Sustainability Report 2022

Circular economy

In terms of the circular economy, material resources are used efficiently to avoid waste. By preserving materials and products, the aim is to create a sustainable economy that conserves resources and at the same time promotes economic growth. In this context, different strategies and technologies are used to recycle, repair, or reuse materials.

An assessment of the environmental aspects is carried out as part of the environmental management system in order to consider the environmental impacts of waste. In addition to other factors, the production of waste and by-products is assessed through action in operations. Corresponding improvement potentials and measures to reduce the impact on the environment are defined for the relevant activities and environmental aspects. In the measurement of the companies that fall within the scope of application, the logistics, the hazardous materials storage facilities and, in the strategic Construction Equipment Central Europe company, the sludge traps required to clean the machines have a major influence on the generation of waste.

Within the Zeppelin Group, non-financial key figures are compiled and evaluated for each site. These also include hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Pursuant to the Commercial Waste Ordinance in Germany, waste is collected separately at the sites. Separate containers are provided for each site for this purpose. When disposing of the separately collected waste, the respective waste producer includes a disposal certificate. A waste balance is prepared for each site and company on the basis of these disposal certificates in accordance with the Recycling Economy Act. The disposal certificates also track whether the waste is thermally or materially recycled or landfilled.

Progress on objective 1
  • Greatest possible resource efficiency through prevention and reduction of waste
  • Global analysis of waste streams and types
  • Cooperation exclusively with qualified waste disposal companies
  • Worldwide substitution testing of hazardous substances by 2025

Zeppelin’s main objective is to make the most of the resources and products available, and to prevent or reduce the generation of waste from the outset. Disposal is always seen as the last resort, the top priority being avoidance, reduction, reuse or recycling. The amount of waste is based on the individual consumption per company and is specified in tonnes.

In 2022, the absolute amount of waste was reduced by about 4.2%. Reported waste is categorized into non-hazardous and hazardous waste. Non-hazardous waste includes paper, cardboard, plastics, wood, mixed municipal waste and biodegradable waste. Hazardous waste includes, but is not limited to, paint and varnish residues, waste oil, sludges, and oil and grease residues. Around 57% of the reported waste in 2022 can be attributed to non-hazardous waste. The reduction in total waste was largely due to a reduction in hazardous waste. In the area of construction machine cleaning, the number of times the sludge trap is emptied is an important factor.

Change in waste volumes from 2020 to 2022
Change in waste volumes from 2020 to 2022

The target for the coming years is to analyze the waste flows and types in order to determine potential for optimization. In addition, the cooperation should continue to take place exclusively with certified waste disposal companies – the adaptation of corresponding framework agreements is being examined for this purpose. Group-wide substitution testing of hazardous substances will also be carried out by 2025 to avoid or reduce the use of hazardous substances as far as possible.

Waste volume in tonnes per SBU
Waste volumes per SBU Unit 2020 2021 2022
Construction Equipment Central Europe SBU Tonnes 6,674 6,989 6,356
Construction Equipment Eurasia SBU Tonnes 1,188 1,613 1,479
Construction Equipment Nordics SBU Tonnes 2,064 1,995 1,867
Rental SBU Tonnes 2,864 3,130 3,370
Power Systems SBU Tonnes 582 762 582
Plant Engineering SBU Tonnes 1,214 1,066 1,241
Zeppelin GmbH (holding company) Tonnes 57 42 43
Zeppelin Group Tonnes 14,643 15,597 14,938

Measures implemented in the area of the circular economy

World Cleanup Day: A total of 14 million people from 191 countries set an example for a clean, healthy, and plastic-free world environment at World Cleanup Day on the third Saturday of September. Many Zeppelin employees were also involved independently or in organized Zeppelin waste collection campaigns in Belgium, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Sweden.

Zeppelin has implemented measures to strengthen the circular economy and prevent waste, thereby optimizing its material flows. Among other things, cardboard boxes are used when shipping goods from the central spare parts warehouse. These are gathered in the branches and sent back to the spare parts warehouse via round trips. There, the cardboard boxes are used again for the shipment of spare parts. In addition, a reusable system for cleaning cloths and oil collection mats has been launched at some branches of Baumaschinen GmbH. The cleaning cloths used are collected and handed over to a specialist company for processing the oil-containing operating fluids. They can then be used again.

At the end of 2022, reusable crockery was introduced at Power Systems GmbH in the Achimer canteen, where 250 containers were provided for the employees. The bowls are replaced, cleaned, and stored in the canteen. A similar measure was also introduced at Group headquarters.

Software for collecting and analyzing sustainability indicators was rolled out at the beginning of 2022 to improve data transparency and to be able to derive targeted measures in the area of sustainability. As early as the end of March 2022, all relevant key figures were reported and transparency improved as a result.

World Cleanup Day 2022 in Uzbekistan
World Cleanup Day 2022 in Uzbekistan
GRI Index