Schaffner Sustainability report

  • Sustainability report

    Sustainability matters

    Sustainability report

    The Schaffner Group places a high priority on sustainability

Sustainability report 2018/19

Sustainability matters

Sustainable practices are a high priority for the Schaffner Group. Its corporate culture is marked by a holistic approach, based on honesty, respect, fairness and a sense of social responsibility as a global company. With innovative spirit and engineering excellence, Schaffner supports the efficient and reliable use of electrical energy. Systematic quality and environmental management ensure that international standards are met or exceeded.

Commitment of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Schaffner Group actively supports the efforts to improve sustainability. The relevant key performance indicators are reported periodically to the Executive Committee. It discusses the results and takes corresponding action as part of a continuous process of improvement.

Social performance

People make the difference: In its role as an employer, the Group pursues a socially responsible and progressive personnel policy. Schaffner promotes the diversity of employees in its international organization and supports them in the intercultural collaboration at work. With production centers on three continents, cross-cultural cooperation is practiced as a day-to-day reality at Schaffner. At the Swiss headquarters in Luterbach alone, people from eighteen different nations work together and bring their unique perspectives to the work process. Language courses in German and English foster employee integration and facilitate cohesive work across international borders.

Schaffner values

The values initiative launched in fiscal year 2017/18 to strengthen the corporate culture was continued in 2018/19, further entrenching the Schaffner Values throughout the Group. The five fundamental values – leadership, ownership, customer focus, openness, and passion – apply worldwide, but are to be practiced in diverse forms according to the local cultures. To help achieve this, local ambassadors initiate specific activities that focus on local challenges and needs in concrete ways. A keynote event in the year under review was the meeting of Schaffner’s global senior management, which was dedicated to the topic of leadership culture. Training activities that built on this and were spread over the year further reinforced the establishment of the fundamental values in the entire group. Shared standards provide guidance for managers and create the basis for transferring responsibility to employees and promoting their greater autonomy – empowerment that boosts performance.

New head office building in Luterbach

With the move to the company’s new office building at the headquarters in Luterbach, the office concept was transformed. The new, ample workspace built to an open-plan design strengthens collaboration, encourages communication and allows easy interaction between staff. In addition, Schaffner offers new forms of workplace arrangements, such as home office and co-working. This addresses employees' changing requirements for the work environment, while also helping to improve sustainability by relieving strain on regional transportation infrastructure.

LTA per 250,000 work hours*

*For the fiscal year from October to September.


Schaffner conscientiously promotes employee health and workplace safety. Regular compliance checks are carried out at the Group sites. The results are analyzed and, as part of the continual advancement of workplace safety and employee health, the findings are used in setting the health and safety objectives both for the Group and the individual sites. Schaffner maintains an occupational health management system, for which a focus topic is chosen each year. Against the backdrop of the move to the new office building at the Luterbach headquarters, the focal theme in 2019 was ergonomics in the workplace. Employees’ awareness of good ergonomics was raised in workshops and they were involved in the procurement of the office furniture. The health program also includes an in-house sports offering, as well as regular “apple weeks” to encourage a healthy diet.

Schaffner pursues active employee development, and expects employees to engage in their personal development and do their part to keep pace with the Group’s dynamic evolution. In turn, the Group is committed to supporting employees in their professional growth. Amid the digital transformation of business, the need to ensure continued employability is gaining in importance. Individual training and development goals are set together with the employees, who are supported with funding and/or time in reaching these objectives.


Schaffner employees receive a significant share of the value generated by the Group. In fiscal year 2018/19, Schaffner’s value generation amounted to CHF 80 million. Of this total, 83% was directly or indirectly paid to employees, and 1% went to the public sector in the form of corporate income tax. Five percent is available for distribution to shareholders (subject to their approval at the Annual General Meeting) and 6% remained in the company as depreciation, amortization and retained earnings.

Sharing of value generated in 2018/19

Energy consumption - KWh per CHF '000 of sales*

Environmental performance

Schaffner is progressively making the operating business in its whole value chain more effective and efficient. A particular focus of these efforts is on reducing energy consumption in and CO2 emissions from its business activities. In this way, Schaffner contributes to the reduction of climate-harming greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, the Schaffner Group’s energy costs represent less than 1% of its sales.

In the development of new products, the use of materials and processes responsible for the production of greenhouse gases is avoided to the extent possible. For example, in the EMC and Automotive divisions, filters were marked with labels instead of ink, thus reducing the use of solvents to a minimum. The Schaffner Group’s transformer plant in the USA offers customers the capability to rewind old transformers on the existing structure and thus extend their service life. The old copper is collected and recycled.

CO2 emissions from production

Kg per CHF '000 of sales*

Water consumption

L per CHF '000 of sales*

CO2 emissions from transport

Kg per CHF '000 of sales*

Waste generation

Kg per CHF '000 of sales*

The global presence of the Schaffner Group, with production centers in Asia, Europe and the USA, substantially reduces transport costs. For the transport needs that do arise, the share of air freight is continually and systematically lowered in favor of sea freight, which allows a further decrease in CO2 emissions (per unit of weight and distance). However, as a result of the manufacturing disruption after the fire in Thailand, an additional volume of freight temporarily had to be transported by air in fiscal 2017/18 to avoid delays in deliveries to customers. This led to a short-term increase in CO2 emissions. Once the supply situation normalized, the CO2 output was cut again markedly in fiscal 2018/19, to well below the pre-fire level.

The absolute amount of CO2 emitted in connection with business travel eased slightly in fiscal 2018/19, while seeing a small increase in relation to sales. In China and Thailand, Schaffner also offers free employee transportation to and from work and thus helps reduce the CO2 emissions caused by individual commuting.

*July to June

In Hungary, additional initiatives for the reduction and reuse of waste were launched. For example, greater awareness was promoted among all staff and waste separation was further optimized.

At the new headquarters in Luterbach, employees use reusable rather than disposable coffee cups. As well, the availability of chilled sparkling water on tap eliminates the need for PET bottles.

The reported increase in waste generation is due to a past error in data collection. Previously at the plant in Thailand, not all materials that were recycled were recorded as waste. This was corrected in fiscal year 2018/19, leading to a rise in the amount of waste reported relative to sales.

The significant increase in water consumption in fiscal 2018/19 resulted entirely from the construction of the new building in Thailand.