Sustainability as a corporate culture: Our path to a greener future for our team and the greater Dresden area

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On a frosty Saturday morning in November, we set out on a special mission with some members of our team, accompanied by families and partners. Our destination was a wooded area between Dresden and Bautzen, more precisely in Rammenau near Bischofswerda. We were equipped with hot food and drinks, a number of garden spades, work gloves, plant tubes and thick, warm winter clothing to withstand the cold winter temperatures. Full of enthusiasm, we were able to plant 800 trees with these tools, including alders, sweet chestnuts, red oaks, larches, silver firs and white elms. The campaign, supported by the More Forest for Saxony foundation, is on a mission to reforest woodland severely damaged by bark beetles. For the second year in a row, we have made this valuable contribution to nature conservation as a team.

Sign with the inscription Planting campaign stands in a forest with snow
Directional sign for the tree planting campaign near Rammenau

The tree planting campaign is just one part of our commitment to sustainability. In view of the increasingly obvious effects of climate change on our environment, we as a company feel increasingly responsible for acting and making our contribution. At Kontron AIS, we see ourselves primarily as people who want to put their personal beliefs into practice. Together, we strive to act and do business sustainably so as not only to minimize our ecological footprint, but also to bring about positive social and economic change. 

In this blog post, we will give an insight into our all-in sustainability strategy. Find out how at Kontron AIS we are continuously working to make a significant contribution to a more sustainable future and how our values and convictions are translated into concrete actions and initiatives.

Sustainability in industrial environments

The transition to Industry 5.0 is imminent and entails a profound change in the industrial landscape. This change is not only technological, but also requires a comprehensive cultural change. At the heart of this new era is the realization of a sustainable, resilient and people-oriented industry. But what does that mean in practice?

Industrial processes have a significant impact on global carbon emissions. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), this sector accounts for 9.10 % of total greenhouse emissions in the EU. In Germany, the industrial sector is responsible for around a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions. In the coming years, it is expected that more and more companies will increasingly focus on sustainable production. With a gradually evolving change from highly automated Industry 4.0 to a human-centric Industry 5.0, the focus is primarily on resilience and sustainable practices. Sustainability is becoming a key factor in this context, with a focus on energy efficiency, resource conservation and flexible production methods.

We are convinced that both individuals and companies have the power to contribute to positive change. It is our duty to use this opportunity to have a positive impact on our environment and raise awareness of environmental sustainability. Social interest in sustainability is constantly growing, across generations, and more and more people are committed to sustainable products and services.

Reducing carbon emissions by 2030

In September 2015, at the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), 193 member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for the first time, which lays down globally binding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In essence, the participants agreed on 17 sustainability goals and 169 sub-goals, which apply equally to industrialized, developing and emerging countries. Together, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are intended to help shape a world in which hunger and poverty are overcome, prosperity is ensured for every individual and our planet's natural resources are used responsibly. In other words, a world in which there is peace, human rights are protected, and global partnerships exist on an equal basis. 

Using this as an example, we are taking big steps to reduce our carbon emissions as best as we can by 2030. This goal drives us to fundamentally rethink the way we work and lead our lives. Since the beginning of our sustainable thinking and action, many different projects, campaigns and wishes have already been developed, which we implement together as a team. However, our actions should also provide food for thought for everyday life. Small changes in daily life are the first step, and then many more can follow step by step.

Sustainability at Kontron AIS – first steps and measures

Our approach of gradually switching from fossil energy sources to sustainable alternatives is already showing signs of success. By 2023, half of the energy required to operate the company was already being generated by solar power. We installed the first photovoltaic system on the roof of one of our two company buildings in 2021. So far, it has already generated over 70 MWh of electricity and saved more than 28 tons of CO2. Since 2023, the second building has also been fully equipped with solar panels. With both systems, we now generate around 30% of our electricity requirements completely on our own using solar energy. 

Solar system on the roof of a building with sky and clouds in the background
Solar system on our company building

In addition to the ongoing conversion of the vehicle fleet to almost 100% emission-free electric cars, starting last year our charging stations are now also supplied with electricity from our own PV system. Since 2019, these measures have enabled us to reduce our fossil fuel-based carbon emissions by more than half. 

Charging stations for electric cars
Charging stations for our employees' electric cars

For us, sustainability also means actively rethinking things from an ecological point of view and taking appropriate action. That is why we planted new trees at our Dresden site in 2023 and have also planted over 1500 trees in the Dresden area with our team. In cooperation with the “Nistkasten für Dresden e.V.” initiative, we built 24 nest boxes in 2023 to create habitats for birds and other animals. These projects are not only a great idea for working together, but our employees’ children are also very welcome to join our activities and are happy to get involved. In addition, we donated 8 trees for the expansion of Dresden's urban greenery, which have been planted on Karcher Allee.

People making nesting boxes
Our team building the nesting boxes

We are aware that it is not possible to work and live 100% emission-free. That is why we are taking the initiative and trying to offset the remaining carbon emissions through environmentally friendly actions and activities in our local community around our location in Dresden. 

Health sustainability in our team

Our goal is to pursue an all-in sustainability strategy that takes into account not only the environment but also the people in our company. We attach great importance to the sustainable health and well-being of our employees. Working together, appreciation, flat hierarchies and space for personal and professional development are among our core values. We regularly organize sustainable initiatives such as health days and offer massage appointments and workshops on topics such as healthy eating, mental health, stress management and resilience. The annual Health Day is a big highlight in our team and is always very popular. This is a day when we join our colleagues in swapping working at home with the office and we take part in sports courses together, have our body mass index analyzed, refresh our gray cells regarding a healthy diet and enjoy yoga and a delicious vegan buffet with fresh smoothies and vegetable juices. 

A group of people doing sport on a meadow
At the Health Day, we all get on the mat together
Two people smiling at the camera and holding a Cardio Scan device
During the body analysis, we learn more about our vital signs
Colorful buffet with fresh juices

In order to motivate our employees to move around in an environmentally friendly way, we offer the JobRad bike to work program and the JobTicket for public transport, which can now also be used as a Deutschlandticket for public transport all over Germany. Every year, we take part in the Stadtradeln cycling in the city campaign with a large team, during which we covered 6,836 kilometers together last year and saved a total of 1,107 kg of CO2. In addition to the company’s own regular running meets, we take part in the Rewe Team Challenge with several teams every year and are happy to promote the sports enthusiasm of our team members by subsidizing their membership fees at the local Thomas Sport Center. 

A group of people before the Rewe Team Challenge
Unsere Teams beim Firmenlauf der REWE Team Challenge

Promoting young talent and sustainability in this area are particularly important to us. That is why we support young talents in starting their careers and help finance their studies. Every year, we provide a Deutschlandstipendium scholarship, with which we support talented and high-achieving students with outstanding personalities and social involvement. The scholarship provides monthly funding of EUR 300, of which EUR 150 are financed by the federal government and a further 150 euros by various sponsors such as companies, foundations and private individuals. With this initiative, we want to contribute to the training and development of talented young people and at the same time promote sustainability in education. 

Two people smile at the camera and hold a folder and a flower in their hands
Our Managing Director Dirk Sauer presents the Germany Scholarship

For us, sustainability means taking on joint responsibility, promoting new ideas and increasing awareness of sustainability among our employees' families. We are sure that together we are stronger and can make positive changes.

Results and a look to the future

In addition to reducing our carbon emissions, we have also successfully established initiatives to promote the health of our employees. We are proud of our efforts and the positive impact on the environment and society.

Our sustainability journey is far from over. In the future, we will increasingly focus on ecological projects in the greater Dresden area, convert our vehicle fleet entirely to electric cars and further expand our PV system on the company premises. We remain true to our vision in setting ourselves the goal of reducing and offsetting a large part of our emissions by 2030.

Would you also like to become part of our team and support our shared vision of all-in sustainability? Here are all the current job vacancies at Kontron AIS.