At Aalberts Industries everything revolves around safety. We are focused on preventing incidents that may be harmful to our employees and neighbouring communities, or incidents that may cause environmental damage. We continuously invest in a culture in which people know what their responsibility is to make Aalberts Industries a safe place to work. Our policy also focuses on improving procedures at all group sites that do not perform at the group average according to the KPIs set. In order to further improve performance we included Health & Safety in our Operational Excellence programmes.
To actively monitor and improve our Health & Safety performance we focus on the following KPIs set out below.
LTI frequency ratio
Average days lost per LTI
Absenteeism (in %)
The majority of our group companies are ISO 9001 quality management standard certified. Moreover, the safety management systems are in accordance with the OHSAS 18001 standards. A number of group companies also had their environmental management systems certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard and conform their sustainable management behaviours to the ISO 26000 standard.
Our North American foundry has gone one year without a missed day at work due to a work related injury or illness. The continuous and structural attention for safety measures made them win several safety awards in the last few years.
One of our Industrial Controls companies started implementing a health & safety campaign in its factory in Poland with the name ‘Safety Work Place’. This was linked to a new reporting system - Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety, Morales (QCDSM) – with clear KPIs and targets, such as: Green Cross, LTA, Safety Pyramid, Numbers of Accidents without a Day Off, and First Aids. The performance of each KPI is measured on a daily basis. Results are discussed in morning production meetings. As a result of these procedures, the LTI was reduced from 4 in 2014 to 2 in 2015.
At a Building Installations group company based in the United Kingdom, health and safety management is an ongoing process of continuous improvement. This is why an annual strategic safety plan is in place, including a performance review, objectives for continuous improvement, health & safety gearing, specific improvement programmes and site-specific health & safety plans. This resulted in more than 1,000 days without a lost time accident, which makes this company one of the safest workplaces in the industry.
Efficient energy consumption is a key performance indicator for all our sites and locations. We consider it our responsibility to work as energy efficient as possible, bringing both emissions and energy costs down to a minimum. In the majority of our businesses we offer a wide portfolio of products, services and technologies with positive environmental impact in its application. We supply and engineer solutions for heat and cold storage, solar collectors, irrigation systems and water supplies, enabling our customers to reduce energy and water consumption while improving the system performance, a prerequisite to construct sustainable buildings. Our innovations and technologies continuously aim to contribute to the combat against the adverse effects of climate change.
As a result of the range of heat and surface treatments we perform for customers, we extend the lifecycle of various metals. We partner with leading (industrial) customers worldwide at the engineering and design phase to integrate our treatments in their manufacturing processes. This has a severe positive impact on the product quality and reliability plus the entire lifecycle of the manufactured parts (from service to disposal of metal ending up in landfills). It goes without saying that we also apply these mentioned lifecycle improvements to all of our products and innovations.
Most Aalberts Industries companies use sustainable lifecycle concepts as a common thread in its services. To use materials as efficiently as possible, reusing and recycling are key focus areas in the policy of Aalberts Industries. We centralised the sourcing of key raw materials at the head office. This enables us to ensure sustainable sourcing, to manage the efficient usage of raw materials and the effective recycling of scrap. We strive to generate as little waste as possible by conserving and recycling water, energy and chemicals and substituting hazardous substances. Nearly all group companies execute initiatives to optimise resource usage, decrease energy consumption, minimise environmental impact and reduce cost. Some group companies have also set up an integrated sustainable development or energy-efficiency plan.
The Airfix expansion vessel by one of our Climate Control companies helps preventing unnoticed waste of potable water. Traditionally, heated water expands in water heaters and the surplus leaks out via the safety valve. By installing an Airfix vessel next to the water heater, potable water is collected, kept clean and flows back into the water heater as soon as water is used. Not a single drop of water is wasted anymore. Applying this vessel approximately safes 1,200 litres of hot water per year. In 2016 Climate Control launched ‘a litre for a litre’, a six months social responsibility project whereby the annual water saved by each sold Airfix vessel was given back as clean potable water to regions where this is not a luxury.
A frequently applied heat treatment by Aalberts Industries is the hardening of steel. Right after hardening a product, the tempering process starts in which thermal tensions are reduced and the desired hardness is obtained. The result is a longer lasting component. A nice example is the hardening of bicycle locks. As a result of our heat treatments these locks meet the TNO standard, implying impossible to break, demolish or saw plus the locks have a much longer life
A good example is our French group company, well known for its sustainable goals. The company is 100% ISO 9001, ISO/TS16949, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified and has defined six major axes of medium-term CSR progress: sustainable development, health & safety, talent development, carbon footprint reduction, ecoresponsible purchasing and protection of the environment through eco-design. The impartial assessor EcoVadis awarded the company a CSR rating of ‘Advanced’, corresponding to a ‘structured and proactive approach to CSR, and CSR commitments, policies and tangible actions on major issues’. Beyond this classification, a benchmark study involving a total of 150 companies conducted by EcoVadis places the company among the 10% most advanced companies in terms of social responsibility.
Our group company in North America complies with the LEED Green Building Rating System. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Each year in the United States, nearly as much copper is recovered from recycled material as is derived from newly mined ore. Excluding wire production, more than three-fourths (3/4) of the amount used by copper and brass mills, ingot makers, foundries, powder metal plants and other industries comes from recycled scrap copper. Almost half of all recycled copper scrap is old post-consumer scrap, such as discarded electric cable, automobile radiators and air conditioners. Our group company in the United States subscribes to the above facts and encourages its suppliers to do the same. The copper tubing and rod used to produce all their copper fittings is manufactured from copper cathode which in turn is made up from twenty-five (25) percent post-consumer scrap as described above. Another fifty (50) percent is post-industrial scrap.
One of our Building Installations group companies instituted a programme to recover nickel from nickel plating solutions and return it to the bath. In this way less nickel is used in the process and also keeps it from going out in the waste water. The waste water treatment centre of the company removes about 95% of the metallic contamination from the water. It is no longer needed to run water through the tank all the time. The company monitors the rinses using conductivity and determines how much water is actually needed. This process significantly reduces water usage.
Aalberts Industries is proud of its excellent reputation as a responsible and reliable employer and business partner. The Code of Conduct of Aalberts Industries contains seven main business standards as rules of ethical conduct all Aalberts Industries employees must follow. The themes around business integrity concern strict compliance with fair competition laws, compliance with economic sanctions and export control regulations, compliance with anti-bribery laws, prevention of fraud, avoidance of conflict of interest, accurate accounting and reporting and compliance with insider trading rules. Our Speak up! procedures enables our employees to report violations of the Code of Conduct or other misconduct. All Speak up! notifications are promptly investigated and the relevant cases are reported to the Management Board and Supervisory Board. The Code of Conduct is integrated into the employment agreements of all senior staff and management throughout the group.
In 2016 we successfully launched the Aalberts Integrity Academy, an e-learning portal covering business integrity matters and our Speak up! procedure. This e-learning is mandatory for all our key employees in finance, human resources, operations, purchase, sales, general management and management staff. Guidance and the roll of both the Code of Conduct and the Aalberts Integrity Academy are effected through our worldwide governance network. In 2017 we will develop and implement additional e-learning modules.
To further improve sustainability throughout the entire value chain we partner with suppliers who live by the same main principles as our Code of Conduct (safe place to work, treating employees with respect and work in an environmentally friendly way). In 2016 we implemented our Supplier Code of Conduct, which includes the principles of the Code of Conduct and the principles of the UN Global Compact and the OECD. We contractually bind our suppliers to adhere to the principles of our Supplier Code of Conduct. Numerous key suppliers have contractually agreed to adhere to these principles. In 2017 we will further improve the coverage on our supplier base.
A coherent and responsible tax policy is a key element of our responsible business strategy. Over the years, Aalberts Industries has applied a conservative and cautious tax policy in line with OECD Guidelines. The business is leading in setting up international structures: we declare profits and we pay tax in the jurisdictions in which the economic activity occurs. Our tax planning strategy is based on the spirit of the law. This means that we do not seek to avoid taxes through 'artificial' structures in tax haven jurisdictions, we pay our fair share of tax in the countries in which we operate, we aim at filing accurate and timely tax returns and we strive to maintain strong and transparent relationships with the tax authorities in the various countries. As a result of our low tax risk appetite, the relationships with tax authorities are based on seeking open dialogs rather than seeking controversy. Through discussions with investors, we have become aware that a responsible tax policy can be a decisive factor in the consideration whether or not to invest in a company. For this reason, we have expressed our ambition to be transparent about our tax strategy.
One of our group companies is mainly active in Southern Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia and the majority of its procurement is done locally. The company focuses on responsible supply chain management by concluding and implementing sustainable development partnerships with strategic suppliers. As a result, substantial percentages of the purchases done by customers are reallocated to environment, public services and jobs in the local territory. ECOVADIS has assessed and positioned our group company among the 2% most advanced companies in terms of Responsible Business.
Employees in our Industrial Services factory in China are paid a fair wage, which is competitive with average wages in the host countries. Our wages are composed and paid in accordance with the OECD Guidelines and ILO guidelines. This fair wage enables our employees to properly support their families.
Some of our group companies are doing business at remote locations. At such locations they ask local auditors for custom local practices which could qualify as bribery, corruption or fraud under other jurisdictions. These local practices might be acceptable in the jurisdiction of the remote location but not under the businss integrity rules of the Code of Conduct. In this manner local conduct can be aligned adequately with the conduct expected at Aalberts Industries as requested by the Code of Conduct.