Why SICK is taking action
In the life cycle of a sensor product, the main environmental burden is caused by the extraction, processing and transport of raw materials. The supply chain with its parts suppliers and sub-suppliers as well as transport between the individual participants is therefore crucial for the achievement of sustainability goals. It is not only politics that focuses on this interaction, but at SICK, we also examine and optimize processes along the entire supply chain.
Sustainable along the entire supply chain
The “Green Supply Chain” is dedicated to the environmentally-friendly supply of materials and products from our suppliers and sub-suppliers to SICK. Appropriate measures can be created by evaluating suppliers in terms of their sustainability. SICK measures CO2 emissions and compensation costs using a calculation model. This means the environmental impact of products can be determined from transport to arrival at the individual SICK sites. Procurement logistics are carried out by partially switching to CO2-reduced freight routes. In addition, SICK cooperates internally and across departments: The “Green Logistics” and “Green Packaging” initiatives are used to design and implement sustainable packaging for transport from the supplier to SICK.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring states in particular, the ongoing armed conflict is financed by the mining of certain natural resources. Militias control raw material mines under the most severe human rights violations, and sell the so-called conflict minerals (mainly gold, tantalum, tungsten and tin – “3TG minerals”) extracted in the process all over the world.
In the U.S., some companies are required by law to report whether and to what extent sourcing of 3TG minerals from the conflict region is taking place. The purpose of this is to ensure that only conflict-free 3TG minerals are purchased and traded in the future, which is to be achieved with the help of a certified smelting system. The corresponding EU Conflict Minerals Regulation also provides for a reporting and certification obligation for smelters and refiners as well as major raw material importers.
SICK is affected neither by the US nor the EU reporting obligation. Nevertheless, SICK respects the underlying objective of this rule – to prevent the financing of militant groups who commit human rights violations – and pledges its commitment to achieving this objective. SICK is working towards only using conflict-free 3TG minerals in its own products and, within this context, explicitly endorses the establishment of the Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP) of the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI).