CLAAS

RATING

SECTOR

Engineering, Manufacturing

WEBSITE

CONTACT

CLAAS Gruppe
Corporate Communications
Postfach 11 63
33426 Harsewinkel
Germany

Tel: +49 (0)52 47 / 12- 0
Fax: N/A
Email: pr@claas.com

STOCK EXCHANGE

N/A

LISTING

  • #70 World’s Best Employers 2020

EMPLOYEES

11,395

AWARDS

  • Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2021 (The CLAAS AXION 960 CEMOS was able to prevail against 17 other finalists)

CONTENT SOURCE

Report created by Katerina Vargova

CLAAS

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

CLAAS is a family business founded in 1913 and is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural engineering equipment. It is the European market leader in combine harvesters and considered as world market leader in self-propelled forage harvesters.

The product range also includes tractors, balers, mowers, rakes, tedders, silage trailers, wheel loaders, telehandlers and other harvesting equipment as well as state-of-the-art farming information technology. CLAAS employs around 11,500 employees worldwide and reported a turnover of roughly 3.9 billion euros in the 2019 financial year. About 78.5% of sales are generated outside of Germany.

Company Sustainability Activity

CLAAS’ actions leave a trace – footprint. In ecological terms, its footprint should remain as small as possible. By contrast, its agricultural equipment activities should be as sustainable as possible – its impact. CLAAS is looking far beyond the bounds of mechanical engineering and cooperating with scientists and technology leaders to allow farmers to increase their yields with methods that are increasingly more environmentally friendly.

Highlights

  • The global food industry generated sales of roughly 6,632 billion euros in 2020 (twice as much as the entire automotive industry)
  • Globalization and digitalization have become key issues in the industry, alongside agricultural developments. The spread of protectionism and disruptive policy are posing challenges to CLAAS, which over time has built strong international networks and relies on global value chains.

Targets

  • 40% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels by 2030
  • By 2030 CLAAS will be in a position to reduce the amount of diesel needed to produce one metric ton of wheat by over 30% compared to 1990
  • Reduce the amount of nitrate entering groundwater by 20%
  • Maintain or, if possible, increase the percentage of women in executive positions by 2022

Progress

  • The plough doesn’t need a single drop of diesel to run, but its design and frequency of use are often a major factor in the tractor’s fuel consumption. First steps in reducing fuel consumption are to look at the engine, improve the machine as a whole, and analyze the entire process from the perspective of operating efficiency. These three elements have already been investigated, with findings being implemented in the latest generation of products. The fourth element focuses on alternative energy sources and drives concepts, from biodiesel to fuel cells and electric motors. 
  • The EKoTech project looked into the cultivation of wheat, corn, and grass over a period of 40 years from 1990 to 2030. The chosen metric was carbon emissions, emissions per quantity of grain or other crops produced. All of the measures reduce fuel costs, making them attractive from a financial perspective for farmers and contractors.
  • Digital solutions are generating the gains in efficiency that are really paying dividends, both economically and environmentally, for agri-business.
  • Technical solutions that meet these criteria (reducing the amount of nitrate entering groundwater by 20%) go above and beyond the scope of fuel efficiency, but still require the precision and control of smart, connected processes. EKoTech was and remains an important milestone on this journey.
  • Mechanical cultivators are used to combating weed growth in organic farming and wherever herbicides have no effect. The new CULTI CAM system, developed by CLAAS, allows machinery operators to maintain a high level of precision and protect plants when working on fields.
  • CLAAS wants to manufacture significantly more tractors moving forward – in an attractive and safe environment. CLAAS plans to sell 13,000 tractors per year in its core Western and Eastern ­Europe market and tap into new markets moving forward. The three-year modernization project not only involved renewing the technical equipment, entire processes were redesigned too, such as the internal logistics system or facilities to fill up machines with a variety of fluids.

Certificates

  • DLG approved label – for achieving fuel savings of up to 16.8% fuel savings and a 16.3% increase in productivity

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations SDGs Compliance

The Impakter Index team aligns current company-wide sustainability initiatives with the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the following section.

SDG 4

  • CLAAS cooperates closely with schools and institutions of higher education and exercises a wide range of vocational training and orientation initiatives. Fairs, training days, and internships enable young people to establish early contact with the potential employer. School graduates may also apply to complete technical or commercial vocational training at any of CLASs sites in Germany or enter into a bachelor’s program at the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg.
  • Maintaining contact with apprentices, students participating in the “dual study” system, and interns even after their time at the company is very important to CLAAS. The CLAAS Next Generation alumni program is used in a targeted manner to ensure the loyalty of talented young people in the long term. After finishing their studies, direct entry positions or the international trainee program offer a great opportunity for graduates to start their careers at CLAAS. The award-winning trainee program focuses on engineering, finance/controlling, sales, and software and electronics.

SDG 5

  • CLAAS aims to promote the training and education of young women through offers such as a Female Day and a mentoring program for students of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). These measures have already resulted in candidates applying to join training and trainee programs. 
  • In relation to Germany’s law on the equal participation of women and men in executive positions, a new target was resolved in July 2017, which applies through June 30, 2022. The aim is to maintain or, if possible, increase the percentage of women in executive positions over this period. The target for the Supervisory Board stands at 8.3%. The target for the first management level stands at 7.7%, with the target for the second management level at 4.0%. In setting these targets, CLAAS took into account industry-specific circumstances and the current percentage of women on staff.

SDG 9

  • CLAAS invests in new technologies, is improving energy efficiency and cooperates with partners. 
  • The DataConnect interface enables farmers and contractors to reach the full potential of their data – regardless of the manufacturer of their machinery. This is only possible because the interface partners have been thinking outside the box. 
  • Improvement of the performance and adaptivity of a machine using electrical machines instead of hydromechanical drive-trains.
  • The EKoTech project looked into the cultivation of wheat, corn, and grass over a period of 40 years from 1990 to 2030. The chosen metric was carbon emissions, emissions per quantity of grain or other crops produced. All of the measures reduce fuel costs, making them attractive from a financial perspective for farmers and contractors.
  • Technical solutions that meet these criteria (reducing the amount of nitrate entering groundwater by 20%) go above and beyond the scope of fuel efficiency, but still require the precision and control of smart, connected processes. EKoTech was and remains an important milestone on this journey.

Evaluation

Whilst CLAAS has demonstrated a genuine interest in sustainable development, the company has only done so through articles internally published. CLAAS does not issue sustainability reports and does not include a sustainability section in its annual report.  

CLAAS does not align its activities with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and does not mention the UN SDGs on the company website. 

CLAAS is listed as 70th World’s Best Employer for 2020 in Forbes. However, the company is not listed in any sustainable indices, does not have sustainable certificates and did not gain any sustainability awards apart from the Sustainable Tractor of the Year 2021. 

For these reasons, CLAAS has been rated a C.

Analyst Outlook: Neutral

Whilst CLAAS does not publish sustainability reports, the company invests in new technologies, fuel efficiency and the reduction of fuel costs. It has also reduced its emissions and implicitly adheres to several UN SDGs. Upon the publishing of sustainability reports and the reception of certificates and greater recognition, CLAAS could potentially be assigned higher ratings.

Key Points

  • No sustainable reports, no alignment with the UN SDGs
  • No sustainability certificates
  • Further reading did not reveal any scandals or sustainability breaches
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