Schaffner Sustainability report

  • Sustainability report 2017/18

    Sustainability matters

    Sustainability report 2017/18

    The Schaffner Group places a high priority on sustainability

Sustainability report 2017/18

Sustainability matters

The Schaffner Group places a high priority on sustainability. 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 ensures that international standards are met or exceeded.

Social performance

Schaffner’s people are the key to its success. The Group pursues a socially responsible and progressive personnel policy. Schaffner promotes the diversity of employees in its international organization and supports employees in the intercultural collaboration at work. With production centers on three continents, cross cultural cooperation is practiced as a day-to-day reality. At the Swiss headquarters in Luterbach alone, employees from fourteen different nations work together and bring their unique perspectives to the work process. 

Schaffner values

In fiscal year 2017/18, Schaffner launched an initiative to strengthen the corporate culture by developing and establishing the Schaffner Values. To achieve the involvement of employees at every level, an interdisciplinary core team was formed that, together with a global team of ambassadors, worked throughout the Group to introduce and implement the Schaffner Values. This strengthens the Group’s worldwide cohesion and ensures that local needs are incorporated into the Schaffner Values. By the end of fiscal 2017/18, the Schaffner Values had been presented at all Group locations worldwide and introduced with interactive training, taking into account the respective cultural circumstances. The values will be reinforced on an ongoing basis through further training courses.

LTA per 250,000 work hours


Schaffner is dedicated to promoting employees' health and workplace safety. Regular compliance checks are carried out at the Group sites. Findings relevant to the continuous advancement of workplace safety and support of employee health are analyzed and used in setting the health and safety objectives to be achieved at Group level and at the individual sites. Schaffner maintains an occupational health management system, for which a focus topic is chosen each year. The workshops for employees in 2018 focused on stress prevention and healthy sleep behavior. The program also includes an in-house sports offering, as well as regular “apple weeks” that 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 return, the Group is committed to supporting employees in their professional development. Individual training and development goals are set together with the employees, who are supported with funding and/or time in reaching these objectives. Through Schaffner’s own talent management program, employees are supported in their professional development and prepared for higher responsibilities within the Group.


Schaffner employees receive a significant share of the value generated by the Group. In fiscal year  2017/18, Schaffner’s value generation amounted to CHF 94.6 million, or 14% more than one year earlier. Of this total, 78% was directly or indirectly paid to employees and 6% flowed to the public sector in the form of corporate income tax. Four percent is available for distribution to shareholders (subject to their approval at the Annual General Meeting) and 11% remained in the company as depreciation, amortization and retained earnings.

Sharing of value generated in 2017/18

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 and CO2 emissions in its business activities. Schaffner’s aim is to help reduce 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, care is taken to avoid, as far as possible, the use of materials and processes responsible for the production of greenhouse gases. 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 North America offers customers the capability to rewind old transformers on the existing structure and thus extend their service life. This allows much of the materials to be reused. Replaced 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, enables substantial savings to be realized in transport costs. The share of air freight is systematically lowered in favor of sea freight, which allows a further decrease in CO2 emissions (per unit of weight and distance transported). However, as a result of the manufacturing disruption following 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. In the year under review, goods produced in Shanghai were for the first time shipped to Europe by rail, as an alternative to air freight. Rail is about two weeks faster than sea freight, with a CO2 load approximately 40 times less than for air freight.

While the amount of CO2 emitted in connection with business travel in fiscal 2017/18 remained at the prior-year level in absolute terms, it fell significantly in relation to sales. The introduction of Skype for Business markedly improved communication over the Internet by enabling remote Group meetings to be held easily by video conference.

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.