Sustainability & ESG

De­liv­er­ing a sus­tain­able fu­ture – ESG at KAEFER

Sus­tain­ab­il­ity means meet­ing our needs without com­prom­ising the abil­ity of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to meet theirs. It means man­aging nat­ural, eco­nomic, and so­cial re­sources to cre­ate ad­di­tional value for our stake­hold­ers and long-term re­si­li­ence for our busi­ness.

ESG stands for En­vir­on­ment, So­cial & Gov­ernance. KAE­FER’s com­pre­hens­ive ESG strategy defines our sus­tain­ab­il­ity vis­ion, sets out KPIs and tar­gets, and drives ini­ti­at­ives which make a dif­fer­ence. En­sur­ing that sus­tain­ab­il­ity is part of man­age­ment as well as op­er­a­tional pro­cesses, an ESG-based ap­proach makes it pos­sible for us to ex­ceed ap­plic­able stand­ards, achieve com­mer­cial suc­cess, and pur­sue mean­ing­ful en­vir­on­mental, so­cial and eth­ical im­prove­ments.

It also helps us meet the re­quire­ments of key stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing em­ploy­ees, cli­ents, in­vestors, and rat­ing agen­cies.

At KAEFER we pro­mote sus­tain­ab­il­ity in two ways: as an enabler – by providing services to our customers that help reduce their en­vir­on­mental foot­print, and as leader – by adhering to ESG stand­ards in our own busi­ness activ­it­ies.

At KAEFER, we were quick to un­der­stand the im­port­ance of sus­tain­ab­il­ity, form­ing a ded­ic­ated Cor­por­ate Re­spons­ib­il­ity & Sus­tain­ab­il­ity (CRS) de­part­ment in 2008, sys­tem­at­ic­ally seek­ing stake­holder feed­back and pro­du­cing an­nual Sus­tain­ab­il­ity Re­ports from 2011.

Our CRS de­part­ment works with a global net­work of KAEFER Sus­tain­ab­il­ity Cham­pi­ons to raise aware­ness and en­sure the en­vir­on­mental, so­cial, and com­munity-based ef­forts of our em­ploy­ees are prop­erly re­sourced and ef­fect­ive. At the same time our HSEQ (Health, Safety, En­vir­on­ment & Qual­ity) de­part­ment is com­mit­ted to a safety cul­ture with zero tol­er­ance for in­cid­ents or ac­ci­dents. All in all, at KAEFER we care and stand up for one an­other – ap­ply­ing the highest com­pli­ance stand­ards wherever we work.

Contact our global experts:

Erhard Dubs

Corporate Strategy & ESG

Julia Kasparek

Corporate Strategy & ESG

ESG Gov­ernance – vis­ible, em­powered, ac­count­able

Meet KAEFER’s ESG governance team.

An am­bi­tious ESG Strategy, in­volving so many dif­fer­ent func­tions, re­lies on sound and sup­port­ive gov­ernance.

We are de­term­ined that our ef­forts to be­come more sus­tain­able are trans­par­ent, meas­ur­able, and sub­ject to con­tinu­ous re­view and im­prove­ment. Our gov­ernance model cla­ri­fies re­spons­ib­il­it­ies and re­port­ing lines within the com­pany – en­sur­ing that sus­tain­ab­il­ity re­mains a con­stant area of fo­cus.

The ESG Steer­ing Com­mit­tee

KAE­FER’s com­mit­ment to ESG starts at the top. KAE­FER’s Ex­ec­ut­ive Board is an act­ive part of our ESG Steer­ing Com­mit­tee, re­spons­ible for de­fin­ing our vis­ion, steer­ing our stra­tegic agenda, and set­ting our pri­or­it­ies and tar­gets.

The ESG Pro­ject Man­age­ment Of­fice

KAE­FER’s ESG Pro­ject Man­age­ment Of­fice serves as the co­ordin­at­ing hub for all ESG-re­lated top­ics. In ad­di­tion to ana­lys­ing our ESG im­pact, the cross-de­part­mental team is re­spons­ible for:

  • Increasing awareness of ESG and Sustainability at KAEFER
  • Analysing and evaluating social, commercial, environmental, & political/regulatory trends – and developing KAEFER’s ESG Strategy accordingly
  • Integrating sustainability measures, in line with both our global strategy and local regulations and/or restrictions
  • Reporting to the Steering Committee and supporting project stakeholders in planning and execution
The KAEFER Sus­tain­ab­il­ity Sound­ing Board

Made up of rep­res­ent­at­ives from busi­ness units around the world, KAE­FER’s Sus­tain­ab­il­ity Sound­ing Board (SSB) has a re­view and net­work func­tion de­signed to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of our ESG Strategy, share know­ledge, and con­nect KAEFER en­tit­ies world­wide.

Sus­tain­ab­il­ity com­mit­ments/​Work­streams

Ap­poin­ted by the ESG Steer­ing Com­mit­tee and re­port­ing dir­ectly to the ESG PMO, multi-dis­cip­lin­ary work­streams are re­spons­ible for for­mu­lat­ing and ex­ecut­ing ini­ti­at­ives de­signed to re­in­force pos­it­ive im­pacts and mit­ig­ate or elim­in­ate neg­at­ive im­pacts for all sus­tain­ab­il­ity com­mit­ments.

Our com­mit­ment in writ­ing

Our work is based on the laws, re­quire­ments and reg­u­la­tions that ap­ply in the coun­tries where we op­er­ate. KAE­FER’s Code of Busi­ness Con­duct, KAE­FER’s Sup­plier Code of Con­duct and ESG Policy cla­rify our com­mit­ment to sus­tain­ab­il­ity. All our policies fol­low the UN Global Com­pact ini­ti­at­ive on is­sues con­cern­ing hu­man rights, work­ing con­di­tions, the en­vir­on­ment, and anti-cor­rup­tion.

Ex­ternal Veri­fic­a­tion

Stake­hold­ers – in­clud­ing in­vestors, banks, and the gen­eral pub­lic – place in­creas­ing im­port­ance on the ex­ternal veri­fic­a­tion of sus­tain­ab­il­ity data. Ac­cord­ing to GRI and the CSRD, in 2025, this will be­come a legal re­quire­ment in the EU (and glob­ally, for com­pan­ies headquartered in the EU). At KAEFER, we already work with ex­ternal ad­visors to pro­duce sus­tain­ab­il­ity and ESG data in line with GRI guidelines.

Ma­ter­i­al­ity & risk as­sess­ment – rig­or­ous, pro­fes­sional, bind­ing

We analyse the impact of our activities, connect with stakeholders, and define our goals

A rig­or­ous ESG man­age­ment ap­proach helps KAEFER identify op­por­tun­it­ies and avoid risks – and of­fers our cli­ents im­proved ser­vices across all op­er­a­tions. Be­cause our suc­cess rests on our abil­ity to in­teg­rate ESG into every de­cision we make, we have es­tab­lished a ma­ter­i­al­ity as­sess­ment pro­cess to provide de­cision-makers with clear, evid­ence-based in­form­a­tion.

KAE­FER’s ma­ter­i­al­ity as­sess­ment is build up on a rig­or­ous sus­tain­ab­il­ity as­sess­ment, sys­tems ana­lysis, and con­text ana­lysis.

  • Sustainability assessment: ESG-related questionnaire clustered into 19 section to evaluate current ESG performance and spot-points for improvement
  • System analysis: reflects our organisational context through a high level overview of KAEFER’s activities and business relationships, the sustainability context in which these occur, and an overview of its stakeholders
  • Context analysis: identifies impacts based on information from external sources such as competitors, shareholder requirements, market trends, and regulatory directives

We aim to pur­sue change as ef­fect­ively as pos­sible. A vi­tal com­pon­ent of this pro­cess is con­duct­ing struc­tured dia­logues with se­lect groups of stake­hold­ers on a range of rel­ev­ant is­sues.

KAE­FER’s stake­hold­ers in­clude em­ploy­ees, cli­ents, busi­ness units, sup­pli­ers, in­vestors, fin­an­cial mar­ket par­ti­cipants, gov­ern­ments, reg­u­lat­ors, NGOs and other in­ter­ested mem­bers of the pub­lic. Through un­der­stand­ing how they see KAEFER, we val­id­ate our find­ings and en­sure our ESG Strategy ad­dresses ex­ternal con­cerns and pri­or­it­ies.

We pri­or­it­ised the stake­hold­ers and dis­cussed with the se­lec­ted ones the find­ings of our sus­tain­ab­il­ity as­sess­ment, to fur­ther ad­vance the per­spect­ives that we in­volve in our ma­ter­i­al­ity as­sess­ment. With this ap­proach we as­sured to in­clude not only a through in­side-out per­spect­ive but also the out­side-in per­spect­ive of im­pacts our busi­ness activ­it­ies has on the planet.

Our goal is to un­der­stand and ad­dress the ‘im­pacts’ which KAEFER has on an eco­nomy, en­vir­on­ment, or people be­cause of its activ­it­ies and/​or busi­ness re­la­tion­ships. Im­pacts can be ac­tual or po­ten­tial, neg­at­ive or pos­it­ive, short-term or long-term, in­ten­ded or un­in­ten­ded, re­vers­ible or ir­re­vers­ible.

Double ma­ter­i­al­ity

The as­sess­ment is based on the double ma­ter­i­al­ity prin­ciple that helps us con­sider these im­pacts from mul­tiple per­spect­ives – the im­pact of cli­mate change on our busi­ness (fin­an­cial ma­ter­i­al­ity), for ex­ample, as well as the im­pact of our busi­ness on the cli­mate (im­pact ma­ter­i­al­ity). A sus­tain­ab­il­ity mat­ter meets there­fore the cri­teria of double ma­ter­i­al­ity if it is ma­ter­ial from either the im­pact per­spect­ive or the fin­an­cial per­spect­ive or both per­spect­ives. In all cases, we eval­u­ate and pri­or­it­ise im­pacts in terms of scale, scope, and re­medi­ab­il­ity – identi­fy­ing op­por­tun­it­ies to drive pos­it­ive change. KAE­FER’s over­all ESG per­form­ance is as­sessed ac­cord­ing to the fol­low­ing cri­teria:


  • Climate Protection
  • Management of Energy Sources
  • Materials and Products
  • Services enhancing circularity


  • Labour Standards and Ethics
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
  • Health and Safety
  • Professional Development and Training


  • Sustainability Management
  • Communication and Engagement
  • Risk Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Ethics

Sus­tain­ab­il­ity com­mit­ments – trans­par­ent, meas­ur­able, ef­fect­ive

We turn knowledge into action, improving sustainability across seven commitments.

KAE­FER’s ma­ter­i­al­ity & risk as­sess­ment pro­cess al­lows us to un­der­stand where our activ­it­ies have the greatest im­pact, and where ex­ternal factors are likely to have the greatest im­pact on KAEFER. High pri­or­ity im­pacts are trans­formed into ma­ter­ial top­ics (sus­tain­ab­il­ity com­mit­ments) for KAEFER, clustered, and as­signed to one of seven ded­ic­ated work­streams. Our work­streams de­velop trans­par­ent, meas­ur­able plans to re­in­force pos­it­ive im­pacts and mit­ig­ate neg­at­ive im­pacts around the world – en­sur­ing a well-re­sourced and pro­fes­sional man­age­ment ap­proach for each sus­tain­ab­il­ity com­mit­ment.

GHG Emis­sions/​Car­bon Foot­print

Vision: We have the long-term ambition to enable our customers to become carbon neutral, fulfilling net zero throughout our value chain by 2050

Many of our cli­ents are com­mit­ted to be­com­ing net zero by 2050. Our ser­vices can play a big role in help­ing them achieve these tar­gets – but we also have to set our own goals for KAEFER emis­sions. The GHG Emis­sions/​Car­bon Foot­print team is re­spons­ible for meas­ur­ing emis­sions across KAE­FER’s value chain (from our own pro­cesses and en­ergy con­sump­tion as well as from the pro­cesses and en­ergy con­sump­tion of our sup­pli­ers and end users). From March 2023, we will pub­lish an­nual, group-wide fig­ures on our car­bon foot­print.


Vision: We strive for a waste-free business environment, pursuing the concept of circularity by reducing, reusing, and recycling

Be­cause our ser­vices con­sume ma­ter­i­als, we have a re­spons­ib­il­ity to con­tinu­ously im­prove re­source man­age­ment, min­im­ise waste, and avoid en­vir­on­mental con­tam­in­a­tion. The team pro­motes best prac­tices throughout the KAEFER value chain and ex­plores how we can lever­age our po­s­i­tion as a pur­chaser and ser­vice pro­vider to avoid ma­ter­ial waste and pro­mote cir­cu­lar eco­nom­ies. Re­cyc­ling is an in­teg­ral part of our ma­ter­ial hand­ling philo­sophy.

Health & Safety

Vision: We strive for zero work-related incidents by caring for the well-being and safety of our employees and everyone we work with

KAEFER em­ploy­ees of­ten work in ex­treme en­vir­on­mental con­di­tions, in isol­ated loc­a­tions, at heights, and around heavy ma­chinery and sharp and dan­ger­ous ob­jects. To make sure all our people re­turn home safely at the end of each work­ing day, we in­vest sub­stan­tial re­sources in fos­ter­ing an in­clus­ive safety cul­ture, as well as in provid­ing state of the art equip­ment, tools, and train­ing for our em­ploy­ees.

Our guid­ing prin­ciples – which ex­tend to our cli­ents, con­tract­ors, and sup­pli­ers, as well as em­ploy­ees – go bey­ond provid­ing a healthy work­ing en­vir­on­ment. We work hard to en­sure healthy de­cisions are made within our teams, fo­cus­sing on men­tal as well as phys­ical health. We mon­itor well-be­ing and provide in­di­vidual sup­port where ne­ces­sary and foster a cul­ture of open er­ror man­age­ment and con­tinu­ous im­prove­ment.

Our goal is zero work-re­lated in­cid­ents. When in­cid­ents do oc­cur, we have meas­ures in place to en­sure we learn the right les­sons and share them throughout the com­pany.


Vision: We are the employer of choice, offering excellent development opportunities, supporting personal growth, and embracing diversity

We can only suc­ceed if our people are en­gaged, mo­tiv­ated and skilled – and if we provide the right sup­port and ca­reer de­vel­op­ment op­por­tun­it­ies. KAE­FER’s val­ues de­mand lead­er­ship through ex­ample, dia­logue, and zero tol­er­ance for any form of dis­crim­in­a­tion or har­ass­ment.

We are com­mit­ted to the pro­tec­tion of la­bour and hu­man rights, to identi­fy­ing and pro­mot­ing tal­ent, and provid­ing edu­ca­tion and train­ing op­por­tun­it­ies de­signed to real­ise the full po­ten­tial of every em­ployee.


Vision: We reject all forms of corruption and shape a business environment based on trust and integrity

Be­cause every­one at KAEFER in­flu­ences and shapes the com­pany, it is vi­tal we foster a shared com­mit­ment to our val­ues, based on trust and a com­mon set of norms. Our Code of Busi­ness Con­duct, as well as reg­u­lar com­pli­ance train­ing for all em­ploy­ees (in­clud­ing mod­ules on anti-cor­rup­tion and fraud pre­ven­tion & de­tec­tion), re­flects our be­lief that cor­rup­tion jeop­ard­ises busi­ness re­la­tions, dis­torts com­pet­i­tion, and en­dangers our ex­ist­ence. Our global Com­pli­ance Man­age­ment Sys­tem is audited by ex­ternal ex­perts. Re­port­ing lines are clear throughout the com­pany, with com­pli­ance of­ficers present in all re­gions and busi­ness units. Em­ploy­ees, other stake­hold­ers, and whis­tleblowers can also re­port con­cerns to our well-pub­li­cised Com­pli­ance Helpline.

Supply Chain Sustainability

Vision: We expect our suppliers to share the same values and meet the standards we have implemented and live in our company. We have zero tolerance for human rights violations or environmental hazards and are aiming for decarbonisation of our supply chain by 2050

As an in­ter­na­tional ser­vice pro­vider, sourcing ma­ter­i­als and ser­vices from more than 15,000 sup­pli­ers, sup­ply chain sus­tain­ab­il­ity of­fers KAEFER op­por­tun­it­ies to push for pos­it­ive change. We en­gage in con­stant, struc­tured dia­logue with sup­pli­ers to im­prove sus­tain­ab­il­ity and provide cli­ents, in­vestors and reg­u­lat­ors with rel­ev­ant in­form­a­tion from the en­tire sup­ply chain. We also of­fer sup­plier man­age­ment train­ing for em­ploy­ees.

There are im­port­ant so­cial ele­ments con­nec­ted to sup­ply chain sus­tain­ab­il­ity. At KAEFER, our Sup­plier Code of Con­duct goes hand in hand with our Hu­man Rights Policy and we act­ively as­sess po­ten­tial hu­man rights risks in our sup­ply chain.

Economic Performance

Vision: We are the reliable facilitator for the transition to a sustainable future – to the benefit of our clients and society

Today’s in­dus­trial as­sets must change to meet fu­ture re­quire­ments. As an in­dus­trial ser­vice pro­vider with tech­nical know-how and ex­pert­ise in real­ising com­plex pro­jects, KAEFER has an im­port­ant role to play in this trans­ition. At a bare min­imum, this means en­ga­ging with so­cial, le­gis­lat­ive and reg­u­lat­ory de­vel­op­ments in or­der to an­ti­cip­ate and plan for up­com­ing changes. Our goal, however, is to set the pace, pi­on­eer­ing change and act­ively as­sist­ing our cli­ents to real­ise op­por­tun­it­ies and avoid threats.

The KAEFER Sus­tain­ab­il­ity Lib­rary

Learn more about how we make change happen: