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Sustainability at ifm

Making a commitment to be a moral company can sometimes mean to go even further than the law requires. An example: ifm's environmental policy.

"We are determined to follow the path of sustainability," says Martin Buck, Chairman of the Board and co-CEO of the ifm group of companies. Sustainability is not a new topic for ifm, on the contrary, the company has been pursuing it actively for many years. With the sentence "ifm demands and promotes ecologically conscious decisions and conduct", it has been firmly anchored in the corporate philosophy since 1990.

Products that make a contribution

The implementation in practice is multifaceted and not least reflected in ifm's core business: The vast majority of the sensors developed, manufactured and distributed by ifm helps to stabilise production processes and thus contribute to fewer rejects, higher availability and thus also to saving resources. Many ifm products are also directly used to prevent or reduce environmental damage in the production process. For example, the precise volumetric flow monitoring of the thermal SD compressed air meter helps to detect leaks in compressed air supply systems, and thus, massively cut energy costs. The SD also serves as the basis for an efficient energy management system.

Sustainable action that goes beyond legal requirements

In addition, the ifm group decided about ten years ago to introduce a full declaration of its products, i.e. customers know exactly which substances are contained in ifm devices, and not only that they comply with current environmental laws. This allows ifm to respond more precisely to customer-specific substance lists. Here too, ifm's commitment to be a moral company goes beyond legal requirements.

Based on this commitment, ifm is also introducing the holistic environmental management system EMAS / ISO 14001 (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme). EMAS is a management instrument developed by the European Commission for companies and other organisations to evaluate, report, and improve their environmental performance. This decision is a major step towards sustainable, environmentally responsible business operations. As part of this process, sustainability issues will be proactively identified and pursued at ifm.

A concrete example is the introduction of the digital production order, which leads to significant savings in paper. In addition, ifm has purchased 100 percent green electricity since last year. Another aim is to eliminate or minimise the use of plastic in product packaging and to eliminate the majority of user manuals by the end of 2021 in order to reduce paper consumption. Less packaging also means less weight and therefore less fuel consumption during transport. The goal is to significantly reduce the company's ecological footprint by 2030 and become carbon neutral. A "personal" example is the employee gift in 2020: Instead of gimmicks, the employees of the ifm group receive a tree sponsorship as part of an environmental initiative.

Despite all the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation regarding sustainability, which even goes beyond legal requirements in many cases, the primary objective is and remains: ifm wants to "grow successfully in security". This focus ensures that all measures – including measures relating to ifm's environmental policy – are assessed according to their economic feasibility.

Last year was a special year for the ifm group, not only because of the 50th company anniversary. 2020 will bring with it many new challenges. That sustainability and resource conservation will play a major role in this is part of ifm's DNA, not least because of its corporate philosophy, as the examples mentioned above show.