH IS BECOMING EVER GREENER

We really think about how we act – for everyone’s benefit.

Our business activities not only have an economic impact, but also an ecological and social one – on a global scale. This is something we are well aware of which is why we thoroughly examine the issue of sustainability in terms of the responsible use of available resources.

As with our coupling solutions and elastomers, we constantly scrutinise our own sustainability performance. We have identified various fields of action where we are committed to sustainability. Our aim is to minimise the environmental impact of our operations. This is why we favour solutions that conserve resources and use renewable energy, both in our own production facilities and in the supply chains of all the preliminary products we require.

Resource efficiency – identifying and utilising potential savings
We work to protect the climate by constantly optimising our environmental footprint and continually reducing our energy requirements. This involves in-house measures such as heat recovery in production and reprocessing instead of disposal to improve our recycling performance. This means we keep reducing our CO2 emissions while always keeping an eye on the entire circular economy and resource efficiency. Our objective is to halve our CO2 footprint by 2030 and to be CO2-neutral by 2050.

Our path to sustainability:
Respect, recover, reduce.

We strive for a greener future by placing resource efficiency and the circular economy at the centre of everything we do.

ESG - The three pillars of sustainability

Act sustainably, operate ethically, manage transparently.

1

The environment pillar looks at a company’s impact on the planet. In this area, a company’s approach to the climate, its greenhouse gas emissions and its carbon footprint play a key role.
However, the “E” in ESG doesn’t end with a company’s impact on the climate. Other aspects to be measured are water pollution, water consumption and air pollution. In addition, companies in this category report on land use practices, deforestation and the preservation of biodiversity. Ultimately, a company’s recycling policy and whether or not it has a circular economy model also have an impact on its rating.

2

The social pillar in ESG relates to a company’s impact on people – from employees and consumers to the communities in which the company operates. Employee and working practices, health and safety standards, mental health, customer success and community relations are reported in this category. Companies also report on equity issues, including gender and diversity inclusion. Customer success, including product stewardship “in relation to the safety and quality of their product”, is also addressed.
Social sustainability refers to a company’s ability to meet social needs and challenges in a way that is sustainable and improves people’s quality of life without jeopardising opportunities for future generations.

3

Corporate governance addresses the management of a company, executive remuneration, audits, internal reviews and shareholder rights. Partners (customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders) want to know if they can trust an organisation and what kind of decisions are being made behind closed doors. Some factors that could influence an organisation’s governance rating are the Board line-up, executive remuneration guidelines, political contributions and lobbying, and best practice in recruitment and onboarding.

Active steps – real change

Details of our measures.

In our pursuit of sustainability and social responsibility, we have taken definitive measures that both protect the environment and promote our social and governance principles. From installing photovoltaic systems to optimising our recycling processes, each initiative helps to reinforce our ESG commitment and have a positive impact on our planet and our society. Discover our initiatives and learn more about the individual projects categorised under environment, social and governance. Our ongoing commitment is evident in each of these actions, which collectively build towards our greater goal of creating a sustainable, just and future-proof world.

Environment
LED instead of fluorescent tubes

Better light conditions while saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions at the same time. How REICH achieves visible results with LED light sources.

100000
kWh electricity saved
Realized 2021
LED instead of fluorescent tubes

In earlier times we used to see the typical fluorescent tubes hanging everywhere in our Manufacturing Hall in Bochum. Flickering and flackering, they emitted an omnipresent, latent humming noise as well. But thanks to our transition to LED technology, these times are long gone. By replacing the fluorescent tubes with LED lights in our Manufacturing Hall, we could reduce the total number of installed lamps from 198 to as few as 40 units.
Besides providing for a more homogeneous illumination and a better overall appearance, the use of LED light sources helps to reduce both our energy consumption and our CO2 emissions. The following comparative values are obtained when assuming our usual three-shift operation on 5.5 days a week and 24 hours of daily burning time:
We recorded an annual energy consumption of 171,243 kWh for the fluorescent tubes, and of just 65,894 kWh for the LED light sources. This translates to annual energy savings of more than 100,000 kWh. Additionally, we save 42,140 kg of CO2 in a year – when taking an average emission of 0.4 kg of CO2 per kWh as a basis. This investment will have paid for itself after 2.5 years without state subsidies, and after only 1.5 years with such subsidies.

Visible advantages
The advantages are thus clearly visible. From the economic point of view, we are pleased with the so achieved further reductions in our energy consumption which now costs us less. And because not only the energy costs, but also the maintenance costs are lower. Unlike fluorescent tubes, LED light sources need not be exchanged every now and then. Plus, they do without a starter which would require regular replacement. And of course they have no turn-on delay which is common to fluorescent tubes. LED light sources convince with their considerably longer lifetime. And since their use in our Manufacturing Hall also eliminates the presence of harmful substances like mercury or, in other words, the need for hazardous waste disposal, we are highly satisfied with our successful transition to LED technology.

We recorded an annual energy consumption of 171,243 kWh for the fluorescent tubes, and of just 65,894 kWh for the LED light sources. This translates to annual energy savings of more than 100,000 kWh.

Measure realized: 2021
100000
kWh electricity saved
Environment
Photovoltaic systems

By generating electricity for our energy-intensive production processes with photovoltaic systems, we at REICH are drastically reducing our annual CO2 emissions.

128569
kWh Energy generation
Realized 2011
Photovoltaic systems

As is typical of many industrial manufacturing processes, also the production of couplings needs a lot of energy. But the lower the energy consumption, the better – for the environment from an ecological point of view and for us as an economically oriented and acting company from an economic point of view. The electricity demand for our energy-intensive production processes became so high over the years that we decided in 2012 to invest in alternative energy generation and to turn to solar energy. In the first step, the rooftops of REICH’s Mechanical Manufacturing Hall and Assembly Hall were equipped with photovoltaic systems. And because of the initial positive experience gained with the first ones, the rooftops of our office buildings followed in 2015.

Grid feed-ins and savings
Electricity generation from sunrays has become a significant pillar of our electricity supply. Our PV systems fed exactly 128,569 kWh of electricity into our in-house grid in 2021. Thanks to solar energy, we could save 83,570 kg of CO2 emissions in the same year. The amount of our CO2 savings is obtained from the value 0.65 kg/kWh which the German Federal Ministry for the Environment states as a reference value for the calculations in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Visitors coming to see us in Bochum will still find some free rooftops which would be eligible for additional PV systems. Well, we have already looked into the question whether another PV system could be realised on the rooftop of our Rubber and Plastics Manufacturing Hall. But as things stand today, such an additional investment would not be worthwhile in financial terms.

Another topic we are looking into is the use of eco electricity, which is why we are keeping an eye on what is going on. For a company seeking to maintain a leading edge over the competition, economic efficiency is always the decisive criterion. From today’s perspective, eco electricity is too expensive for our purposes and disproportionate to the benefits. But: What may not be the right thing for us today, may well be just right for REICH in the next few years. Because it’s not without reason that we make the commitment: REICH goes greener and greener.

Measure realized: 2011
128569
kWh Energy generation
Environment
Recycling rate

With our measures towards resource efficiency, we keep an eye on the sustainable disposal and reconditioning of all materials utilised by REICH.

97
% Recycling rate
Recycling rate

If there is one material that is sustainable, then it is steel. Steel offers an extraordinarily high recycling potential and is known for its long life span. Meltable without limitations, something entirely new can be created again and again out of steel. But aluminium too convinces with its great material recycling properties. For this reason we separate the used materials, steel and aluminium, according to their type with the primary goal to reuse these materials to the greatest possible extent and to obtain of course the maximum sales price.

Waste rubber is put by us into residual waste containers and shredded and separated by a waste disposal company. Thereafter a decision is taken based on the quality of the waste as to whether the waste rubber can be used for material recycling or should be combusted in a cement factory. Another option which the waste disposal company can choose is to have the waste rubber further processed into children’s playground mats. But here, the sales price for waste rubber remains the decisive criterion. For REICH, the material recycling of waste rubber does not pay off in financial terms, which is why this task has been delegated to a waste disposal company. In addition to waste aluminium, steel and rubber, also other types of waste result from our production processes which we at REICH separate into the following categories: Plastic waste, wood, paper or cardboard, residual waste, waste oil, waste emulsion, aerosol cans and fluorescent tubes.

Rising recycling rate
All the waste occurring at REICH is disposed of by a competent waste disposal company or recovery plant. The residual waste is the only type of waste that is picked up completely and sent to a pre-treatment plant where it is sorted and fed into the recovery or recycling process. The residual waste from this process is sent to waste combustion plants. The residual waste recycling rate depends on the quality of the waste and varies, according to our waste disposal company, between 50 and 85 percent of the total amount of waste. It is our goal to make sure that the recycling rate of our total amount of waste does not fall below 95 percent in spite of the variations existing in the residual waste recycling rates. Having managed to achieve our target in the past few years without exception, we are determined to continually strive for improvement:
In 2019 the total amount of waste produced at REICH was 853,105 kg, out of which 828,522 kg were recycled. This makes 24,583 kg of residual waste in the total amount of waste. With a recycling rate of 97.1 percent in 2019, we have clearly achieved our target of an over 95 percent recycling rate.

97
% Recycling rate
Environment
Rainwater reclamation

Why we, as a transformational company in step with the times, clean our rainwater for the neighbouring tributary of the Emscher.

18000
m³ rainwater cleaned
Realized 2018
Rainwater reclamation

Water means life. In the immediate vicinity of our site in Bochum on Vierhausstraße, we are reminded of this. The Grummer Stream flows directly alongside us and connects ten ponds – the Grummer Seenplatte – to form a well frequented recreational area with a park close by to REICH – popular with our employees for walks during their lunch breaks or for a run at the end of the day.
When the Emschergenossenschaft (Emscher Cooperative) was looking for companies with sufficient space and close proximity to a stream for storm-water management as part of the unique “Emscher Renaturation” project, we didn’t think twice. After all, the Grummer Stream is a direct tributary to the Emscher so it quickly became clear to us: REICH is on board!

Rainwater reclamation
At REICH, we process our surface water and channel it into the Grummer Stream. By doing this, the rainwater is returned to the natural water cycle. We built our own rainwater recov- ery system in 2014. REICH’s investment in the project was around 420,000 Euro.
Rainwater is collected underground. The water run-off from covered surfaces – 18,000 square metres at REICH’s head- quarters in Bochum – is first fed into a separation plant where it is purified. Only once purified is the water passed on. Free of suspended matter, but also free of highly volatile substances such as oil from road traffic, it is discharged through pipes into the Grummer Stream. It is of the highest water quality. Buffer storage tanks, so-called infiltration trenches, are installed underground – there is a separate system for each side of Vierhausstraße.

In return for their participation in the Emscher renaturation project, participating companies had their waste water fees waived for a period of time. But financial incentives were not the driving motivation for REICH’s participation in the Emscher renaturation project. Rather, we participated to give something back to our community. To Bochum, to the people who live and work here, and not least to all the people in the Emscher region – today and in the future. Commitment to a river in changing times is a matter of conscience for a trans- formational company like REICH.

Measure realized: 2018
18000
m³ rainwater cleaned
Environment
Heat recovery system

We installed a heat recovery system in our hall. The result: A better indoor air quality and less energy consumption.

15
% Energy saving
Realized 2017
Heat recovery system

The numerous vulcanisation presses which are operating in our Rubber and Plastics Manufacturing Hall continually heat up the air around them – ideal conditions for a successful heat recovery.
The hot air in the hall is extracted by the air circulation system which was installed about five years ago. Directly below the ceiling of the hall, as hot air is known to rise upwards. And this is also where the 400 mm dia. extraction sockets are located. The hot, stale air in the hall is extracted and filtered through these extraction sockets, and contaminants like coarse particles of dirt are removed. The so cleaned air which is still hot is then directed back into the hall along with incoming air from the outside, whereupon the incoming air warms up. This eliminates the need for additional heating even in winter times – except when it’s getting extremely cold.
Apart from a permanently comfortable ambient temperature, our employees benefit from a distinctly better indoor air quality at work.

Thermal insulation of the vulcanisation presses
Aiming at utilising the heat emitted by the vulcanisation presses in our Rubber and Plastics Manufacturing Hall even more efficiently, we have additionally provided a thermal insulation layer that gives us a double advantage: On the one hand, the presses need less energy thanks to the insulation. On the other hand, we improve the quality of the products. How is that possible? Well, that’s because the heat in insulated vulcanisation presses can spread far better – and even into the corners. Here, the heat is maintained, assuring a constant temperature throughout the interior of mould.

Measure realized: 2017
15
% Energy saving
Environment
Geothermal energy

REICH relies on the earth when it comes to heating. The entire company is heated with geothermal energy.

92976
kg of CO2 saved
Realized 2012
Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is a renewable energy and has become indispensable for our energy supply as an environmentally- friendly source of heat. We also rely on solar energy and generate electricity with our photovoltaic systems. But unlike the sun, geothermal energy has an unbeatable advantage: It is available at all times and inexhaustible. Directly below us. In 2012, we drilled 105 metres deep into the earth so as to install a geothermal heating system for REICH and to go for geothermal energy generation.
Even more perfect, say hotter, temperatures could have been found underground at a depth of 125 metres, which would have been even more advantageous for an effective geothermal heating system. So why didn’t we just drill deeper? Because of Bochum’s mining history in the past, drilling deeper into the ground had not been possible, but even with the twenty- metre shortfall in drilling depth, a functioning geothermal heating system is assured. That’s what we were advised in 2012 when we built our new hall. So we coordinated the drillings for the new geothermal heating system concurrently with the construction work. And the geothermal planners in charge were right.

Heating, cooling, saving
Using the probe boreholes in which plastic pipes are inserted vertically into the ground, the higher temperatures prevailing underground are transferred to the surface with the aid of heat transfer fluid. The heat pumps then feed it into our heating system. In winter, we utilise the so extracted geothermal heat for heating, and in summer for cooling our Assembly Hall and Shipping Department. This works because in the cooler winter months thermal energy is extracted from the warmer ground. In summer, by contrast, the ground is cooler so that the utilised thermal energy produces a cooling effect.
The ventilation system in the Assembly Hall and the Shipping Department uses a heat exchanger, same as in the Rubber and Plastics Manufacturing Hall. The preheated supply air is, however, additionally heated in the Assembly Hall and the Shipping Department as their ambient temperatures are generally lower than in the Rubber and Plastics Manufacturing Hall where the vulcanisation presses are anyway adding to the heat.
It is true that geothermal energy is much more sustainable than conventional heating methods, but the amount of energy consumption of the heat pumps is not to be neglected. Here, we can significantly improve our balance by using our in-house photovoltaic systems. For our energy generation, we at REICH look upwards towards the sun as well as downwards – deep into the soil of Bochum in which we are firmly rooted as a company.

Measure realized: 2012
92976
kg of CO2 saved
SocialEnvironment
Mobile working from home

Mobile working as a concept for the future - flexibility and efficiency in harmony with our commitment to work-life balance and sustainability.

Realized 2020
Mobile working from home

In today’s dynamic world, flexibility in working life is not just a wish, but a necessity. At REICH Kupplungen, we have recognized this and actively promote mobile working from home. This measure reflects our efforts to strengthen the “social” component of the ESG framework by improving the work-life balance of our employees and promoting a culture of flexibility and trust.

Mobile working enables our teams to organize their work efficiently and effectively, regardless of their physical location. It is also a sign of our adaptability and modern governance, allowing us to respond quickly to changing circumstances while always keeping the wellbeing of our employees in mind.

Sustainability through mobile working
By supporting remote working, we not only reduce our environmental footprint through reduced commuting, but also promote an inclusive work culture where flexibility and performance go hand in hand. Our commitment to remote working is a clear sign that we at REICH Kupplungen put people at the heart of everything we do, while upholding the principles of sustainability and good corporate governance.

Measure realized: 2020
SocialGovernance
Height-adjustable tables

Height-adjustable desks offer ergonomic versatility for every employee, promoting employee well-being and increasing efficiency.

55
Tables replaced
Realized 2019
Height-adjustable tables

At REICH, we strive to create a working environment that promotes the well-being of our employees while reflecting our commitment to exemplary corporate governance. One significant aspect of this strategy is the introduction of height-adjustable desks. This measure not only promotes a healthy and dynamic way of working, but also demonstrates our determination to act in line with the ‘social’ and ‘governance’ aspects of the ESG framework. By adapting workstations to the individual needs of each employee, we reaffirm our commitment to social responsibility and strong, ethically-led governance. Our height-adjustable desks are more than just pieces of furniture; they are a symbol of our commitment to setting standards in all areas of the ESG framework.

Measure realized: 2019
55
Tables replaced

Global objectives – local impact:
Together for a sustainable, fair world.

Our commitment is reflected in our active promotion of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We take decisive action to ensure we have a positive impact on our planet, people and our common future.

How we support the global goals

Shaping the future with the SDGs.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people can enjoy peace and prosperity. At REICH, we see the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) not just as global challenges, but as opportunities to actively play a part in finding solutions and bringing about positive change at a local and global level.

Our specific selection of priority SDGs allows us to focus on areas where we can have the greatest impact. Our strategy and actions are geared towards achieving measurable progress in the four core areas of the SDGs – “Planet”, “People”, “Peace” and “Prosperity”. From conserving natural resources and promoting an inclusive and equitable work environment to strengthening partnerships for common goals, our commitment to the SDGs demonstrates our endeavour to assume responsibility as a company and create sustainable value for society and the environment.

Integrity Next

Transparency and integrity are the basic pillars of our actions at REICH. To underscore our commitment to ethical business practices and sustainable behaviour, we are a member of Integrity Next. This platform enables us to communicate our progress and achievements in the area of sustainability and compliance openly and transparently. Visit our profile to learn more about our efforts and achievements in the areas of environmental protection, social responsibility and corporate governance.

Go to the compliance profile
EcoVadis

We underscore our ESG ambitions by being regularly assessed by EcoVadis. We have already achieved bronze status in the first assessment and are working towards continuous improvement.

REICH Insights: Our journey to more responsibility

Sustainably informed.

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Inexhaustible heat source – REICH Report Nr. 2/2021

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Coupling system for methanol hybrid drive

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