Interview with Carlo Crosetto
Mr. Crosetto, since becoming CFO of Dürr AG at the beginning of 2017, sustainability is one of the topics for which you have been responsible. What is your initial impression?
I am excited to see, for example, what we are doing for our employees around the world. After all, they are particularly important for us as an engineering group. It is our employees who bring to life the many different projects that reduce our ecological footprint. This has really impressed me. For Dürr, sustainability is nothing new and has always been an integral part of what we do.
Where have you seen a need for improvement?
So far, our subsidiaries and business sites have initiated many measures independently. For us as the Board of Management of the Group holding company, it is of course important to have uniform standards across all companies. These include, in particular, Group guidelines and global reporting structures. In the field of occupational health and safety, for example, we have recently succeeded in installing just such a worldwide structure. Given the corporate growth we have achieved and still anticipate, I see an increasing need to build these global structures in other sub-areas as well, for example to address environmental issues.
Does sustainability play a role in the products of the Dürr Group?
It plays a huge role! Our customer promise is 'Leading in Production Efficiency'. This means our solutions are designed to make our customers' production more efficient. We usually achieve this result by significantly reducing the size of the solution and by cutting resources, which in turn protects the environment. Environmental aspects in production are becoming increasingly important to our customers, in part because their reputation hinges on it. Let me give you an example: if you replace an older paint shop with state-of-the-art Dürr technology today, this plant alone will save you more energy and reduce more CO2 emissions per year than the entire Dürr Group uses and produces worldwide. The same applies to water consumption.
Are your customers and investors also interested in sustainability aspects within the Dürr Group?
Absolutely. We are increasingly being asked to provide detailed information, especially by large customers from the automotive industry. This includes many pages of questionnaires, ranging from measures to prevent discrimination through to wastewater treatment at our foreign sites. Investors, on the other hand, rarely ask us about sustainability. But here we can also see a clear trend. More and more professional investors are basing their decisions on the ratings of specialized organizations such as VIGEO or CDP.
How will you report on sustainability in the future?
Until now, we have published a separate sustainability report in addition to the sustainability chapter of our annual report. This separate report was more comprehensive and used specific examples to show how we see sustainability at Dürr. In view of legal requirements, we will now publish a 'non-financial declaration' in our annual report. This will be more comprehensive than the usual chapter of the annual report and will focus on conceptual aspects such as responsibilities, structures and guidelines. We are therefore not planning to publish a separate sustainability report from 2018. We will also continue to provide in-depth information in the sustainability section of our homepage.