Schaffner Sustainability report

  • Sustainability report 2014/15

    Shaping electrical power

    Sustainability report 2014/15

    The success of the Schaffner Group is the result of a long-term focus on sustainable processes

Sustainability report 2014/15

Committed to electrical energy efficiency and reliability

The success of the Schaffner Group is made possible by a long-term focus on sustainable processes. Schaffner is committed to electrical energy efficiency and reliability – both in innovative customer solutions and in the Group’s internal operations. The management of the Schaffner Group looks after employees’ satisfaction and well-being through fair terms of employment, safe jobs and the development of every individual’s unique potential.

The Schaffner Group is known as an ethical company and is deeply committed to maintaining this valuable reputation. Schaffner’s golden rule is to be professional, fair and honest in its relationships with everyone, including employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, competitors, government agencies and other stakeholders.

The Schaffner Group is a signatory to the relevant international initiatives, such as the UN Global Compact, the Code of Conduct of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), and the Conflict Minerals Policy. As well, all employees are bound by an Anti-Corruption Policy introduced in 2012/13. Schaffner also promotes the sustainable development of the Group through initiatives of its own like the ROFO principle (Responsibility, Ownership, Focus, On-time corrective action) and by systematically encouraging continuous learning.

UN Global Compact

By signing the United Nations Global Compact, Schaffner has undertaken to implement the Compact’s ten principles, which address human rights, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption. These principles are integral components of all employment agreements.

The manufacturing facilities of the Schaffner Group practice environmental management in accordance with the international ISO 14001 standard; acquired companies are also integrated into this system. Moreover, the Group’s production centers in Asia, Hungary and Germany are compliant with OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series), a process that has systematically improved workplace health and safety for employees.

EICC Code of Conduct

By adopting the Code of Conduct for the electronics industry developed by the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), Schaffner has committed to ensuring that working conditions are safe across the entire supply chain, that employees are treated with respect and dignity and that manufacturing operations are environmentally responsible.

Anti-Corruption Policy

An Anti-Corruption Policy has been part of all employment agreements in the Schaffner Group since fiscal 2012/13. The policy is supported through training programs at the Group sites, and policy compliance is monitored.

Conflict Minerals Policy

The Schaffner Group abides by the Conflict Minerals Act for the protection of human rights in the mining industry, particularly in the mining of ore to produce tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold in conflict regions. Schaffner works closely with its suppliers to verify the origin of the raw materials used.

The people of the Schaffner Group

Schaffner is convinced that well-motivated employees are essential to its ability to offer the superior, innovative products and services which satisfy the exacting demands of customers and which justify the Schaffner Group’s claim to leadership. Schaffner’s goal is therefore to be the sector’s preferred employer worldwide. To this end, a host of measures are in place to attract, retain and develop the best people. These include close attention to healthy and safe workplaces and annual job-specific training and development of employees’ personal skills.

Employee health and safety

Schaffner has been consistently investing for years in scaling up the promotion of employees’ health and safety, and is proud of its success in this area. Since the introduction of systematic measurements in 2008/09, great strides have been made in industrial safety and health. Even with the strong growth in production, the number of work-related accidents resulting in more than one lost shift or working day (lost time accidents, or LTA), was reduced significantly from 25 LTA in 2010/11 to eight in 2013/14.

Despite continued development work on employee safety, Schaffner registered an increase in LTA in fiscal year 2014/15.

Work-related lost time accidents (LTA), 2010/11 to 2014/15

Management development

Training and development in the Schaffner Group are organized at the local and divisional levels. At the major sites, where training goals and outcomes are systematically tracked, the goals are achieved by all employees.

An initiative that deserves highlighting is the Group-wide Talent Pool program, which supports the promotion of internal staff to key positions. About two-thirds of the program's past participants now hold a position of greater responsibility or have reached the next career stage in their personal development plan. The great success of the program has prompted the Executive Committee of the Schaffner Group to supersede the Talent Pool initiative with a global management development program. The program will be broadly based and open to all Schaffner employees.

Individual employee training and development

Schaffner seeks to foster the individual potential of each staff member equally across all of the Group’s operations. The continuous and systematic development and training of employees is an important success factor for Schaffner.

While job-related training is done mainly at a work-specific level, staff development addresses the entirety of an employee’s skills and allows the focused advancement of selected abilities. In the Schaffner Group, employee development is a top priority at all levels of management. All supervisors have the necessary skills and resources to identify and purposefully develop their team members’ individual potential.

Going forward, additional measures are to further strengthen the development activities. Plans include establishing a worldwide employee development program, further raising managers’ awareness of development themes through specific courses, implementing a shared platform for staff development, and reviewing local progress.

Reducing the carbon footprint

Schaffner’s goal is to significantly cut carbon dioxide emissions and to be a role model for such efforts. To accomplish this, the Group launched a project to study its global potential for emission savings and plan the necessary investment. The findings to date showed that most of the CO2 emissions are generated by materials transport, manufacturing plants, logistics hubs and the Group’s headquarters.

Based on the analysis, further emissions reduction investment is being planned and implemented. As well, employees are being sensitized to the need to reduce energy consumption and to be prudent stewards of the available resources.

Transportation costs

With production centers in Asia, Europe and the USA, the Schaffner Group is able to manufacture its products in close proximity to customer delivery locations, thus substantially reducing shipping costs. Over the years, Schaffner has reduced the share of air freight in favor of sea freight. The associated CO2 emissions (per unit of weight and distance transported) were substantially lowered. Schaffner is aiming for a further significant reduction in CO2 emissions in the coming five years through continuous optimization of processes and the increase in the share of sea freight. In fiscal 2014/15, the proportion of air freight increased again, as customer projects are demanding ever shorter delivery times and more flexibility. New approaches to this challenge are planned.

CO2 emissions from international transport, 2007/08 to 2014/15


The Schaffner Group’s biggest manufacturing facility is located in Thailand. Energy efficiency at the plant has been continually improved since 2010 through investment in building insulation, efficient production infrastructure and rigorous energy management. As the large improvements have already been achieved, the focus has now shifted to realizing smaller-scale savings – for instance, by investing in LED lighting. In the aggregate, such multiple small efficiency gains continue to add up to significant economies.

Energy efficiency at the manufacturing center in Thailand, 2009/10 to 2014/15

Case study: Continuous improvements ensure sustainable success of Schaffner’s Shanghai operations

Since its start in 2002, Schaffner’s Shanghai subsidiary and plant have experienced rapid growth, developing swiftly in all areas of activity. To keep pace with the constant economic and social change and maintain its technological lead, the organization must continually adapt and grow. A strong corporate culture, shared values and proactive action are key factors in achieving lasting success.

Team spirit

The team in Shanghai has grown to about 500 people. Schaffner’s subsidiary promotes and supports the cohesion of its staff with numerous initiatives and activities. The management meets regularly to share information across business and function boundaries and set goals together. An annual excursion is organized for all staff.

Employee development

To fulfil customers’ growing expectations and safeguard the technological edge over competitors, Schaffner’s Shanghai subsidiary offers its employees internal and external courses for ongoing training and development. The internal courses focus on enhancing technical and interpersonal skills and include comprehensive on-the-job training. New employees receive individually tailored orientation training according to their roles and responsibilities. To benefit on an interdisciplinary level from the Group’s collective expert knowledge, selected employees are given the opportunity to work at different locations of the Schaffner Group.


Schaffner in Shanghai celebrates the birthdays of its employees and organizes activities for staff on holidays such as the Chinese New Year. In terms of internal communication, the employees in Shanghai also have various channels available for approaching their supervisors about issues and making suggestions for improvement. The ideas offered and the actions planned in response are communicated transparently.

Environment, health and safety (EHS)

For Schaffner in Shanghai, working sustainably means protecting both the environment and the health and workplace safety of its people. In collaboration with the local EHS manager, the subsidiary has issued environmental and health and safety guidelines that are regularly reviewed for their effectiveness. For example, actions were taken to enhance air quality in the manufacturing building, the use of chemicals and environmentally hazardous materials is reduced wherever possible, and waste is strictly sorted and separately disposed. Environmental safety is verified yearly by external inspectors.