Sustainability Report 2022

Quality management

GRI 3-3

High-quality products and services from Zeppelin

Ensuring high-quality services and products, as well as meeting the requirements and needs of customers, is essential for Zeppelin’s success as a foundation-owned company that operates sustainably. Satisfied customers form the basis for long-term cooperation based on partnership and trust. Zeppelin attaches great importance to this as part of its quality policy, which was published as Group Guidelines. Zeppelin lives by its special awareness of quality in all companies and across national borders, which is underlined in the German companies by a uniform management system in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001:2015 for internal and external purposes.

The Group Management Board actively promotes the continuous improvement of quality by providing the necessary resources, data and information, and appoints a quality management officer for this purpose whose role is to ensure ongoing development of the management system. The effectiveness of the quality management system is reviewed once a year as part of the management review by the Group Management Board.

All Zeppelin employees are appropriately trained and qualified and make a significant contribution to ensuring high quality is achieved. Every manager and every employee is committed to ongoing further training, a willingness to learn and acceptance of quality improvements.

Progress in quality management

The current objectives focus on sustainable corporate development, which ensures long-term economic success and competitiveness. In addition, the aim is to ensure the creation of an innovative corporate environment in which employees can contribute to continuous improvement. To this end, a high level of competence must also be ensured for managers and employees. The latter is measured by the participation rate in the central e-learning modules, which contain a variety of focus areas each year.

Progress on objective 1
  • Sustainable corporate development

As part of an independent corporate issuer rating, Creditreform Rating AG, one of Europe’s leading rating agencies, has ranked Zeppelin GmbH’s creditworthiness with an overall rating of A- and the current outlook as “stable”. With this very good corporate rating, Zeppelin has repeatedly been certified as having a high creditworthiness and low default risk. The main reason for the rating is the impact of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, which has led to a negative effect on sales and earnings as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia by the West, as well as subsequent counter-reactions. In the short to medium term, a corresponding negative impact on earnings and a simultaneous increase in investment and capital requirements can be assumed. This is due to the significant share of sales and earnings from Russia and Ukraine as well as the war-related adjustments to the strategic objectives and infrastructure.

Progress on objective 2
  • Using the knowledge and innovativeness of employees for ongoing improvement and optimization
  • Number of ideas implemented

The Zeppelin Group encourages its employees to develop their own ideas and contribute them to the company. As part of the Z IDEA ideas management system, employees are given the opportunity to improve processes and develop new ideas. This not only advances the company, but also promotes interdisciplinary team building and dialog. Every idea that is evaluated positively will be rewarded with a bonus. For ideas with a quantifiable benefit, the idea generator will be entitled to an implementation bonus of 10% of the value of the idea’s benefit; implementation bonuses are subject to a country-specific cap. For ideas without a calculable benefit, the idea generator is entitled to a country-specific flat-rate bonus, which is paid out in full before implementation. In 2022, a total of EUR 11,600 was paid to Zeppelin idea generators in bonuses.

Summary of ideas submitted to Z IDEA and rewarded
SBU Ideas submitted Rewarded ideas
2020 2021 2022 2020 2021 2022
Construction Equipment Central Europe SBU 136 144 106 23 31 26
Construction Equipment Eurasia SBU5 78 154 7 17 43 2
Rental SBU 85 128 117 9 14 14
Power Systems SBU 39 56 63 8 9 2
Plant Engineering SBU 144 127 119 15 19 8
Zeppelin GmbH 13 13 22 0 3 0
Total 495 622 434 72 119 52
1 Zeppelin Ukraine, Zeppelin Russia, and Zeppelin Power Systems Russia have not had access to the system since May 2022. The corresponding ideas from the countries are therefore not shown in the system for 2022.

Based on the positively evaluated and award-winning ideas from the Z IDEA scheme, knowledge and innovativeness are evaluated for continuous improvement. In 2022, around 12% of the submitted ideas were honored with a reward. Due to the war in Ukraine, employees of the companies Zeppelin Ukraine, Zeppelin Russia, and Zeppelin Power Systems Russia were not included. The company Zeppelin Belarus was also divested and deconsolidated. As a result, the number of submitted and awarded ideas in 2022 was down compared with previous years. The aim is to continue to build on the high level of award-winning ideas or to expand these even further.

In 2022, a campaign was launched as part of Ideas Management to further strengthen the idea of sustainability at Zeppelin and get closer to the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2030. The “Sustainable partners. Sustainable success.” campaign received a total of more than 60 newly submitted ideas from all SBUs. The campaign focused on innovative ideas and best practices in order to also focus on the topic of corporate social responsibility in cooperation with our customers. The ideas submitted highlight creative possibilities for saving energy, CO2 emissions, and waste. These include the further promotion of digitalization through digital filing and electronic document management systems, as well as training on the sustainable handling and operation of Caterpillar construction equipment.

Progress on objective 3
  • Training employees and managers in the Integrated Management System and CSR
  • High participation rate in central e-learning system (above 50%)

The first e-learning course on the Integrated Management System was rolled out in 2019 for all employees falling within the scope of application of the IMS. In 2021, a separate e-learning course on “Sustainability at Zeppelin” was established worldwide in order to create a uniform understanding of CSR across all national borders and to provide concrete tips on the integration of sustainability into everyday life. In the following year, an e-learning course with a focus on the IMS was initiated again within Germany. This was created using a new e-learning platform, which enables Zeppelin to automate and simplify data preparation. The following figure shows the participation rate in the e-learning courses in Germany in recent years: The target of a participation rate of more than 50% was achieved every year. Due to the introduction of the new platform, the IMS e-learning course was only launched at the end of 2022. The evaluation therefore shows the participation rate through to the end of the year, although the training will continue in 2023.

Change in participation rate in e-learning modules IMS & CSR (participants in %)
Change in participation rate in e-learning modules IMS & CSR (participants in %)

Further measures in the area of quality management

The introduction of a new process management program contributes to the further development of quality management. The program can map, analyze, and automate strategic business processes in order to monitor and improve process changes in the long term. In 2022, the program was introduced in the Group Tax department and in the Operational Excellence department of Zeppelin Rental GmbH. In the future, the system will be extended to all strategic business processes of the Zeppelin Group.

The Plant Engineering SBU has also begun to introduce new management software to supplement the system described above. Using the web-based program, it is possible to view process descriptions, procedural and work instructions as well as further documents via a central information database, to make day-to-day work easier. In the future, the system will serve as a comprehensive knowledge management tool for all employees. It will be launched at the beginning of 2023 and then rolled out to other companies.

GRI Index