2023-06-28 - Hultafors group

Sustainability a key business driver

CEO Foreword, Hultafors Group Sustainability Report 2022

Hultafors Group continues to gain market share amid challenging market conditions. The key is a businessoriented organization, strong brands, products that meet and exceed the users’ expectations, and making progress towards a leading position in sustainability. Hultafors Group is exhibiting impressive growth and the past year was no exception. Sales nearly doubled in three years through a combination of an organic and acquisition driven growth agenda. We continued to deliver, despite the major challenges affecting the economy with rising costs, supply chain disruptions and currency headwinds.

'Hultafors Group brand promise is to be a partner to rely on, and that means that we stand for high quality, durable products, and services for both our customers and users. This also means we take our sustainability development seriously so that our customers can trust us in being a sustainable partner for the future.'

Several of our brands can now provide life cycle assessments (LCAs) to disclose the products’ total emissions of CO2 equivalents (CO2e), thus making it easier for customers to choose the products that achieve the best environmental performance. We are working hard on being able to do that for a broader product range and eventually for all products we offer. We see sustainability as a differentiator and enabler, particularly with a focus on product development.

Fristads’ Green Collection and Wibe Ladders’ green ladders are products with a distinct green profile. In the workwear industry, we were the first to use Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) to be able to specify our products’ exact environmental footprint across their lifecycle. These products are marketed under the family name Fristads Green Collection. In ladders, we were the first to produce and market products made of green aluminum that cut CO2 emissions by 75%. Sustainability is more than just a label for us; it means creating real value. Our sustainability work is also driven by our customers who have an increasing focus on products’ environmental footprint. Sustainability is here to stay as an important business driver.

During 2022 we established a new organization to build a platform for continued strong growth while keeping a high degree of delegation and entrepreneurial freedom. Today, there are three independent divisions that run their operations with full accountability for delivering on our ambitious growth and profitability goals. This high level of accountability and ambition is deeply rooted in our values: we strongly believe in every individual employee’s strength.

'We are convinced that our vision and goals only can be reached in an environment and culture based on trust allowing a high degree of delegation and freedom to decide. Ultimately, this fosters an entrepreneurial culture, and being a group of many strong and independent brands, entrepreneurship is key.'

We have also launched a companywide digitalization program to establish an IT foundation that allows us to capitalize on the opportunities of digital technology with the objective to improve the way we do business and create new solutions for our customers and users. We see many opportunities in how this investment will support our business development and give us tools to realize our sustainability goals.

To create real impact, the product’s environmental footprint must be taken into consideration during product development, and we are continually striving to develop new products with reduced environmental impact over the entire product lifecycle. In addition, continuous environmental improvements are being implemented in the operations. Our four key targets are: • Decrease energy consumption, -5% annually in relation to net sales • Switch to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 in our own operations • Decrease emissions of CO2e, -5% annually in relation to net sales • Certify all production facilities according to ISO 14001 by 2025

Since 2020 we have decreased the energy consumption by more than 14% per year and lowered the green-house emission about 20% per year, all in relation to sales. We reached an energy mix level of 80% renewable energy and have 80 % of our own production sites ISO 14001 certified.

We are committed to driving progress in these areas, yet our main environmental and climate impact is related to the sourcing and consumption of raw materials. This is why our colleagues in product development are constantly searching for more sustainable material alternatives, minimizing waste, and developing more circular offerings. High effort is also put into building sustainable relationships with our suppliers, to make sure we continuously strive together to reduce our environmental and climate footprint and minimize social risks. We set high standards in the way we do business with zero tolerance for bribery, making sure our values and sustainability goals are known and fulfilled in all operations, both internally and at our partners. Our commitment to social sustainability is equally important; we have set goals for diversity and inclusion, and we want to offer safe and stimulating work environments.

These are the principles and objectives that drive our sustainability work and the way we do business. In this report you will find several examples of both our initiatives and our investments to advance our sustainability agenda.

Going forward, our most important objective is to develop circular offerings in all our product categories. We aim to decrease our climate impact and the next step on this journey will be committing to Science Based Targets in line with the Paris agreement goals. To do this, we will build on engagement and intensify our development in all parts of the group. We will continue strengthening our processes, learning, collaborating, and growing as a group. Our ambition is to lead sustainable development in our industry and continue to deliver on our brand promise: to be a partner to rely on by advancing the sustainability agenda in our field – now and in the future.

/Martin Knobloch, CEO Hultafors Group

Find the Hultafors Group Sustainability reports here

2023-06-28 - Hultafors group